Youghiogheny River Lake


Pittsburgh District
Published Jan. 10, 2024

In the heart of the Laurel Highlands and spanning the Mason-Dixon Line between Pennsylvania and Maryland lays Youghiogheny River Lake. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers invites you to experience the clean waters, mountains and steep-sided valleys which encompass the project and provide an unsurpassed setting for outdoor recreation opportunities.

A popular location for recreation, Youghiogheny River Lake attracts numerous visitors each year.  Boating, hunting, camping and many other outdoor activities are enjoyed by visitors with outstanding facilities provided for the public's convenience.

Boaters consider Youghiogheny River Lake, with all of its 16-mile length and channels up to one-half mile wide, the best power boating and water-skiing lake in southwestern Pennsylvania.

For the angler, there are numerous coves and backwater areas along the lake which provide excellent fishing. The lake is inhabited by a large variety of game and panfish and is especially known as a hotspot for walleye and smallmouth bass. A license has been granted to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission for fish management purposes in the Pennsylvania portion of the lake. The Fish and Boat Commission has also developed and maintains the Jockey Hollow Boat Launching Area. The tail waters of the dam are very popular for trout fishing. Youghiogheny River Lake's outflow area is one of the few areas in Pennsylvania open for trout fishing year round (except for the two weeks immediately preceding Opening Day) and is stocked by the Fish and Boat Commission on a regular basis throughout the spring and summer.

Campers have a choice of three campgrounds at which to stay, each offering something different with facilities ranging from modern to primitive. For cycling enthusiasts the Youghiogheny River Hiking-Biking Trail South runs from Confluence, Pennsylvania, to Ohiopyle State Park and extends into the Outflow Campground.

For those who prefer to propel their boats with a paddle, the Youghiogheny River has plenty to offer. From the outflow area of the dam and extending for approximately 20 miles downstream is one of the most popular rafting and canoeing rivers in the eastern United States. The boulder strewn stretch of river below Ohiopyle, Pennsylvania, is renowned for its whitewater and is often the scene of national kayaking competitions.

Annual Day Use Pass
Fees of up to $4/day are charged at many U.S. Army Corps of Engineers day use areas, including beaches and boat launch ramps. Annual passes allow visitors to avoid having to pay day use fees each time they visit any U.S. Army Corps of Engineers operated day use area nationwide.  Annual passes, available at the Park Office of any site where fees are charged, cost $30 per pass and are valid for 12-months from the month of purchase. Individuals with a valid Golden Age/Access Passport or a America the Beautiful Senior/Access Pass receive 50% off Annual Day Use Passes, including fees for camping and pavilion reservations.  Passes can be purchased in person at the Youghiogheny River Lake Park Office or by mail using an Annual Pass Request Form

Pavilion Reservations
Looking for a place to have an outdoor gathering? Two pavilions are available for family outings or group gatherings with plenty of picnic tables and grills. Pavilion reservations are now being accepted for the Outflow Recreation Area below the dam and the Somerfield North Recreation Area by the U.S. Route 40 Bridge. The rental fee is $50 per day at Outflow and $45 per day at Somerfield North. Pavilions can be reserved in person at the Project Office or by mail using a Pavilion Reservation Request Form.

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).