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Hitch-up to Pennsylvania’s Lakes Ready for Speed

Forget smooth rides and tranquil waters: some Happy Travelers have the need for speed — and rapids! Don’t get us wrong, we love a good picnic and can’t resist the chance to cast a fishing line, but adrenaline wins every so often. This summer, practice your water skiing, hold onto your inner tube, and kick it up a notch at these lakes just made for powerboating.

Featured Trip Ideas

Don’t forget to have your boat registered with the PA Fish & Boat Commission. Out-of-state friends need not worry, it is legal to operate a boat registered in another state on Pennsylvania waters.

1. Beltzville Lake

Maximum Lake Speed: 45 miles per hour

With a 19.8-mile shoreline and nearly 1,000 acres of open water, Beltzville Lake in the Pocono Mountains is the centerpiece of the state park and a hotbed of H2O happiness. Along the northern shore of the lake, visitors can use the three-lane boat launching ramp and dock. Boats are permitted to ride up to 45 miles per hour, so hold on tight — you’ll have plenty of room for waterskiing or tubing!

2. Curwensville Lake

Maximum Lake Speed: no horsepower limitations

You’ll find Curwensville Lake in the Pennsylvania Wilds, but you won’t find and limits on horsepower. At the 790-acre lake, children 12 years of age or younger required to wear a life jacket when underway on a boat that is 20' or less. Watercraft operators, passengers, sailboarders, water skiers or anyone being towed behind a boat must also wear a life jacket.

3. Lake Augusta

Maximum Lake Speed: no horsepower limitations

Located at the confluence of the west and north branches of the Susquehanna River, the 3,060-acre Lake Augusta is formed by the world’s largest inflatable dam. When the dam is raised in the summer, the real fun begins; it raises the water level at least eight feet and creates four miles of unhindered boating. Feeling extra adventurous? Rent a jet ski at Lake Augusta Outfitters and zip around the lake with the wind in your hair!

4. Lake Wallenpaupack

Maximum Lake Speed: 45 miles per hour | no horsepower limitations

Speed and size — Lake Wallenpaupack in the Pocono Mountains is a massive 5,700 acres, 13 miles long, with 52 miles of shoreline and is 60 feet deep at its maximum depth. Jet skiing, wakeboarding, and water skiing are all up for grabs on these waters, so hold on tight!

5. Raystown Lake

Maximum Lake Speed: no speed or horsepower limitations

Forget about the rules, because there are no horsepower or size restrictions for boats on Raystown Lake in the Alleghenies. This lake features 110 miles of underdeveloped shoreline as most summer homes weren’t built on the water. The shore is lined with trees, making for a unique scene while you cruise by. Operated by the Army Corp of Engineers, Raystown is up to 200 feet deep.

6. Shenango River Lake

Maximum Lake Speed: unlimited in portions

This Western PA gem has six boat launch ramps located around the reservoir — an 11-mile-long stretch of water which accommodates power boats of unlimited horsepower. Feed your need for an adrenaline rush when you try your hand at wakeboarding, water skiing, kneeboarding, tubing, wake surfing, air chair, wake skating, and more!

To learn more about lake vacations, check out the visitPA website. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram to stay up-to-date on even more great ideas and places to visit around our state. Don’t forget to sign up for our monthly Happy Thoughts e-newsletter so you never miss an update!