If only summer could last forever…but, because it often ends all too soon, Pittsburghers know how to soak up every minute of the summer sun. Those of us who love the water have plenty to do in Pittsburgh – local swimming pools, Sandcastle Water Park, spray parks, and even lakes. Here are the seven best lakes in Pittsburgh to visit this summer (disclaimer: you will have to drive quite a distance outside of the city for most of them):
1. Twin Lakes
Simplistic beauty defines Twin Lakes Park in Greensburg. The popular park, the centerpiece of which are the upper and the lower lakes, hosts several events throughout the year, including the Westmoreland Arts and Heritage Festival and the Summer Concert Series. But, even without those events, Twin Lakes promises plenty to do, including fishing, paddle boating, canoeing, hiking, or playing at the playground...and that's just the start of the many activities available at the 467 acre park.
2. Keystone Lake
Raise up the sails or rev the engine on your motor boat for a scenic trip around the 78 acre Keystone Lake in the heart of Keystone State Park in Derry Township. Fishermen and women will find both cold and warm water fishing in the lake while swimmers can head over to the sand beach in the park. You'll also find plenty to do, including hiking, biking, picnicking, and camping out at the park.
3. Lake Arthur
Get ready to catch your breath when you first lay your eyes upon Lake Arthur, a 3,200 acre lake in Moraine State Park. The spectacular lake offers a variety of activities, including fishing and boating. Boats of all types – kayaks, canoes, paddle boats, and even rafts – are welcome on Lake Arthur's waters. When you tire of the water, if that's possible, join the Nautical Nature boat tour of the park or bike, hike, check out the beach, picnic, or camp out.
4. Panther Hollow Lake
Some might not consider Panther Hollow Lake a lake because it's man made and it's undergoing a restoration but it certainly deserves a mention. Created in the early 1900s, Panther Hollow Lake is an integral part of Schenley Park, although it has been left to deteriorate over the decades. Today, the community is working to restore the lake to its original glory. Panther Hollow Lake promises a spectacular backdrop for a picnic or to practice your photography skills.
to learn more about the preservation movement.
5. North Park Lake
Grab your fishing gear because you'll find a fisherman's paradise at North Park Lake in North Park. The 65 acre lake is also popular with kayakers. Don't have a boat? No worries. You can rent a kayak, a row boat, a paddle boat, or a canoe from Venture Outdoors, located in the North Park Boathouse. The park around the lake also offers a plethora of activities, including golfing, swimming in the pool, playing dek hockey, and hiking the trails.
6. Conneaut Lake
Only about two hours from Pittsburgh sits spectacular Conneaut Lake, Pennsylvania's biggest natural glacier lake. Water lovers flock to Conneaut Lake to swim, water ski, boat, fish, and picnic by the water. After your time on the lake, spend some time at the New Conneaut Lake Park where you can stroll down the boardwalk to the lake, ride the rides, or play a relaxing game of mini golf.
7. Lake Erie
If you're willing to drive a few hours north, you'll be well-rewarded with the stunning view of gorgeous Lake Erie at sunset or sunrise, depending on whether you prefer nights or mornings. Pitch an umbrella in the sand, roll out your beach towel, and enjoy one of the beaches, including the one at Presque Isle State Park, along Lake Erie. Beach goers can water ski, kayak, boat, or swim in the waters of Lake Erie. When not lounging on the beach, check out one of the nearby amusement parks, such as Waldameer Park and Water World, take in a baseball game, or visit the Tom Ridge Environmental Center.