What to do in Pymatuning State Park

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 came into 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 the Division of Parks and Recreation began developing Pymatuning State Park.

Located on the Pennsylvania border in northeastern Ohio, Pymatuning Reservoir is the primary recreation attraction of the state park. Nearly 80 miles of shoreline and a grand total of 14,650 acres of fishing waters attract anglers throughout the year. Ten-pound walleye are common in this lake that has a depth reaching 30 feet. Anglers will also find good catches of crappie, black bass, bluegill and channel catfish. Either an Ohio or Pennsylvania fishing license is required for boat fishing while bank fishing requires a license from the applicable state. Five launch ramps in addition to boat rental concessions can be found around the lake. A ten horsepower motor limit is in effect.

The park features an excellent swimming beach located just south of the causeway. Facilities include a bathhouse, showers, and a snack bar. A small public beach is in the cottage area also.

Picnic areas with tables and grills are located in many secluded and scenic areas along the lakeshore. Three picnic shelters are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Hunting is permitted in designated areas only.

Twenty-seven family cottages that sleep six are heated for year-round use. Thirty-three standard cottages are available May 1 - November 1, each of which sleep four. All cottages are furnished with linens, towels, and cooking/eating utensils. The family cottages have been renovated to include gas fireplaces, cable TV and microwave ovens. Reservations may be made up to one year in advance. A small beach is available for cottage guests.

(As of this writing, Fall 2001, the campground is closed for renovation.)
Campers will find the large modern campground suitable for tents and trailer camping. Electric service is provided to most campsites. Heated showerhouses, flush toilets, laundry facilities and a nearby camp commissary are provided. Certain sites may be rented for the entire season. A small beach for campers is near the center of the campground.

Several miles of well-marked trails have been developed to give the nature enthusiast an opportunity to enjoy the area's abundant wild animal and plant life.

Because of its location in the "snow belt", Pymatuning is popular for such winter sports as ice-skating, ice boating and fishing, and cross-country skiing. Snowmobiling is accommodated on the Pennsylvania side of the lake.

With 1,400 acres of land and 3,500 acres of water, Pymatuning State Park offers the user a multitude of recreations including fishing, hunting, hiking, picnicking, group picnicking, lake swimming, nature study, boating, ice-skating, ice fishing, ice boating, cross-country skiing, along with overnight accommodations that include cottages and campground.

Located in the far northeastern corner of Ohio on the Pymatuning Reservoir, this state park is accessed of U.S. Highway 6.

This state has four distinct seasons and a brilliant fall foliage display in it southern woods during mid October. Winter lasts from December through February with average temperatures near 25 degrees F. Low temperatures dip to single digits, but do not often drop below zero. Northern regions of the state receive average snowfall amounts of 55 inches, while the central and southern regions of the state receive lesser amounts with averages near 30 inches. This difference is caused by lake-affect moisture patterns.

Spring temperatures begin to warm the landscapes of Ohio by mid March and are in full swing by April. Temperatures range from 40 through 70 degrees F through the spring months. This season often brings the most rainfall, before the drying heat of summer. Summer can be extremely hot and humid in the interior of Ohio. Temperatures reach above 90 degrees F frequently through July and August. Cooler fall temperatures don't reach the region until mid to late September. This is a pleasant time to visit as the air is crisp with low humidity levels. Ohio's annual precipitation usually reaches slightly above 50 inches.

P.O. Box 1000
Andover, OH 44003-1000

Phone: 440-293-6030

  • Pymatuning State Park Travel Q&A