A popular vacation destination on the Ohio-Pennsylvania border, Pymatuning State Park is well known for its superb outdoor opportunities. The 14,000-acre reservoir offers mutliple boat access areas, seasonal docks, and some of the finest walleye and muskie fishing in the state.
Visitors will also find a large, shady campground with some lakeside view sites, cozy cabins, swimming beach and scenic picnic areas along the lakeshore.
Updated in 2020, the archery range is located between Birches Landing boat ramp and the Poplar Grove picnic area, just north of the campground. The range features six lanes with distances of 20 yards, 30 yards, 40 yards, and 50 yards. Targets are 48” x 48” field point targets. Hooks are available for hanging bows and arrow caddies.
Broadheads are prohibited. Users are asked to follow the posted range rules, and consider safety at all times.
The 14,000-acre reservoir offers 20-HP limit boating. A variety of boat launch ramps are situated around the lake for convenient access. Many boat rental concessions are located around the lake.
Padanarum Boat Ramp – Located at the northern end of the park, this two-lane boat ramp offers ample parking and seasonal restrooms. Boaters have easy access to the northern reaches of the lake and picnic tables and grills to use.
Birches Landing Boat Ramp – Located at 7001 Pymatuning Lake Road, this two-lane boat ramp offers access to the lake, just south of the causeway. The area features a marina offering boat rentals, dock spaces, and retail sales. There is ample parking for vehicles and trailers, modern restrooms, and picnic tables and grills are scattered throughout.
Cabin Beach Boat Ramp – Located at the intersection of Marvin Road and Cabin Beach Road, this double lane boat ramp is available for cabin guests as well as public use. There is ample parking, restrooms, small swimming beach, and a picnic pavilion. The Beaver Dam trailhead is also located here.
Campground Boat Ramp – Campers are invited to use the single lane, two-boat launch ramp in the campground. Amenities include courtesy dock, limited parking and nearby restroom/showerhouse.
There are 360 docks available for seasonal rental. Contact the park office to learn about dock leasing.
The Pymatuning State Park Campground offers a variety of Cabins — Preferred, Standard, and Basic — in their own area. Camping options include Full-hookup, Electric, and Non-electric camping sites. Reservations are required.
Known for fine walleye fishing, Pymatuning is one of the best inland fishing lakes in Ohio. Anglers will also find good catches of crappie, black bass, bluegill, yellow perch, white bass and channel catfish. Large bluegill - 8-inches and higher - are common, along with an occasional trophy muskellunge.
The lake lies in both Ohio and Pennsylvania. Either an OH or PA fishing license is required for boat fishing. Bank fishing on the Ohio side requires a license from Ohio, while a Pennsylvania fishing license is required on the Pennsylvania side.
The park offers several areas that are open to trapping, gun and bow hunting for deer and other game in season, including hunting of game birds. General hunting is restricted to the period October 15 to March 1, except for spring turkey hunting (north of SR 85) and teal hunting. Bow hunting for deer only is permitted in two designated areas south of State Route 85, with one area closed after November 30.
Several shaded picnic areas, equipped with tables and grills, are located in scenic areas around the park. In addition, there are three reservable picnic shelters with tables and grills and a picnic pavilion in the campground, which is available on first-come, first-serve basis.
Three (non-electric) picnic pavilions with tables and grills are located in the park. Each can be reserved online or by calling (866) 644-6727. If no reservation exists, each is available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Main Beach Shelter –Located within walking distance of the main beach, this lakeside open-air pavilion is 75’ x 25’ and features 20 picnic tables and an over-sized charcoal grill. It is ADA-accessible and near the beachhouse and restrooms.
Poplar Grove Shelter – The Poplar Grove picnic shelter is located on the southern end of the park, within easy walking distance of the lake. The shelter is 40’ x 26’ and offers about 12 picnic tables. Parking for 46 vehicles and portable, seasonal restrooms are nearby.
Cabin Beach Shelter – This 40’x24’ picnic pavilion is located in a shady grove and adjacent to the cabin beach boat ramp. It offers parking for 50 and about 14 picnic tables. Restrooms and beach is located close by. It is located near the trailhead of Beaver Dam Trail.
A 500-foot swimming beach is located just south of the causeway. Facilities include a changing house, showers, restrooms and two volleyball courts. Swimming is permitted in designated areas during daylight hours only. Please exercise caution while swimming at the beach. Pets are NOT permitted on the beach.
- BeachGuard — Water quality advisories, Memorial Day to Labor Day, from Ohio Dept. of Health
The park is home to two hiking trails:
- East Whispering Pines Trail - 0.4 mile
- Beaver Dam Trail - 1 mile
The park is located in Northeastern Ohio's "snow belt" region. Under the proper winter conditions, park guests can enjoy ice boating and ice fishing. The Beaver Dam Trail allows cross-country skiing. Snowmobiling is permitted on the Pennsylvania side of the lake.
More to Do
- Archery range
- Linesville Spillway (PA)– “Where the ducks walk on the fish’s backs”
- Andover Public Golf Course
History & Natural Features
Settlement of the area by white immigrants from the east was slow to occur. The vast Pymatuning swamp and nearly impenetrable forest made travel difficult. The earliest Europeans to reside here were trappers in search of valuable beaver pelts. Later, the lush forest attracted lumbermen who especially prized the strong, straight trunks of the white pines that were used to construct masts for sailing ships. As more and more settlers arrived in northern Ohio, much of the wilderness character of the Pymatuning region was lost. Remnants of the original swamp still remain today, coaxing the modern day naturalist to explore this unique habitat.
In 1933, the dam which impounded Pymatuning Reservoir was constructed to regulate the flow of the Shenango and Beaver rivers. Land on the western shore of the reservoir was acquired by the state of Ohio in 1935, and in 1950 ODNR began developing Pymatuning State Park.
The Pymatuning region was shaped by the action of the glaciers, which covered the area more than 14,000 years ago. As the last ice melted away, a rolling terrain dotted with dozens of kettle lakes was revealed. Gradually, a great swamp forest developed, punctuated by bogs and wetlands and supporting stands of towering white pines. The rich wetland habitat was home to a great number of wild animals including bears and wolves. Native Americans were attracted to the area for the abundance of resources. Pymatuning is taken from a Native American term translated as “the crooked-mouthed man’s dwelling place."
The remaining ponds and marshes are a good food source for many types of animals, including the magnificent bald eagle. Bald eagles are regularly seen nesting near the campground and along the reservoir. A patient observer may spot one of these majestic birds of prey in flight. In addition to eagles, the reservoir serves as a resting spot for numerous migrating waterfowl.