View of Mahoning Creek Lake dam

Mahoning Creek Lake

145 Dam Site Road
New Bethlehem, PA 16242-9603
(814) 257-8811
Daily Lake & Recreation Information:
(814) 257-8017

 icon and link to Mahoning Facebook page


Authorized by the Flood Control Acts of 1936 and 1938, Mahoning Creek Lake is one of 16 flood control projects in the Pittsburgh District. An important link in a system of flood control projects, Mahoning provides flood protection for the lower Allegheny River Valley and the upper Ohio River.

Since its completion in 1941, the Mahoning project has prevented flood damages estimated to be in excess of $686 million. Mahoning has the capability to store the equivalent run-off of 4.09 inches of precipitation from its 340 square mile drainage area. When compared to the savings which have resulted the estimated construction cost of $6 million appears small.

Mahoning also stores water and releases it downstream during dry periods to improve water quality and quantity for domestic and industrial use, navigation, recreation, esthetics and aquatic life.

Recreation, Events, Facilities & Activities


Situated among steep-sided valleys and forested hillsides, Mahoning Creek Lake is surrounded by the rugged and striking terrain of western Pennsylvania.  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers invites you to discover Mahoning’s breathtaking scenery and its opportunities for outdoor recreation.

Visitors will delight in the scenic beauty that envelops the project.  There are wondrous views along forested pathways and small inlets along the lake's shoreline.  Equally, visitors will enjoy the many outdoor activities available – boat, fish, hike, camp, picnic or just enjoy the surrounding flora and fauna at Mahoning Creek Lake.

Boating on Mahoning Creek Lake is limited to 10 horsepower and swimming is not permitted in the lake.  Canoeists, fishermen and persons using small boats, however, will appreciate the more peaceful and relaxed atmosphere that is characteristic of the lake and upstream sections of the creek.  Boaters will especially enjoy floating Mahoning Creek as it meanders in the steep-sided valleys on its way toward the Allegheny River, and exploring the small inlets of the lake.

Mahoning Creek Lake is blessed with clean water and a varied, thriving fish population.  In addition to trophy-sized pike, anglers will find abundant walleye, muskie, channel catfish, crappie and bass inhabiting the lake.

In the area near the dam, the Corps maintains facilities for the public's enjoyment.  Picnickers can relax in one of Mahoning's tree-shaded picnic areas, complete with modern restrooms, grills, picnic tables, playground facilities, an overlook and walking trails.  The Outflow Area is accessible for persons with disabilities and includes a restroom, pavilion, picnic sites and fishing access.

The Corps of Engineers leases 860 acres of the project lands and waters to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.  The lease encompasses the main body of the lake and its adjoining lands including the Milton Loop Boat Launch and the Sportsman's Area.  The Milton Loop Boat Launch is a concrete three lane ramp located off of Route 839.  It is open from about mid-April to mid-October, but it is only suitable for safe launching from mid-May to mid-October.  The Sportsman's Area has a 16- foot wide concrete boat ramp and an 18 car and trailer parking lot.  This area is also accessible for good shore fishing spots and canoe launching.  The Sportsman's Area is closed from mid-December to mid-March.

Armstrong County leases 28 acres from the Corps to operate the Milton Loop Campground.  Fifty-two sites suitable for all types of camping units are available.  The campground has modern restrooms and a sanitary disposal station.  Some of the campground is available for seasonal camping.

Pennsylvania Game Commission additionally leases 1280 acres of project lands in Indiana County for wildlife management and public hunting.  Hunting and trapping are permitted in all areas of the project except developed recreation areas and posted areas.  All federal, state and local laws concerning these activities apply.  A variety of game is found in abundance in and around the project including white-tailed deer, black bear, small game species and upland game birds.  The use of all-terrain vehicles is strictly prohibited.

Rangers conduct group tours of Mahoning Dam that include learning its purpose and functions and overlooking the rushing discharge of the outflow from atop the dam.  To arrange a tour contact the Park Office.


Current Events

Water Safety Programs
Water safety programs are available at Mahoning Creek Lake.  Please contact the Park

Fishing Pole Loaner Program
Mahoning Lake is an official Fishing Pole Loaner Site.  The program is a joint venture of Mahoning Lake with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission and the Future Fisherman Foundation to promote fishing.  Anyone can sign out a fishing pole and tackle box, complete with hooks and gear, from the Park Office, located near the dam.  The poles and gear are available for up to three days; photo identification is required.  To reserve a fishing pole or for more information, contact the Park Office.

White Water Recreation

Please view our Daily Reservoir Report, our Weekend Outlook and the Canoeing Guide to Western Pennsylvania before kayaking or canoeing.



Facilities & Activities

Dam Site
Picnic Area 


 Accessible Restrooms  X X X  
Boat Launch Ramp X X
Campground X
Camper Dump Station   X    
Drinking Water X X X  
Electric Hookups   X  
Picnic Area X X X  
Picnic Shelter   X X  
Restroom Facilities X X X  

Mahoning Creek Lake News Releases

Corps waives day use fees at recreation areas in observance of Veterans Day
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District announced today it will waive day-use fees at recreation areas at its 16 reservoirs in observance of Veterans Day, Nov. 11.
Army Corps of Engineers waives fees and invites volunteers to participate in National Public Lands Day, Sept. 24
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced today that it will waive day-use fees typically charged at boat launch ramps and swimming beaches at its recreation areas nationwide in recognition of National Public Lands Day (NPLD) on Saturday, Sept. 24.
Corps Awards Contract for Sediment Removal and Concrete Repair in Punxsutawney, PA
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District has awarded a more than $1.4 million contract to remove sediment and repair a concrete structure within Mahoning Creek in Punxsutawney, Jefferson County, Pennsylvania.