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Days
<1
Motors Allowed?
Yes
Difficulty
Easy / Class A
Distance
4.77 mi (7.68 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Beautiful Shawnee Lake has a plethora of interesting sights for the kayaker. Located in southwest Pennsylvania 10 miles west of the historic town of Bedford, the 451-acre lake in Shawnee State Park is comprised of three large expanses of water connected by narrower channels. Kayakers can paddle underneath several bridges, and the multiple streams flowing into the lake create some unique coves to explore. A lovely variety of wildflowers adorn the shoreline while other flowers grow and blossom in the water near the lake’s edge. Kayakers can also get a close-up view of the lake’s islands. Be sure to look closely and you might see some bald eagles nesting on an island or stealthily flying overhead looking for some fish.

Birds of prey and fishermen can both celebrate that the lake is stocked with warm water game fish. There are 14 common species that live in the lake including small and largemouth bass, bluegill, bullhead, catfish, northern pike, walleye and yellow perch.

Swimming isn’t only for the fish in Shawnee Lake. A section of the lake is roped-off for swimming. Or you can enjoy a break on the sandy beach adjacent to the swimming area. A modern bathhouse with flush toilets and showers is conveniently located by the beach.

When you’re ready to eat, there are picnic tables, charcoal grills and water fountains throughout the 3,983-acre park. Five picnic pavilions may be reserved for a fee, and unreserved pavilions are free on a first-come, first-served basis. Two of the pavilions are ADA accessible. The main boat dock and launch ramp are also ADA accessible. There are three boat launches around the lake. Only motorboats with electric motors are permitted. Boat rentals include canoes, rowboats and paddleboats.

If you plan to spend the night in the park, you’ll have a choice of lodging. In addition to a 290-site campground for tents and trailers visitors can look into organized group tenting, camping cottages, yurts, and a two-story house known as Shawnee Lodge that is ideally situated on an island in Shawnee Lake.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Large lake. Pretty scenery. Wildflowers and wildlife. Modern facilities.

Cons

Motorboats.

Pets allowed

Allowed with Restrictions

Put-in location (lat, long coordinates)

40.029711 -78.640614

Take-out location (lat, long coordinates)

40.029711 -78.640614

Water Temperature

72.00 °F (22.22 °C)

Features

Family friendly
Rental facilities
Boat ramp(s)
Fishing
Flushing toilets
Picnic tables
Potable water
Covered picnic areas
Wildflowers
Bird watching
Showers

Trail type

Loop

Access

Vehicle

Typically multi-day

No

Shuttle required

No

Site characteristics: Water

Lake

Portage required

No

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

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