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Beltzville Lake, PA: One of the Highlights of Pocono Mountains
Beltzville Lake Information and Facts
Beltzville Lake is a reservoir located in the Beltzville State Park, in Carbon County, Pennsylvania. The lake is 25 miles (40 km) North of Allentown, 1.5 hours away from Philadelphia, and 2 hours away from New York City.
The lake has an area of 3.85 square kilometers (1.49 square miles), a maximum depth of 38 meters (126 feet), and a shore length of 32 kilometers (20 miles). The Beltzville State Park, where Beltzville Lake is located, has an area of 12 square kilometers (4.6 square miles), and is located 5 miles (8 km) East of Lehighton, just off Route 209.
The Beltzville reservoir is one of the highlights of the spectacular Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania. The dam was built by the Army Corps of Engineers on the Pohopoco Creek, and its main purposes are to provide water and control flooding in Lehigh Valley. However, the lake is also a magnet for outdoor enthusiasts because to the many activities that can be enjoyed here. The Army Corps of Engineers leased control of recreational areas to the State of Pennsylvania, for better usage of water and lands by the public.
Activities and Recreation
Beltzville Lake is particularly popular among fishing enthusiasts, during all seasons. The most important fish species in the lake include trout, walleye, largemouth and smallmouth bass, striped bass, muskellunge, perch, and chain pickerel. Pohopoco Creek is also stocked with trout below the dam. During winter ice fishing is practiced as well, in areas away from the dam, where the ice is stable. Since ice fishing is not monitored here, ice anglers should always take maximum precautions.
Water sports are also very popular on the reservoir. The speed limit is 45 mph (72 km/h). Boaters can enter the lake either at the south shore’s two-lane launch ramp, or at the publicly accessible boat launch on the northern shore of the reservoir. The latter also features rest rooms, swimming and picnicking areas, a first aid station, a concession stand, a park office, and an interpretive center.
Canoes and small boats can often be seen in the sheltered coves of Beltzville Lake. Overnight camping on boats is prohibited. The areas where water skiing is permitted are located at the south end of the lake, and are marked. Boats that are not towing tubers or water skiers are prohibited from entering the water skiing area.
Cross-country skiers also appreciate the area in winter. On the south shore of Beltzville Lake, 15 miles of hiking trails can be enjoyed. On the west of the dam, the Saw Mill Trail can be found, which has remains of a gristmill raceway, an 18th-century slate quarry, small ponds, a stream, and more. You can get maps from the Park Ranger Station, at the north shore’s access area.
The swimming beach features 525 feet (160 meters) of sand, and is open from late May until mid-September. On it, you will also find showers, a first-aid building, and a food stand. Please make sure you read and follow the posted rules for swimming. Recreational scuba diving is prohibited at Beltzville Lake.
Attractions around Beltzville Lake
Whitewater boating is also practiced in the park, as this section of Lehigh River is Class III whitewater, making it popular among kayaking, canoeing, and rafting enthusiasts.
The town of Jim Thorpe is located just 10 miles (16 km) away. The town is a filled with history, because in the early 19th century, high-purity anthracite coal was discovered in the Poconos, and great fortunes were made here.