Swinging Bridge Lake, New York, USA

Also known as:  Swinging Bridge Reservoir

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Swinging Bridge Lake — things to do, where to stay, fun facts, history, stats and more. Let’s dive in!

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Looking for Swinging Bridge Lake cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore our comprehensive list of favorite travel partners.

All About Swinging Bridge Lake

Swinging Bridge Lake is a Catskills lake located in southern Sullivan County, New York and was formed by the damming of the Mongaup River in 1926 for hydroelectric power. Bethel, Forestburgh, Lumberland, and Thompson are the four townships that border Swinging Bridge Lake.

The lake’s name derived from a walking bridge across the Mongaup River that consisted of wooden planks held in place by steel cables. Anyone daring enough to use the bridge was in for a “swinging” good time. The name Swinging Bridge Lake was given to the newly formed lake when the dam was completed.

Swinging Bridge Lake is an exciting place for fishing, swimming, boating, and sailing. There are no restrictions on jet skis, size of boats, or even sea planes. White water paddling is located on the Mongaup River for the more adventuresome visitor. Although the average depth of the lake is more than 30 feet, there are sandbars and boulders less than a foot under the surface, so boaters should take care to avoid these areas. The depth of Swinging Bridge Lake ranges from 5 feet to a maximum depth of 110 feet.

There is no shortage of fish as the Department of Environmental Conservation stocks Swinging Bridge Reservoir with fish every spring. Trout, bass, pickerel, blue gill, carp, perch, catfish, walleye, largemouth bass, and crappies are abundant, making Swinging Bridge Lake a top fishing spot for local fishing enthusiasts as well as visitors seeking their luck. Ice fishing is popular in winter.

There are two public launch areas on Swinging Bridge Lake that are maintained by Alliance Energy Renewables, the owners of Swinging Bridge Lake. The Plank Road Northwest Recreation Area has a small picnic area, a portage launch point for non-powered water craft, and a boat launch with capabilities for shallow draft boats up to 20 feet. The Starlight Road Recreation Area has a picnic area and boat launch available. Alliance lowers water levels by about 17 feet in the winter to provide storage for heavy spring runoff.

Nature enthusiasts will want to bring their cameras and binoculars to Swinging Bridge Lake. With abundant water and food plots available, the Swinging Bridge Lake area is teeming with wildlife. Families of turkey, deer, black bear, fox, rabbits, and beaver can be seen around the lake. Look to the sky for blue herons, a wide variety of songbirds, as well as the American Bald Eagle. Parts of Swinging Bridge Lake and its shoreline have become protected by the Department of Environmental Conservation for the preservation of the nesting grounds of the beautiful eagles, and no further home construction will be allowed in these protected areas.

Trails around Swinging Bridge Lake provide opportunities for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. In the winter, these same trails can be used for cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling. Accommodations around Swinging Bridge Lake are as varied as the activities there. You can choose from vacation rental homes, cabin rentals, or camping.

If you should tire of nature’s beauty at Swinging Bridge Reservoir, a short drive will provide you many exciting attractions. Sullivan County is a great tourist area to visit with its historic sites, horse racing, shopping, golfing, and winter time skiing. A two hour drive will take you straight to New York City with all its hustle and bustle, but remember when you have had your fill of the noisy crowds and traffic congestion, tranquil Swinging Bridge Lake is just a short ride home.

So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags, your fishing gear, cameras, binoculars, and head to Swinging Bridge Lake today.

Things to Do at Swinging Bridge Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Jet Skiing
  • Golf
  • Camping
  • Picnicking
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Horseback Riding
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • Shopping

Fish Species Found at Swinging Bridge Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Carp
  • Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Perch
  • Pickerel
  • Pike
  • Trout
  • Walleye

Find Places to Stay at Swinging Bridge Lake

If you’re considering a Swinging Bridge Lake lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.

Recommended Sites to Book a Swinging Bridge Lake Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Swinging Bridge Lake lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • Booking.com – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, Booking.com connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • Hotels.com – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, Hotels.com is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

Swinging Bridge Lake Statistics & Helpful Links


Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: Alliance Energy Renewables, LLC

Surface Area: 860 acres

Shoreline Length: 28 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,065 feet

Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 1,048 feet

Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 1,070 feet

Average Depth: 33 feet

Maximum Depth: 110 feet

Water Volume: 28,000 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1926

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