Calling all Happy Travelers! Did you know you can soak up some rays along the shores of the Keystone State’s many lakes? It’s true – from Presque Isle State Park to Raystown Lake, beach bums know that PA is the place to pursue their happiness on a sweet shoreline. So, bring your sunscreen, beach towels and most importantly, your favorite travel companion for a beautiful day relaxing with your toes in the sand in Pennsylvania.
Presque Isle State Park - PA Great Lakes Region
Presque Isle State Park is a 3,200-acre sandy peninsula boasting 11 different beaches. Naturally, Pennsylvania’s only seashore is the premier place to enjoy a day at the beach. This popular summer destination on Lake Erie provides visitors with bath houses, picnic pavilions, concession stands, playgrounds, volleyball courts and plenty of sand to relax in. Beaches are guarded and open daily from Memorial Day to Labor Day If you’re looking for more adventure, there are 11 miles of hiking trails, scenic boat tours, recreational scuba diving, lighthouses to explore and the Tom Ridge Environmental Center to welcome you to the park.
Raystown Lake - The Alleghenies
Often referred to as the crown jewel of Pennsylvania, Raystown Lake is the largest lake in the state, offering 118 miles of shoreline and 8,300 acres of clean, clear water. There are two public beaches along Raystown Lake – Seven Points and Tatman Run. Each beach offers playgrounds, picnic tables, changing stations and docking and loading stations. Seven Points Beach also offers water trampolines, showers and concessions. Raystown Lake’s beaches are open from Memorial Day to Labor Day weekends.
Ricketts Glen State Park - Valleys of the Susquehanna
A 600-foot beach at Ricketts Glen State Park is open from late-May to mid-September. Around the beach area, there are concessions, boat rentals and picnic facilities. After a day of relaxing on the beach, get out and explore the 22 waterfalls around the park, including the park’s largest waterfall – the 94-foot Ganoga Falls. If you are too tired and want to stay an extra day, there are 120 tent and trailer camp sites around Ricketts Glen.
Bald Eagle State Park - The Alleghenies
The 5,900-acre Bald Eagle State Park is the premier outdoor destination of Howard, Pa. The highlight of the park is the 1,730-acre lake that surrounds Bald Eagle Mountain. Visitors looking to savor the scenic green mountains and the sand can spend a leisurely day at the 1,200-acre beach. There is also a children’s playground, restrooms, changing room and snack bar. The beach is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Moraine State Park - Pittsburgh and its Countryside
Moraine State Park’s Lake Arthur has long been a beach escape for Pittsburghers looking to escape the hustle and bustle. Beach-goers at Lake Arthur can enjoy the 1,200-foot grass and sand Pleasant Valley Beach and the 500-foot sand Lakeview Beach. Located along the south side of the lake, Pleasant Valley Beach offers a sand volleyball court and playground. Both beaches are open Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Pine Grove Furnace - Dutch Country Roads
Enjoy Pine Grove Furnace at the beach! The 1.7-acre Fuller Lake offers a lifeguarded beach area to bask in the sun. Make it a two-day trip by staying the night at one of the 70 tent and trailer campsites, and wake recharged and ready for another day along the shores of Laurel Lake. A hike on the Appalachian Trail and a visit to the trail museum are also must-dos of Pine Grove Furnace. Make sure to plan your trip between May 1 and September 30 to enjoy the beaches along Fuller and Laurel lakes.
Beltzville State Park - Pocono Mountains
Open late-May to mid-September, the 525-foot sandy beach at Beltzville State Park is a welcome retreat in the Pocono Mountains. A bath house with showers and a concession stand is available near the beach area. Also nearby the beach and picnic area is the original covered bridge, built across Pohopoco Creek in 1841. If you want to take your trip to Beltzville to another level, try water-skiing in the zoned area on the south side of the lake.
Greenwood Furnace State Park - The Alleghenies
Historic Greenwood Furnace State Park is a throwback to a thriving ironmaking community that flourished from 1843 to 1901. While it was once a busy industrial complex, it is now a relaxing oasis in the Alleghenies. Within the park, there is a 300-foot sand beach along with modern restrooms, picnic tables and pavilions, a playground, horseshoe pits, volleyball courts and a ball field. The beach area is open from late May to mid-September.
Hickory Run State Park - Upstate PA
Hickory Run State Park is renowned for its Boulder Field – a vast boulder-strewn area that is a National Natural Landmark. Another highlight of the park is the sand beach at Sand Spring Lake. Around the swimming beach, park-goers can enjoy a lunch at the hundreds of picnic tables, try their hand at some disc golf or gain some survival skills orienteering. After a day at the beach, extend your stay at one of the deluxe cabins at Hickory Run and take the next day to explore some of the 44 miles of hiking trails around the park.
Laurel Hill State Park - Laurel Highlands
Laurel Hill State Park boasts 4,062 acres of mountainous terrain in the Laurel Highlands. The 63-acre Laurel Hill Lake is a focal point of the park. Open from late May to mid-September, beach-goers will find ample sand area along the 1,200-foot beach. Don’t just cool off in the fresh water – there are plenty of activities to enjoy near the area, including horseshoes, beach volleyball, a ball field and playgrounds. Visitors will also want to walk along the trail systems that boast a wide range of plants and wildlife.
Mt. Gretna Lake & Beach - Dutch Country Roads
Families love to retreat to Lebanon County at Mt. Gretna Lake & Beach. Build a sandcastle along the 300-foot lake shoreline, soak up the sun on the large grassy area or gather some teammates for a beach volleyball game. Itching to get out on the water? Take a dip into the lake off the high dive or try a swing ride over the water. There’s also a children’s dock, snack bar, kayak and tube rentals and a picnic grove for endless opportunities for family fun!