Pennsylvania Great Outdoors: Tionesta Lake

EYT Media


Published December 3, 2022 5:30 am
Last Updated: March 28, 2024 11:33 pm

FOREST CO., Pa. — Winding its way through the rugged mountains of Pennsylvania’s Great Outdoors region in Forest County, Tionesta Lake offers a unique setting for a wide variety of outdoor adventures.

It invites visitors to come and enjoy the lake and the natural beauty of the surrounding forests. It is six miles long with more than 3,000 acres. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy boating, camping, hunting, fishing, hiking, water-skiing, picnicking, sightseeing, and much more. Miles of unspoiled shoreline offers opportunities for water-based recreation for powerboats, kayaks and canoes, and small fishing boats. Easy access to the water is provided by boat launches at either end of the lake.

Tionesta Lake is one of 16 flood control projects in the Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District. Construction was authorized by the Flood Control Acts of 1936 and 1938. Tionesta Lake/Dam is a key link in a system of the flood control project for the Allegheny and upper Ohio Rivers. Since its completion in 1940, Tionesta has prevented over $570 million in flood damage. The project’s flood control capabilities were dramatically demonstrated during the 1972 flooding resulting from Tropical Storm Agnes when over $62 million in damages were prevented by Tionesta alone. The dam is 1050 feet long and 154 feet high.

Camping facilities range from lakeside/accessible only by boat to sites equipped with hot showers and full hookups. For camping reservations, call 1-877-444-6777 or At Tionesta Lake, reservations can be made six months before your arrival for the recreation season at the Tionesta Recreation Area Campground, Outflow Campground, and Kellettville Campground. At the Outflow Recreation Area Campground, camping is possible year-round. Call 814-755-3512 for more information. The Information Center located on top of the Dam is open on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays during the summer months from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

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