Want to check out the largest state park in Pennsylvania? The 21,000 acre Pymatuning State Park is a water lover's paradise, with 17,088 acres of the park featuring Pymatuning Lake. The park was chosen by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources as one of the 25 Must-See Pennsylvania State Parks and there are many good reasons why. The park was originally a very large swamp and the first inhabitants of the area were the Native American Mound Builders. Building a dam on the River was first explored in 1911 and completed in 1934. Now it is one of the most visited state parks in Pennsylvania and is a great choice for an RV getaway.
Recreational activities are aplenty in Pymatuning State Park with four swimming beaches, fishing, boating, hunting and hiking all available within the park. Throughout the year there are a wide variety of environmental education and interpretive programs, such as hands-on activities, guided walks, recreational experiences, and evening programs. Check out the calendar on the park website to see if any programs will be on during your visit.
The campground is huge at Pymatuning State Park and features two separate campgrounds. 211 sites have 50 amp electric sites (some with water) and there are also 52 full-hookup sites. Peak season runs from the start of April until the end of October.
RV Rentals in Pymatuning State Park
Transportation in Pymatuning State Park
Since Pymatuning State Park is so large, there are three main ways to enter the park. If you are entering the park for the first time and need to go to the park office, you should enter via the south shore of the park. This end of the park includes the Jamestown Campground, boat launch, beach, cabins and picnic areas. To do this you will need to take US 322 as this is the only road that passes the south shore park entrance.
If you want to enter via the north shore of the park to access Linesville Campground, a swimming beach, boat launch and marina can be reached from US 6. This area of the park will be quieter than the main south shore area. It is also around 20 miles away from the main entrance of the park, so make sure you are going to the right place in the park to save you the driving time.
On the east shore of the park there are no camping grounds or site offices, but there still are picnic areas, boat launches and the Espyville Marina. To reach this area take PA 285 to Epsyville from either Pennsylvania or Ohio as this road will take you over Pymatuning Lake.
There is plenty of parking available at all three areas in the park, but during summer the park is very busy so you may have trouble getting parking close to the lake.
Campgrounds and parking in Pymatuning State Park
Campsites in Pymatuning State Park
Jamestown Campground is the larger of the two RV friendly campgrounds at Pymatuning State Park. This campground is a mixture between electric and non-electric sites and it has water available in five different locations. The electric hookups are mostly 30 amp, but there are a few sites that offer 50 amp hookups.
There are some great amenities at the Jamestown Campground , including a dump station, showers, toilet block, boat ramp, fishing area, swimming beach, picnic area and playground. If you need to get some supplies there are some store less than 10 miles from the park.
Reservations are required at the Jamestown Campground due to the popularity of the park. You are able to book a site up to 11 months in advance and you can stay for up to 14 days during a 30-day period. We recommend sites 326, 327 or 328 if you want a fantastic view of the lake while you stay.
Located at the northern-most end of the lake, Linesville Campground is the smaller of the two campgrounds. In total there are 54 RV friendly sites, 36 of which have 30 amp electric hookups, nine with the option between 20/30/50 and 13 full hookup sites. There are also three water stations available for the sites that don't have full hookups.
There are plenty of modern facilities at this campground too, including showers, flush toilets, laundry, dump station, fishing pier, playground, marina, fish cleaning station and a freezer with plastic bags available to store your catch.
You will be able to get phone reception in the park but generators are prohibited. Reservations are a must due to the popularity of the park. You are able to book a site up to six months in advance and you can stay for up to 14 days during a 30-day period from Memorial Day to Labor Day. After this period you can stay up to 21 days straight. Linesville Campground closes for the winter after October until April.
Seasonal activities in Pymatuning State Park
Swimming is one of the most popular summer activities to do at Pymatuning State Park. There are four managed beaches on the Pennsylvania side of the lake known as Linesville Beach, Tuttle Beach, Jamestown Beach, and the Jamestown Campground Beach. The facilities vary at each beach, but they will all have food for sale at a concession stand or vending machines and the non-campground beaches will have toilets and bathouses. The beaches will generally be open 8 a.m. to sunset from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Pymatuning Lake is one of the best fishing lakes in Pennsylvania. The lake is known for being one of the best in the country for walleye and muskellunge, but there are also other different species that you can catch in the lake. These include carp, crappie, perch, bluegill, largemouth and smallmouth bass. Fishing from a boat and the shore are both popular, but if you are fishing from the shore you will need a Pennsylvania fishing license. Since the lake is located in both Ohio and Pennsylvania, if you are fishing from a boat either an Ohio or Pennsylvania license is acceptable anywhere on Pymatuning Lake.
Boaters rejoice! Both non-powered boats and powered boats with motors up to 10 horsepower are allowed on all areas Pymatuning Lake. The lake is massive, so there will be enough room for you to feel like you are out in the middle of nowhere. There are multiple boat ramps on the Pennsylvania side of the lake and you can rent boats from the three marinas that are on the lake. Non-powered boats need display a Pennsylvania State Park launch permit, mooring permit or a current Pennsylvania or Ohio boat registration. Motorized boats must display a current registration. If you need one, launch permits are available at the Pennsylvania state park office.
If you want to stick to land, hiking is a great activity to do when you visit Pymatuning State Park. There are seven different trails to choose that covers seven miles around the park in total. For a short hike check out the Beaver Dam Trail. It will take you through to a wetland via a walkway and connects up to a waterfowl observation deck. Here you can keep an eye out for basking turtles in the pond, dragonflies, and flycatchers.
The Pymatuning Lake is a stunning backdrop to shoot some gorgeous photos. The most popular photography occurs at the lake during sunset. As the sun sets over the lake the sky will be illuminated with mesmerizing pink, yellow and orange colors that reflect off the water. The water will briefly look like it has changed color, turning it into a colorful wonderland that turns out great when photographed. If you want to capture the best shots at sunset we recommend walking on The Spillway Trail and finding as the sunsets along there are some of the best.
As you probably already know, the birdwatching at the park centers around the lake and its surrounding trails. There will be opportunities to see all kinds of birds but the most well known is the bald eagle. You will be able to spot these majestic birds soaring above the lake and nearby marshes. Throughout the year yellow warblers can be seen darting along the trails and in the spring ducks, grebes, and tundra swans can be seen as they are migrating.