When thinking of the Poconos, what comes to mind? It's probably sweeping mountain views coupled with lush, dense forests, and maybe some woodland hiking trails scattered throughout. In terms of waterways, the Poconos is known for its incredible waterfalls and rivers, but not necessarily its lakes - except in the case of Lake Wallenpaupack.
While others are making their way to the Great Lakes or Lake George in upstate New York, this beautiful lake is often overlooked. It's open for just as many recreational activities and has views that are equally as gorgeous - if not more so - than the surrounding mountain towns. The next time a lakeside vacation is in the works, consider this stunning lake as number one on the must-visit list.
About Lake Wallenpaupack, The Waterfront Gem Of The Poconos
Lake Wallenpaupack is smack dab in the middle of Scranton, Stroudsburg, and Middletown, giving it great access points from every major town and city surrounding. It's just northwest of the Delaware River Gap so visitors can rest assured that the views over the lake will be equally as beautiful as those in the surrounding area.
With a span of 52 miles of shoreline, there's a seemingly infinite number of rentals, hotels, and cabins on the waterfront, each of which can comfortably fit into a traveler's budget. Interestingly enough, the lake isn't natural - it's a man-made reservoir that spans a total distance of 5,700 acres. This also makes it the second-largest lake in the commonwealth, despite the fact that it's often overlooked for lakes in other states. On both the water and land, there's plenty to do for adventurous travelers.
On The Water Of Lake Wallenpaupack
The most popular beach on the shores of Lake Wallenpaupack is Palmyra Township Public Beach. This beach is home to numerous picnic spaces and pretty waterfront views, and it's the perfect family-friendly destination. Beachgoers can also swim in this lake's tranquil waters from the park's access points while enjoying the sun on its sandy shores.
Those looking to take a dive (literally!) will be happy to know that the lake offers plenty of opportunities to do so. Swimming is, of course, one of the most popular activities, but kayaking and canoeing are also quite popular. Paddleboarding is a fairly new but popular activity, as well, and the lake has plenty of room for all three. Launch points are at the following locations:
- Mangan Cove (free)
- Caffrey (for a fee)
- Ironwood Point (for a fee)
- Ledgedale (for a fee)
- Wilsonville (for a fee)
Not far from the lake's shores, interested visitors can find boat rentals, as well. Many of these companies also offer scenic tours and boat rentals, such as jet skis, fishing boats, high-speed boats, and pontoons, here:
- Sterling Marina in Lake Ariel
- The Boat Shop in Tafton
- Pine Crest Marina & Pocono Action Sports at Lighthouse Harbor Marina in Greentown
- Wallenpack Scenic Boat Tours & Rentals, and Rubber Duckie Boat Rentals in Hawley
Exploring The Land Around Lake Wallenpaupack
The lake is also dotted with various hiking trails that allow visitors to explore not only the lake without getting wet but also the land surrounding it. These trails showcase the best of the Poconos and each trail offers a unique vantage point from which to see the lake and the mountainous landscape that Pennsylvania is so well-known for.
Wallenpack Lake Trail
- Accessible from the Lake Wallenpack Visitors Center.
- Roughly three miles in length.
- Hikers have the chance to see birds of prey along with views of the lake the entire way.
Promised Land State Park
- Found roughly eight miles away from the Big Lake.
- Home to about 50 different miles of trails and two additional lakes.
- The plateau offers access to Delaware State Park, as well.
Lake Wallenpaupack offers some unique (albeit slightly unusual!) activities to partake in, as well. These new pastimes have been well-loved by travelers already and should be on every newcomer's list.
Soarin' Eagle Rail Tours In Hawley
- Makes use of old railway tracks to power custom-fitting railbikes that take passengers around the Lackawaxen River.
- Hours vary, check the website for the latest updates.
- Passengers can ride tandem in two or four-seater railway cars.
- Scenic views include the surrounding forest, mountains, and the Lackawaxen River.
Pocono Axe Works
- Located in Lakeville.
- Family-founded ax-throwing business.
- Open for visitors ages 14 and up.
- Guests can bring their own food and drinks, and each lane has a picnic table for guests to use.
- Closed-toe shoes are a must for all ax-throwers.