Philadelphia, PA - It's hot in Philadelphia in the summer, but swimming lakes are nearby. Whether you're visiting Philadelphia on business or on vacation, several locations within 90 minutes of the city offer great swimming. If you live in the city, you may already be familiar with many of these locations, including Blue Marsh Lake in Leesport, PA, Bellmawr Lake in Bellmawr, NJ, and East Lake Park in Ridley Park, PA. The following list is not exhaustive but will give you a good start.
Blue Marsh Lake in Leesport, PA
There is no lack of activities to keep families occupied during the day at Blue Marsh Lake. The 8-mile body of water is popular for fishing, and its facilities cater to the needs of all kinds of boaters. While the lake is usually crowded with powerboats, paddlers can launch a canoe or kayak into the no-wake zone at the Boat Launch, Old Church Road, or the Stilling Basin. Paddling enthusiasts can explore the vast expanses of the lake or even paddle up Tulpehocken Creek, which is just a few miles away. Anglers will be pleased to know that fishing opportunities are plentiful, and even ADA-accessible fishing docks are available at the Stilling Basin.
Bellmawr Lake in Bellmawr, NJ
The lake is a seasonal recreation area with a swimming beach, water slide, and picnic pavilions. It also offers mini golf. It's a great spot for families to enjoy the fresh air and the beautiful weather. Bellmawr Lake is approximately 20 minutes from Center City and offers many great amenities. This man-made lake is surrounded by beautiful white sandy beaches, perfect for a day in the sun. There are also lifeguards on duty, and you can purchase a float to keep you afloat while you swim. There are also concessions available, but credit cards are not accepted. You can use cash at the main entrance. Bellmawr Lake offers a variety of facilities, including a water slide, picnic pavilions, and beach volleyball. The lake is small compared to other swimming lakes near Philadelphia but offers amenities like changing rooms and a concession area.
East Lake Park in Ridley Park, PA
East Lake Park in Ridley Park is a city park with a 14-acre lake, fishing dock, lighted fountain, and walking trails. It's a popular destination for residents and visitors of the city. A park is a great place for children to play, too. To get to East Lake Park, you must know your way around Ridley Park. It's located in a neighborhood, right next to a school. It has Canadian geese in the area, so be prepared for the inevitable droppings. The lake at Ridley Park is home to many kinds of fish, including bluegill, black bullhead, and pumpkinseed. The area is also home to Governor Printz Park, which features a boat ramp, walking paths, and a boat ramp. There are also several state parks nearby, including Ridley Creek State Park, which features over 10 miles of hiking, horseback trails, and fishing.
Atsion Recreation Area in Shamong, NJ
The Atsion Recreation Area in Shamong, NJ, is a tranquil retreat that is not overcrowded. Located in a state forest, this lake has a natural, cool feel, and lifeguards are on duty. The water is cedar-colored, so you may want to wear a swimsuit that is not white. This water feels great on your hair too, so it's a great option for those who love to go swimming and float in cool water. During the summer, the temperatures in Philadelphia can reach 90 degrees, so going for a swim in a cool lake is a great way to cool off. In addition to swimming, the lakes around the Philadelphia area have great beaches and picnic areas. Most are in state parks; some even feature hiking trails or other activities.
Locust Lake in Barnesville, PA
If you are looking for a swimming lake near Philadelphia, you should check out Locust Lake State Park, just a two-hour drive from Philadelphia. There are modern camping amenities, playgrounds, and rowboat rentals at Locust Lake State Park. The lake is not supervised, but there are sections of the lake that are buoy-marked for safe swimming. If you're visiting with kids, you might want to bring them along. The 52-acre Locust Lake is a coldwater fishery with regular stockings of largemouth bass and brook trout. There is also an ADA-accessible fishing pier. Dogs are allowed at Locust Lake, but visitors must clean up their messes. There is a 1.3-mile paved bike trail that circles the lake. You can also skate on the lake's natural ice, but the thickness of the ice is not monitored.