Tionesta Lake and Dam | Pennsylvania

Twisting and winding through the hills of northwestern Pennsylvania, Tionesta lake and dam offers you one of the most unique settings in outdoor recreation that exists in Pennsylvania or any other state.

The natural beauty of the area is incomparable, and if you are in search of a very memorable outdoor experience, Tionesta lake can provide that.

A mixture of amazing scenery, breathtaking wildlife viewing and recreational activities will delight any visitor to the area.

Built by the Pittsburgh Army Corps of Engineers, Tionesta Dam is part of the Pittsburgh area effort to prevent flooding in these areas.

Tionesta Dam

Situated in Northwestern Pennsylvania, a stones throw from the Allegheny National Forest area, the lake and its many miles of unspoiled wilderness areas yield a perfect vacation spot.

The shoreline provides for nearly unlimited chances for water recreation, including fishing, where the clear mountain streams and creeks as well as the many broad rivers will offer up trout, muskie, walleye, bass and perch in abundance.

All types of boats can be found on Tionesta Lake, including unlimited horsepower water ski boats, canoes, kayaks and small fishing trawls.

View from the Dam

Easy to access the water from the multiple boat launches, there is also ample parking available for the boat trailers and camping areas abound, ranging from cabins, to simply camp sites that feature porta potties and on site grills. Many of these are free of charge to lake visitors.

The Tionest Dam area is one of the best and most prolific big game regions in Pennsylvania, and you can view and photograph, white tail, black bear, lynx, turkey, as well as other smaller game.

To find Tionesta Lake and Dam is an easy task if you are familiar with Northwestern Pennsylvania, and even if you aren’t..

Some of the activities and places to find them are listed below for your convenience.


Boating on Tionesta Creek

Campground Reservations
Many campsites at four Pittsburgh District lakes – Berlin Lake, Shenango River Lake, Tionesta Lake and Youghiogheny River Lake – can be reserved in advance through the National Recreation Reservation Service (NRRS), an interagency one-stop center for recreation reservations. Reservations can be made up to 240 days before arrival by calling the NRRS toll-free at 1-877-444-6777 or on their web site www. Recreation.gov. Campsites at all other Pittsburgh District lakes, as well as other campsites at Berlin, Shenango, Tionesta and Youghiogheny, are available on a first-come, first-served basis. At Tionesta Lake, reservations for the Tionesta Recreation Area Campground are available through the NRRS.

Hearts Content Hiking Area

Tionesta Recreation Area Campground
The Tionesta Recreation Area Campground will open May 21 and close September 23, 2007. Campsites have electric, water and sewer hook-ups and are $25 per night. Reservations are available from May 21 through September 3, 2007, by contacting the NRRS at the telephone number or web site above.

Outflow Camping Area
The Outflow Recreation Area Campground remains open year-round. Camping is free until April 13, 2007. The camping fee is $7 per night from April 13 until May 20, 2007. The camping fee is $10 per night from May 21 until September 23, 2007. Camping is free from September 24, 2007 until mid-April 2008

Kellettville Camping Area
The Kellettville Campground will open April 13, 2007. The camping fee is $10 per night April 13 until September 23, 2007. Camping is free from September 24, 2007 until the campground closes in mid-December.

Primitive Lakeshore Camping
These campsites are free and open year-round, weather permitting and only accessible by boat. More information on the specific locations of these designated camping sites is available from the Park Office.

Boat Launching
Boat launching (weather permitting) is free at the Dam Site Boat Launch until April 14, 2007; launching is $3 per day from April 14 through September 23, 2007. An annual Day Use Pass may be purchased for $30 ($15 with a valid Golden Age/Access Passport or America the Beautiful Senior/Access Pass). This Annual Day Use Pass permits the holder and accompanying passengers in a vehicle to use all boat launch ramps and swimming beaches at any Corps-operated recreation area without further charge. An annual pass can be purchased at the Park Office using cash or a personal check or money order payable to “FAO, USAED, Pittsburgh”.

Pavilion Reservations
Reservations are being accepted for the Outflow Picnic Pavilion by calling the Park Office. The rental fee is $45 with electric and $35 without electric.

Life Jacket Loaner Program for Kids
The Boat/U. S. Foundation for Boating Safety has funded a Life Jacket Loaner Program for kids at Tionesta Lake. 15 life jackets in three sizes for children are available: infant, child and youth. The U. S. Coast Guard requires recreational boats to have a wearable life jacket on board for each passenger, but life jackets suitable for children are not always available. In addition, at Tionesta Lake and other Corps of Engineers lakes in the Pittsburgh District, it is required that children under 13 years of age wear a life jacket while boating. Children are especially at risk on and near the water. A properly sized life jacket can be the difference between life and death for a small child. A boater merely signs out the jacket(s) and returns it at the end of the day. Please call the Park Office to make arrangements.

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