Loyalhanna Lake

Quick Facts

Loyalhanna Lake

Pennsylvania

(724) 639-9013

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

Kinzua Dam and Allegheny Reservoir are at the heart of one of the largest and most popular outdoor recreation complexes in the northeastern United States. Visitors to the project will discover topography ranging from the rolling foothills of the Laurel Highlands, from which the headwaters of Loyalhanna Creek flow, to the steep, wooded hillsides and ravines found in the vicinity of the dam. In the midst of these surroundings, visitors to Loyalhanna Lake can enjoy many outdoor activities either on, or around the water.

Authorized by the Flood Control Acts of 1936 and 1938, Loyalhanna Lake is one of 16 flood control projects in the Pittsburgh District. An important link in a system of flood control projects, Loyalhanna provides flood protection for the lower Loyalhanna Creek and Kiskiminetas River valleys as well as the lower Allegheny and upper Ohio Rivers. Since its completion in 1951, Loyalhanna has prevented over five hundred fourteen million dollars in flood damage. The project has the capability to store the equivalent run-off of 6.16 inches of precipitation from its 290 square mile drainage area. When compared to the flood prevention benefits which have resulted, the construction cost of five and one half million dollars appears small. During dry periods, additional water from Loyalhanna Lake is released downstream to improve water quality and quantity for domestic and industrial use, navigation, recreation, esthetics and aquatic life.

Map of Loyalhanna Lake

Latitude, Longitude: 40.396865, -79.478741

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Activities

  • Boating

    For boaters the project offers many fine opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. A three-lane boat launching ramp is provided for powerboats and water-skiing enthusiasts. Canoeists can float Loyalhanna Creek, as it meanders on its sinuous course towards the lake, providing paddlers with beautiful scenery and a chance to observe nature along the way. Canoes can be launched at the Sanderson Bridge on Derbytown Road, or the Bush Recreation Area.

    Boaters and canoeists at Loyalhanna also have the opportunity to venture along the Black Willow Water Trail. This unique trail is a self-guided boating trail with designated stations marking natural and man-made features. Highlights of the trail include observing the osprey diving for a fish, mingling with a family of wood ducks and studying the exotic erosion patterns of headwater sandstone cliffs. A trail brochure supplies additional information and is available at the Ranger Booth at the Bush Recreation Area.

  • Camping

    Loyalhanna has a beautiful campground on the upper end of the lake at the Bush Recreation Area. There are 44 campsites, a majority of which are in a woodland setting and have a majestic view of the lake; twelve of these campsites have water and electricity hookups and are equipped for larger RVs. All sites have adequate tent space, a picnic table, lantern holder and fire ring. The campground also contains restroom facilities, showers, a playground, volleyball court and a sanitary dump station. A primitive group campground, located at the Kiski Area, is available to organized groups by contacting the Park Office. The Kiski Group Campground is secluded and excellent for scout groups.

  • Fishing

    Fishing is extremely popular at Loyalhanna with an abundance of inlets, coves and backwater areas to entice the angler. The lake contains plentiful amounts of crappie, bullhead, catfish, bluegills, largemouth bass and carp. Aside from these abundant species, anglers have the opportunity to battle a trophy-sized musky or tiger musky, land a walleye in the outflow and feel the hard hit of an occasional tiger trout from the headwaters. There are also small, but established populations of northern pike in the lake. Fishing is particularly good in the area where Serviceberry Run flows into the lake, and in the fast-paced waters of the outflow area below the dam.

  • Hiking

    If a day of exercise and adventure is what you are looking for, Loyalhanna has nearby attractions that offer a variety of hiking and biking trails. The West Penn Trail, operated and maintained by the Conemaugh Valley Conservancy, follows the historic Pennsylvania Main Line Canal and West Penn Railroad that were in operation during the mid 19th Century. The Conemaugh River Lake, just a short drive away from the Loyalhanna, also offers a visitors center, history exhibits and trails for outdoor enthusiasts, such as the hiking trails along Bow Ridge and the Woodchuck Nature Trail.

  • Hunting

    The Corps of Engineers leases 2,894 acres of project lands to the Pennsylvania Game Commission for wildlife management purposes and public hunting. Hunters will discover that the project's surrounding countryside holds an abundance of different game species. Deer and small game, such as rabbits and squirrels, abound. There is also a variety of game birds including turkey, grouse, pheasants and doves for hunters with a keen eye. Several hunters' parking lots have also been developed to provide access to hunting areas. Maps showing the different access areas and designated hunter parking lots can be accessed by contacting the park office.

  • Picnicking

    If a quiet spot for an afternoon picnic with family and friends is what you are looking for, Loyalhanna has it. The Dam Site Picnic Area, with its shaded woodland setting, is especially popular, along with the picnic area located at the Bush Recreation Area. Both day-use picnic areas are equipped with a pavilion, picnic tables, charcoal grills, drinking fountains and restroom facilities.

  • Water Sports

    A three-lane boat launching ramp is provided for powerboats and water-skiing enthusiasts. Canoeists can float Loyalhanna Creek, as it meanders on its sinuous course towards the lake, providing paddlers with beautiful scenery and a chance to observe nature along the way. Canoes can be launched at the Sanderson Bridge on Derbytown Road, or the Bush Recreation Area.

  • Winter Sports

    Please contact park services for more information.

Directions

Driving

From Saltsburg,PA 3/4 mi South on PA 981.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(724) 639-9013

Weather

(724) 639-3785

Links