Pittsburgh District Header Image


Home > Missions > Recreation > Lakes > Shenango River Lake

Aerial view of Shenango River Lake and dam

Shenango River Lake

2442 Kelly Road
Hermitage, PA 16148-7308
(724) 962-7746
Daily Lake & Recreation Information:
(724) 962-4384

Ranger Station Phone Number: 724-646-1124
Campground Address:
492 West Lake Rd.
Transfer, PA 16154

icon and link to Shenango Facebook page
GPS Coordinates for Recreation Areas 

Authorized by the Flood Control Acts of 1938, Shenango River Lake is one of 16 flood control projects in the Pittsburgh District. The project provides flood protection for the Shenango River Valley as well as for the Beaver and upper Ohio Rivers. Since its completion in 1965, Shenango has prevented more than $173 million in flood damage. The project has the capability to store the equivalent run-off of 10.5 inches of precipitation from its 589 square mile drainage area. Shenango River Lake’s flood control benefits were demonstrated during the June 1972 flooding resulting from Tropical Storm Agnes when over $1.8 million in damages were prevented.  Shenango also provides water releases during dry periods to improve water quality and quantity for domestic and industrial use, recreation and aquatic life.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission manages approximately 3,000 acres of project land for wildlife purposes, including a waterfowl propagation area. The Ohio portion of the project is managed by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources also for wildlife management.

History buffs will enjoy exploring the remnants of the Erie Extension Canal, sections of which are located on project property. The Erie Extension Canal played a key role in the economic development of Northwestern Pennsylvania. Portions of the canal’s towpath are maintained for hiking and are part of the Shenango Trail. The well-preserved remains of Lock Number 10 are found in Sharpsville, approximately one-half mile downstream of the Shenango Dam.

Recreation, Events, Facilities & Activities


Exact change will be required for all cash transactions during the 2016 recreation season, such as renting campsites, purchasing annual boat launching passes, or reserving picnic shelters.

Annual Day Use Pass

Fees of up to $4 per 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 percent off Annual Day Use passes, including fees for camping. A 50 percent discount applies to pavilion rentals if everyone in the group is eligible for the senior/access pass. Passes can be purchased in person at the Shenango Park Office or by mail using an Annual Pass Request Form.

Campground Hosts

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Shenango Lake is accepting applications for campground hosts for the upcoming 2016 recreation season. Basic duties include issuing visitor/camper vehicle passes, directing traffic, providing information services, and litter pickup. Some positions may require fee collection and light maintenance work. We are located in Western Pennsylvania, near Hermitage, Pa. Positions will run from mid-May to mid-September. Interested campers should call Park Ranger Jason Cote at 724-646-1124 or e-mail him at jason.cote@usace.army.mil.  A campsite with electric hookups will be provided (water and sewage not available at site).

Campground Reservations

Many campsites at four Pittsburgh District lakes – Berlin Lake, Shenango River Lake, Tionesta Lake and Youghiogheny River Lake – can be reserved in advance through the National Recreation Reservation Service, an interagency one-stop center for recreation reservations.  Reservations can be made up to six months before arrival by calling the NRRS toll-free at 1-877-444-6777 or on their web site www.Recreation.gov.  Campsites at all other Pittsburgh District lakes, as well as other campsites at Berlin, Shenango, Tionesta and Youghiogheny, are available on a first-come, first-served basis.  At Tionesta Lake, reservations for the Tionesta Recreation Area Campground are available through the NRRS. The Shenango Lake campground is open for the 2016 recreation season from May 20 through Sept. 5.

Bayview Off-Road Vehicle (ORV) Area

The 2016 recreation season is from May 27 to Sept. 25.             

Regulations for ATV Riders Using the Bayview Off-Road Vehicle Area 

Riders must stay within the posted boundaries of the riding area.  Operating an ATV outside of the designated riding area will result in the issuance of a citation, impoundment of the ATV and/or local and state penalties.

o       Riders must have a current registration for the ATV and display a registration sticker or state issued registration plate.

o      Helmets must be worn at all times.

o      Riders under 8 years of age are not permitted to operate any type of off-road vehicle in the Bayview ORV Area. Riders 8 to 15 must complete a safety education course and possess a current safety training certificate before being permitted to operate any type of off-road vehicle. The rider must be in possession of the certificate while riding at Bayview.

Other rules and regulations posted in the area must be observed at all times.


Mahaney, Clark and Shenango Day Use Areas

The Mahaney, Clark and Shenango Day Use Areas are open from sunrise to sunset. The Shenango Day Use Area remains open to pedestrian and vehicle traffic year-round, while the Mahaney and Clark Day Use Areas remain open in the fall until the first snowfall and re-open in the spring in early April. The restrooms at all three areas close in early October and re-open sometime in April.

Boat Launching

The Shenango, Mahaney and Clark boat launch ramps are open 24-hours a day and a boat launching fee of $3 per day is charged. An Annual Day Use Pass may be purchased for $30 ($15 with a valid America the Beautiful Senior/Access Pass or Golden Age/Access Passport). This pass permits the holder and accompanying passengers in a vehicle to use all boat launch ramps and swimming beaches at any Corps-operated recreation area without further charge for a 12-month period. Please see the "Annual Day Use Pass" paragraph above for information on how to purchase an annual pass.

Pavilion Reservations

The fee for reserving a picnic pavilion at Shenango Lake is $40 per day. Pavilions can be reserved at the park office, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 2:45 p.m (please call to ensure that someone will be there to assist you), or by calling the park office at 724-962-7746 to initiate the reservation. There are five pavilions available in the Mahaney Area, one in Shenango, and one in Clark. For more information, please click on Shelter Reservation Guidelines with Maps. You must call the park office to check pavilion availability and to set up a reservation before sending in the Shelter Application and payment.

Life Jacket Loaner Program

The Boat/U.S. Foundation for Boating Safety has funded a Life Jacket Loaner Program at Shenango Lake.  Life jackets are available for infants, children and youth as well as some adults.  The U.S. Coast Guard requires recreational boaters to have a wearable life jacket on board for each passenger, but life jackets suitable for children are not always available. In addition, at Shenango Lake and other Corps of Engineers lakes in the Pittsburgh District, it is required that children under 13 years of age wear a life jacket while boating. Children are especially at risk on and near the water. A properly sized life jacket can be the difference between life and death for a small child. A boater merely signs out the jacket(s) and returns them at the end of the day. To make arrangements, please call the campground contact station at 724-646-1115 during the camping season or the ranger station at 724-646-1124.

Chestnut Run Swim Beach

The Chestnut Run Swim Beach is open for the 2016 recreation season from May 20 through Sept. 11. Operating hours are sunrise to sunset. The beach is open as a "swim at your own risk" area so no lifeguards are present. Outside enclosed changing areas and portable toilets are available for use. The picnic pavilion is not reservable, but available for use on a first-come first-served basis. All visitors are asked to use the dumpsters in the parking lot to help keep the area clean and litter-free. 


Current Events

The Clark, Mahaney and Shenango Day-Use Areas open April 1            

Leslie Sparano Day Summerfest - May 21

       Registration Form

Facilities & Activities

  Chest-nut Run Swim Beach Clark Rec Area Golden Run Wildlife Area Hartf-ord Access Area Kidd's Mill Co-vered Bridge

Ma-haney Rec Area

Marina Park-er's Landing Access Area She-nango Rec Area
Boat Rental X
Camp-ground        X
Electric Hookups       X

Camper Dump

Drinking Water X X   X X   X
Launching Ramp   X X X   X X X X
Pets on Leash       X X   X
Picnic Area X X   X X X X
Picnic Shelter X       X X
Restroom Facilities X       X X   X
Accessible Restroom X X X X X
Showers X       X   X
Swimming Area X         X
Swimming Area with Life guard  X