PYMATUNING STATE PARK
Pymatuning is one of the largest state parks in the Commonwealth. The large lake provides excellent fishing throughout the year. Pymatuning Lake is especially lovely in late spring evenings when the sunset gilds the water and colorful sailboats appear to slide across a lake of gold.
Natural areas have unique scenic, geologic or ecological value and are set aside for scientific observation and to protect outstanding examples of natural interest and beauty. Pymatuning has two natural areas. Blackjack Swamp consists of 725 acres and provides habitat for unique natural communities. In the northern part of the lake is Clark Island which has 161 acres of mature hardwood and white pine forest. Visitors are welcome to explore these undeveloped natural areas.
"All human accomplishments begin with a dream." The Honorable Gifford Pinchot, then governor of Pennsylvania, delivered these stirring words as part of his address at the dedication of Pymatuning Dam on August 17, 1934.
Pinchot was fulfilling a Pennsylvania dream that began in 1868 when the General Assembly provided a survey and an estimate of the cost to drain the Pymatuning swamp to create farmlands. The swamp was not drained because it would cripple the industries downstream in the Beaver and Shenango valleys.
A severe flood in 1913 spurred the legislature to action. The Pymatuning Act, signed the same year, appropriated $100,000 to initiate building a dam. The Pymatuning Act states that the primary purpose of the Pymatuning Reservoir shall be for the conservation of waters entering the Pymatuning Swamp and for regulating the flow of water in the Shenango and Beaver rivers. A secondary purpose is to use the dam and lake as a reservoir to impound flood water during periods of excessive runoff from the 158 square miles of drainage area above the dam.
In the next 18 years, public and private organizations raised the $3,717,739 needed to build the dam. On October 6, 1931, 7,000 men began work, turning the dream into reality, and three years later Governor Pinchot gave his inspiring words at the dedication of the 17,088-acre Pymatuning Reservoir.
With 657, class A, campsites in three areas, Pymatuning is one of the largest camping areas in the Commonwealth. Approximately half of the campsites have electric hookups. Modern tent and trailer camping areas are available in the Jamestown, Tuttle and Linesville campgrounds. In addition, an organized group camping area is available for groups of up to 400 people. Campsite permits may be obtained at the contact stations in the three camping areas. Reservations can be made and are recommended for Jamestown and Tuttle campgrounds as well as the organized group camping area. Reservations may be made by calling 888-PA-PARKS.
25 modern rental cabins are available for year-round use. Six of these cabins meet the Americans with Disabilities Act standards for accessibility. Cabins have a furnished living area, kitchen/dining area, toilet/shower room and two or three bedrooms. Occupants must bring linens, towels, cookware and tableware.
Four beaches are generally open from Memorial Day through Labor Day. In addition, a beach for campers is in the Jamestown Camping Area. Three of the beaches, Tuttle, Jamestown No. 1 and Linesville, have bathhouses with sanitary facilities and food concession stands or food vending machines. You are responsible for your family's safety.
Non-powered boats and boats to 10 horsepower are permitted. Boats with a motor in excess of 10 horsepower are permitted provided the motor is not used. Motorboats must display a boat registration from any state. Non-powered boats must display one of the following: boat registration from any state; launching permit or mooring permit from Pennsylvania State Parks that are available at most state park offices; launch use permit from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.
There are three Pennsylvania boat marinas where floatboats, motorboats, rowboats, canoes and motors can be rented.
Ice boating is a popular winter sport.