What to do in Pymatuning State Park

Pymatuning Reservoir was legislated for the purpose of regulating waters entering the Pymatuning Swamp and for monitoring the flow of water in the Shenango and Beaver Rivers. A secondary purpose is to use the dam and lake as a reservoir to impound floodwater during periods of excessive runoff from the 158 square miles of drainage area above the dam. On October 6, 1931 over 7,000 men began work, turning the dream into reality, and three years later Governor Pinchot dedicated the 17,088 acre Pymatuning Reservoir.

Pymatuning has two natural areas. Blackjack Swamp consists of 725 acres and provides habitat for unique natural communities. In the northern part of the lake is Clark Island that has 161 acres of mature hardwood and white pine forest. Visitors are welcome to explore these undeveloped natural areas. Pymatuning State Park saddles the state lines of Ohio and Pennsylvania. Each state offers a park in the name of Pymatuning. The creation of the dam opened countless water recreation opportunities. Today the park offers marinas, boat launching facilities, ball fields, playgrounds, picnic areas, campgrounds, hunting grounds, hiking trails and environmental education programs.

Of special interest to hunters is the Pennsylvania Game Commission's Wildlife Management Area where controlled shooting is available during the annual waterfowl season. Special areas are also established for duck hunting. Some 20,000 Canada geese and many more ducks are in the area each fall. Public hunting is available in many areas surrounding the controlled shooting section.

Pymatuning State Park offers a wide variety of environmental education and interpretive programs.

Handicapped accessible facilities include the picnic area, beach, cabins, boat launch and restrooms.

"All human accomplishments begin with a dream." The Honorable Gifford Pinchot, then governor of Pennsylvania, delivered these stirring words as part of his address at the dedication of Pymatuning Dam on August 17, 1934.

Pinchot was fulfilling a Pennsylvania dream that began in 1868 when the General Assembly provided a survey and an estimate of the cost to drain the Pymatuning swamp to create farmlands. The swamp was not drained because it would cripple the industries downstream in the Beaver and Shenango valleys.

A severe flood in 1913 spurred the legislature to action. The Pymatuning Act, signed the same year, appropriated $100,000 to initiate building a dam. The Pymatuning Act states that the primary purpose of the Pymatuning Reservoir shall be for the conservation of waters entering the Pymatuning Swamp and for regulating the flow of water in the Shenango and Beaver rivers. A secondary purpose is to use the dam and lake as a reservoir to impound flood water during periods of excessive runoff from the 158 square miles of drainage area above the dam.

In the next 18 years, public and private organizations raised the $3,717,739 needed to build the dam. On October 6, 1931, 7,000 men began work, turning the dream into reality, and three years later Governor Pinchot gave his inspiring words at the dedication of the 17,088 acre Pymatuning Reservoir.

Pymatuning has two natural areas. Blackjack Swamp consists of 725 acres and provides habitat for unique natural communities. In the northern part of the lake is Clark Island which has 161 acres of mature hardwood and white pine forest. Visitors are welcome to explore these undeveloped natural areas.

Recreation
Pymatuning State Park saddles the state lines of Ohio and Pennsylvania. Each state offers a park in the name of Pymatuning. The creation of the dam opened countless water recreation opportunities. Today the park offers marinas, boat launching facilities, ball fields, playgrounds, picnic areas, campgrounds, hunting grounds, hiking trails and environmental education programs.

Of special interest to hunters is the Pennsylvania Game Commission's Wildlife Management Area where controlled shooting is available during the annual waterfowl season. Special areas are also established for duck hunting. Some 20,000 Canada geese and many more ducks are in the area each fall. Public hunting is available in many areas surrounding the controlled shooting section.

Pymatuning State Park offers a wide variety of environmental education and interpretive programs. Through hands-on activities, guided walks and evening programs, participants gain appreciation, understanding, and develop a sense of stewardship toward natural and cultural resources. Curriculum based environmental education programs are available to schools and youth groups.

Handicapped accessible picnic tables and parking spaces are designated in the park. Six modern state park cabins are accessible. Accessible restrooms are located near the beach and in the park office. In addition, Jamestown swimming beach no. 1 offers an access ramp for people with disabilities to enter the water and five accessible picnic sites complete with grill and table. Accessible campsites, restroom and shower facility and boat dock are located at the Tuttle Campground. The Jamestown Campground has accessible campsites. There is also an accessible boat launch and fishing access in the main day use area of the park. An accessible fishing pier is located at the Espyville Marina and the Shenago River.

Location
Pymatuning State Park is located on the west side of the state along the Ohio border. From Meadville, take US 322 south about 15 miles to reach the lower Pymatuning Reservoir / Park area.

Climate
Pennsylvania generally has a moist climate with cold winters and warm summers. The Pymatuning State Park area has cold winter months with temperatures averaging around 24 to 28 degrees Fahrenheit (-4 to -2 degrees Celsius). The area's average summer temperatures range around 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit (20 to 22 Celsius).

Address
2660 Williamsfield Road
Jamestown, PA 16134-0425

Phone: 724-932-3141

Email: pymatuning@dcnr.state.pa.us
  • Pymatuning State Park Travel Q&A

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