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Swimming in State Parks

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.

State park beaches are open and free to the public for swimming from before Memorial Day to after Labor Day, unless otherwise posted, under the “open swim” policy -- swim at your own risk.

Swimming at State Park Lakes

Swimming is permitted at 35 state parks across the commonwealth within the buoy line at designated beaches from:

Before Memorial Day to after Labor Day
From 8:00 A.M. until sunset daily

The exact opening and closing dates for state park beaches vary at each park. Swimmers should read posted instructions for regulations on swimming.

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, meaning you swim at your own risk. While lifeguards are not present, beaches are patrolled by park staff.

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 State Park Swimming

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
10:00 A.M. - 8:00 P.M. daily

Smoke-Free State Park Beaches

Responding to visitor requests for improved air quality and the reduction of cigarette butt litter in swimming beaches, DCNR is implementing smoking controls at state park swimming beaches.

Smoking is prohibited on state park beaches designated as smoke-free. 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
  • Other handheld lighted smoking devices

Swimming at State Park Swimming Pools

Fifteen state parks have swimming pools for the public to enjoy. Pools are usually open from:

Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend
11:00 A.M. - 7:00 P.M. daily

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.

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.

Lifeguards are on duty when state park pools are open. State parks with swimming pools include:

Bendigo State Park

Blue Knob State Park

Caledonia State Park

Codorus State Park

Frances Slocum State Park

French Creek State Park

Hyner Run State Park

Lackawanna State Park

Little Buffalo State Park

Marsh Creek State Park

Mount Pisgah State Park

Neshaminy State Park

Nockamixon State Park

Ryerson Station State Park

Sizerville State Park

Tips for Staying Healthy While Swimming in State Parks

While swimming at state park beaches and pools, follow these tips to help keep yourself heathy and the swimming areas open for all to enjoy:

  • Try to avoid swallowing water while swimming
  • If you feel ill, stay out of the water (especially children)
  • Take your children on frequent bathroom breaks and wash hands after
  • Check diapers often and change in bathroom areas -- wash hands after
  • Shower before and after swimming

State Park Swimming Rules

Swimmers are permitted to use soft water toys like inner tubes, noodles, and air mattresses, unless otherwise specified.

All children 10 years of age or younger must be accompanied by a person at least 14 years of age.

Pets are prohibited in swimming areas.

Explore the rules and regulations for swimming in Pennsylvania state parks.

Access for People with Disabilities

This activity or structure is ADA accessible. If you need an accommodation to participate in park activities due to a disability, please contact the park you plan to visit.