Description - Visitors to the Loyalhanna Lake project will discover topography ranging from the rolling foothills of the Laurel Highlands, from which the headwaters of Loyalhanna Creek flow, to the steep, wooded hillsides and ravines found in the vicinity of the dam. In the midst of these surroundings, visitors may enjoy warm water fishing, power boating and water-skiing, canoeing the Loyalhanna Creek, viewing beautiful scenery, picnicking at the Damsite Picnic Area and the Bush Recreation Area, camping at the Bush Recreation Area's 49 campsites or primitive group camping at the Kiski Area. The Corps of Engineers leases 2,115 acres of project lands to the Pennsylvania Game Commission for wildlife management purposes and public hunting. Deer, rabbit, squirrel, turkey, ruffed grouse, pheasants and dove are plentiful.
- Located in southwestern Pennsylvania, among terrain characterized by its diversity, Loyalhanna Lake provides a mixture of scenery and recreational opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. Visitors to the project will discover topography ranging from the rolling foothills of the Laurel Highlands, from which the headwaters of Loyalhanna Creek flow, to the steep, wooded hillsides and ravines found in the vicinity of the dam. In the midst of these surroundings, visitors to Loyalhanna Lake can enjoy many outdoor activities either on the water or around the water.
Recreation - Fishing is popular at Loyalhanna with an abundance of inlets, coves and backwater areas to entice the angler. Especially plentiful in the waters of the lake are largemouth bass, walleye, crappie, bullhead and bluegills. There are also small populations of northern pike and muskellunge established and occasionally trout from the headwaters are caught in the lake. Fishing is particularly good in the area where Serviceberry Run flows into the lake and in the waters of the stilling basin and outflow area below the dam.
For boaters the project offers many fine opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. A three-lane boat launching ramp is provided for power boats and water-skiing enthusiasts. Canoeists can float Loyalhanna Creek, as it meanders on its sinuous course toward the lake, providing paddlers with beautiful scenery and a chance to observe nature along the way.
Boaters to Loyalhanna also have the opportunity to venture along the Black Willow Water Trail. This unique trail is a self-guided boating trail with designated stations marking many natural and man-made features. A trail brochure supplies additional information and is available at the boat launch area and the project office.
The Damsite Picnic Area, with its panoramic view of the dam and surrounding area, is especially popular. Another picnic area is located in the Bush Recreation Area, and both sites are equipped with picnic tables, charcoal grills and restroom facilities.
Loyalhanna also offers facilities for camping at the Bush Recreation Area. There are 49 campsites, each provided with a picnic table and fire ring. The campground is also provided with restroom facilities and a sanitary dump station. A primitive group campground, located at the Kiski Area, is available to organized groups by contacting the project office.
The Corps of Engineers leases 2,115 acres of project lands to the Pennsylvania Game Commission for wildlife management purposes and public hunting. Hunters will discover that the project's surrounding countryside holds a variety of different game species. Deer and small game, such as rabbit and squirrel abound. There are also many types of game birds including turkey, grouse, pheasants and doves for hunters with a keen eye. Several hunters' parking lots have also been developed to provide access to hunting areas.
Climate - Pennsylvania generally has a moist climate with cold winters and warm summers. The Loyalhanna Lake 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).
Set in an area of rugged, unspoiled scenery, travel from Saltsburg, 3/4 mi. South on PA 981 to Loyalhanna Lake.