Many Pennsylvania state parks have lakes or pools for swimming. Splashing around in water is a great way to cool off on a hot day, and swimming laps is great exercise.
Beaches (except Presque Isle) are open to swimming from before Memorial Day to after Labor Day, unless otherwise posted, under the open swim policy--swim at your own risk. The exact opening and closing dates vary at each park. Swimmers should read posted instructions for regulations on swimming.
Pools are usually open from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Lifeguards are on duty when pools are open.
Beaches at lakes and some pools are free, but some pools charge an admission fee.
Admission fees at Pennsylvania State Park swimming pools vary based on the type of operation. Some pools are operated by park staff and may or may not have an admission fee. The admission fees in the Price Guide are for park operated swimming pools that charge a fee. To determine the admission fee for the swimming pool in the park you plan to visit, please contact the park for the most current admission fee information.
With the exception of Presque Isle State Park and Fuller Lake in Pine Grove Furnace State Park, all park beaches operate under the "Open-Swim" policy. Lifeguards are not present, however beaches are patrolled by park staff. Swimming is permitted only at designated beaches, within the buoy line from 8 a.m. to sunset, daily. Visitors are urged to be vigilant when their children are swimming. Please follow posted rules and regulations. Should you have any questions, please contact the park office.
Presque Isle is as close to ocean swimming as can be found in Pennsylvania. Long sand beaches and small waves make it a very popular summer destination. Presque Isle has different rules from other state park lakes. Swimming is only permitted when the beach is open and when lifeguards are on duty. Presque Isle beaches are open from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
Smoke-free Beach Program
After a successful two-year operation of a pilot smoke-free beach and swimming area at one Pennsylvania State Park, the PA Bureau of State Parks has expanded the program to several other parks across the Commonwealth. Effective May 1, 2015, the pilot program prohibits smoking on the beaches and swimming areas of the newly designated state parks. For visitors who smoke and still want to use these beaches, designated areas adjacent to the beach are provided. The restriction includes cigarettes, pipes, cigars, e-cigarettes or other handheld lighted smoking devices. The pilot program received positive customer feedback for the improved air quality and the reduction of cigarette butt litter in the swimming area.
The current State Parks that have smoke-free beach and swimming areas are:
- Black Moshannon State Park, Centre County
- Colonel Denning State Park, Cumberland County
- Keystone State Park, Westmoreland County
- Locust Lake State Park, Schuylkill County
- Moraine State Park (South Shore), Butler County
- Parker Dam State Park, Clearfield County
- Pine Grove Furnace State Park (Fuller Lake), Cumberland County
- Presque Isle State Park (Barracks Beach and Beach No. 11), Erie County
- Promised Land State Park (Pickerel Point Beach), Pike County
No longer a pilot program, smoking restrictions are now permanent at Fuller Lake beach in Pine Grove Furnace State Park. The park’s nearby Laurel Lake beach remains open to smokers.
Lifeguards are on duty at park swimming pools.
Swimmers are permitted to use soft water toys like inner tubes, noodles and air mattresses, unless otherwise specified. All children ten years of age or younger must be accompanied by a person at least 14 years of age.
Pets are prohibited in swimming areas.
Explore Rules and Regulations for the rules and regulations for swimming in Pennsylvania State Parks.
Access for People with Disabilities
If you need an accommodation to participate in park activities due to a disability, please contact the park you plan to visit.