Boating at Elk State Park
unlimited horsepower motors permitted
The 1,160-acre East Branch Lake has one boat launch on Instanter Drive. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers also provides a boat launch by the dam.
Motorboats must display a current boat registration. Non-powered boats must display one of the following:
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission regulations and laws apply.
Iceboats must display a current state park launch permit. Ice thickness is not monitored.
Be Safe on the Ice
- Test ice thickness with an auger before recreating. Four inches of solid ice is the minimum recommended thickness for a single person. Seven inches of solid ice is the minimum recommended thickness for small group. Ice should be six inches thick for iceboating.
- Always carry safety equipment and know how to use it.
- Spread out. Crowds can put too much weight onto one area.
- Be aware of changes in ice thickness across a body of water. Perimeter ice is weaker due to shifting, expansion and sunlight reflecting off of the bottom.
- Avoid areas with protruding logs, brush, plants, and docks. These structures absorb heat, weakening the surrounding ice.
- Avoid areas with multiple or intersecting cracks, and standing water over ice.
- Venturing out on ice alone is not advisable. Take a friend along for fun and for safety.
- Wear a PFD (life jacket).
- Check the weather and plan accordingly. Several days with temperatures above freezing will weaken the ice.