Shenango River Lake


Pittsburgh District
Published Jan. 10, 2024

The scenic Shenango Recreation Area campground has 330 sites available, many of which are equipped with electric hookup. Showers, restrooms, playgrounds and dump stations are provided. Campers visiting the lake will enjoy the spacious facilities and ease of access to the lake, as well as opportunities to enjoy watching the birds and other wildlife that live there.

Many fishing enthusiasts are attracted to the waters of Shenango for the crappie, bass, walleye, channel catfish, and other fish that inhabit the river and lake. Opportunity for trout fishing is available from New Hamburg to Big Bend recreation area, where Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission stock trout biannually.

Hikers will enjoy the opportunity to walk the beautiful trails at the lake. The Seth Myers Trail, named for the nature enthusiast and Sharon Herald outdoor writer, is located at the Mahaney Day Use area and has been recently renovated to include information panels about the trail and the natural discoveries that can be found there. The Coonie trail, named for Park Ranger Francis A. “Coonie” Lamphear Jr., is a self-guided trail located in the campground at the amphitheater. This short trail showcases the unique habitat of the lake and its surrounding environment with information panels located at key points of interest.

Boating on Mahoning Creek Lake is limited to 10 horsepower and swimming is not permitted in the lake.  Canoeists, fishermen and persons using small boats, however, will appreciate the more peaceful and relaxed atmosphere that is characteristic of the lake and upstream sections of the creek.  Boaters will especially enjoy floating Mahoning Creek as it meanders in the steep-sided valleys on its way toward the Allegheny River, and exploring the small inlets of the lake.

The Corps of Engineers leases 860 acres of the project lands and waters to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.  The lease encompasses the main body of the lake and its adjoining lands including the Milton Loop Boat Launch and the Sportsman's Area.  The Milton Loop Boat Launch is a concrete three lane ramp located off of Route 839.  It is open from about mid-April to mid-October, but it is only suitable for safe launching from mid-May to mid-October.  The Sportsman's Area has a 16- foot wide concrete boat ramp and an 18 car and trailer parking lot.  This area is also accessible for good shore fishing spots and canoe launching.  The Sportsman's Area is closed from mid-December to mid-March.

In an effort to promote customer service and as an efficiency gain, boat launch fees are no longer charged at Shenango Lake Corps of Engineers operated boat launches. Boat launch fees may still apply at other Corps of Engineers operated lakes. Shenango Lake will no longer be selling the Corps Annual Day Use Pass as well, but you can acquire one from other projects in the Pittsburgh District by mailing in the pass request form, found under 'Links of Interest', to the addresses provided on the second page of the form.


Campground Hosts

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Shenango Lake is accepting applications for campground hosts for the 2024 recreation season. Basic duties include issuing visitor/camper vehicle passes, directing traffic, providing information services, and litter pickup. Some positions may require light maintenance work. We are located in western Pennsylvania near Hermitage. Positions will run from mid-May to mid-September. Interested campers should call Park Ranger Matthew Pook at 724-646-1124 or e-mail him at  A campsite with electric hookups will be provided (water and sewage not available at site).

Campground Reservations

Campsites at four Pittsburgh District lakes - Shenango River Lake, Berlin Lake, Tionesta Lake and Youghiogheny River Lake - can be reserved in advance through Recreation 1 Stop (R1S), an interagency one-stop center for recreation reservations. Reservations can be made before arrival by calling R1S toll-free at 1-877-444-6777 or on their website at

Chestnut Run Swim Beach

The Chestnut Run Swim Beach is open year-round. Restrooms are available at the Chestnut Run Swim Beach from late May through early September.

The picnic pavilion is not reservable, but available for use on a first-come first-served basis. All visitors are asked to use the dumpsters in the parking lot to help keep the area clean and litter-free. 

Mahaney, Clark and Shenango Day Use Areas
The Mahaney, Clark and Shenango Day Use Areas are open from sunrise to sunset. The Shenango Day Use Area remains open to pedestrian and vehicle traffic year-round, while the Mahaney and Clark Day Use Areas remain open in the fall until the first snowfall and re-open in the spring in early April. The restrooms at all three areas close Oct. 18. Restrooms at Clark, Mahaney and Shenango Day use areas open April 1. The Mahaney Recreation Area boasts 'The Pines at Shenango Lake' disc-golf course featuring 18 holes of disc golf. 

Life Jacket Loaner Program

The Boat/U.S. Foundation for Boating Safety has funded a Life Jacket Loaner Program at Shenango Lake.  Life jackets are available for infants, children and youth as well as some adults. The U.S. Coast Guard requires recreational boaters to have a wearable life jacket on board for each passenger, but life jackets suitable for children are not always available. In addition, at Shenango Lake and other Corps of Engineers lakes in the Pittsburgh District, it is required that children under 13 years of age wear a life jacket while boating. Children are especially at risk on and near the water. A properly sized life jacket can be the difference between life and death for a small child. A boater merely signs out the jacket(s) and returns them at the end of the day. To make arrangements, please call the campground contact station at 724-646-1115 during the camping season or the ranger station at 724-646-1124.

Picnic Shelter Reservations

As an efficiency gain and to promote customer service, picnic shelter reservations shall be made only through the Recreation One Stop. Shelters can be reserved up to one year in advance by calling RIS at 1-877-444-6777 or on their website at - search for Shenango River Lake. This service is available 24/7 online. The fee for reserving a picnic shelter at Shenango Lake is $45 per day. There are seven picnic shelters available in four different recreation areas (maps & pictures available on the RIS website): Clark Rec Area Day Use – Clark Shelter; Mahaney Outflow Rec Area Day Use – Riverview Shelter; Mahaney Rec Area Day Use – Trails End, Spruce Cove, Skyline, and Rolling Meadows Shelters; & Shenango Rec Area Day Use – Lakeside Shelter. Electric is available at the shelter with a paid reservation only, grills are available on site, and flush toilets and drinking water are provided at the nearby restroom (seasonal). If not reserved, the shelter is available for free on a first-come, first-served basis with no electric. If you have any questions in regards to the picnic shelters, please contact the Manager’s Office at 724-962-7746 or Ranger Station at 724-646-1124.

Firearm / Firework Policy
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers DOES NOT honor State-issued concealed weapon permits, prohibits loaded concealed weapons, the possession of loaded firearms or ammunition on lands and waters administered by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers per Title 36, CFR 327.13{a).