Beltzville State Park - Pennsylvania

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Description

The 3,002-acre Beltzville State Park is in the southern foothills of the Poconos. Pohopoco Creek, an excellent trout stream, feeds the 949-acre Beltzville Lake, which is a rest stop for migrating waterfowl and is a destination for boaters and anglers. The sand beach and picnic pavilions are very popular.

Recreational facilities are a result of a cooperative effort of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources-Bureau of State Parks and the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

Recreation

Picnicking: Wooded and open picnic areas are in the Pine Run West Day Use Area, which has modern restrooms, drinking water, picnic tables, parking areas and day use mooring for boats. Playfields are around the wooded picnic area with an ADA accessible children’s playground between Picnic Pavilion Four and the beach. Beltzville has four picnic pavilions that may be reserved up to 11 months in advance for a fee. Go online to www.visitPAparks.com or call toll-free 888-PA-PARKS for reservations. Unreserved picnic pavilions are free on a first-come, first-served basis. Picnic pavilions One, Two and Four are ADA accessible.

Swimming: A 525-foot sand beach is open from late-May to Labor Day, 8 a.m. to sunset. Swim at your own risk. Please read and follow posted rules for swimming. A bathhouse is near the beach. Recreational scuba diving is prohibited.

Covered Bridge: At the suggestion of local residents, the original covered bridge, built across Pohopoco Creek in 1841 by local craftsman Jacob Buck, has been relocated between the picnic areas and the beach for public use and enjoyment. This bridge was first used by horse and buggy traffic and later by one-lane car traffic. It is now for pedestrian use only.

Boating: unlimited horsepower motors

The 949-acre Beltzville Lake has a maximum boating speed of 45 miles per hour. Most types of recreational boats are permitted on the lake. Please check with the park office if there is a question as to the type of watercraft permitted. It is unlawful to operate a boat equipped with inboard engines with out-of-the-transom or straight stack type exhausts, wet or dry. Sleeping overnight on watercraft is prohibited. Day use mooring is not permitted in the boat rental cove area. The areas east of Preacher’s Camp launch and Pine Run Cove are excellent for canoeing and other non-powered watercraft. Motorboats must display a boat registration from any state.

The lake east of Preachers Camp launch and Pine Run Cove are restricted to “no wake” speed.

Motorboats must display a current boat registration. Non-powered boats must display one of the following: boat registration; launching permit or mooring permit from Pennsylvania State Parks, available at most state park offices; launching permit from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

Launching and Mooring: A three-lane boat launching ramp, ADA accessible courtesy dock, wide gravel beaching area, and parking for cars and trailers are at Pine Run East Launch along the northern shore of the lake. A two-lane launch ramp and parking for cars and boat trailers are at Preacher’s Camp launching area on the southern shore. Seasonal mooring of canoes is available at Preacher’s Camp. An ADA accessible courtesy dock and lifter are in the day use area near the beach.

Water-skiing: Skiing is only permitted from sunrise to sunset in the zoned ski area along the south shore of the lake. All boats in this ski area shall operate in a counterclockwise direction. Boats not engaged in skiing must remain outside the ski area while skiing is in progress. A boat may not tow more than one water-ski device on weekends and holidays from the Saturday preceding Memorial Day through Labor Day. Kite-skiing and parasailing are prohibited. Boats may not exceed 45 mph.

Boat Rental: A boat rental concession, west of the swimming beach, is open daily during the summer season. It rents kayaks, paddleboats, rowboats, pontoons, and small motorboats.

Fishing: The 949-acre Beltzville Lake is stocked with warm-water and cold-water game fish and panfish. Common species are trout, striped bass, largemouth and smallmouth bass, walleye, muskellunge and perch. Below the dam, Pohopoco Creek is stocked with trout. Much of the lake’s northern shoreline can be reached from Pohopoco Drive. Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission laws apply.

Hiking: 15 miles of trails

The trails of Beltzville State Park follow wooded paths, old roads and mowed walkways through forests, creek valleys, fields and by the lake. Saw Mill Trail, which is just west of the dam breast, offers a diverse historical hike. The trail passes the remains of a gristmill raceway, a dam and gateways, small ponds, a slate quarry from the 1700s, a wetland and a stream. The trails vary in length. A short description of each trail can be found in the "Beltzville Trail Guide," which is available at the park office.

Mountain Biking: 2.5 miles of trails

Christman Trail can be biked.

No Camping: Overnight lodging on watercraft, in self-contained campers, or in any other form is strictly prohibited. Information on local camping areas is available at the park office.

Winter Activities

Explore the Winter Report for the current snow and ice depths.

Cross-country Skiing: Many open and rolling fields and nine miles of trail are suitable for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

Ice Fishing: The 949-acre Beltzville Lake is stocked with warm-water and cold-water game fish and panfish. Common species are trout, largemouth and smallmouth bass, walleye, muskellunge and perch. Contact the park office to determine the ice and snow conditions in advance of any planned outing. Ice thickness is not monitored. For your safety, be sure the ice is at least four inches thick and carry safety equipment.

Ice boating: Iceboats must display a state park launching permit.

Environmental Education and Interpretation -- The park environmental interpretive center and amphitheater serve as the focal point for interpretive programs conducted by the park environmental education specialist from April through October. School groups, scouts, civic organizations and the general public can learn about the natural, historical and recreational resources of the area. The Bureau’s Watershed Education program is available to high school and middle school students. The program examines the water resources within the watershed surrounding Beltzville Dam. The environmental interpretive center is ADA accessible.

Wildlife Watching

The 949-acre Beltzville Lake is a rest stop for migrating waterfowl, especially in the spring when rafts of ducks can be seen. The forests of the eastern and western ends of the lake are good habitat for warblers.

History

Beltzville State Park was developed as a portion of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers flood control project. The park officially opened in 1972.

Contact

2950 Pohopoco Dr., Lehighton, PA 18235-8905

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