Built by the US Army Corps of Engineers for flood control, Blue Marsh Lake is located northwest of Reading, Pennsylvania. Blue Marsh Lake has become an outdoor recreation hot spot, offering 36 miles of trails with 1,147 acres of water for boating and fishing, and 5000 acres of land containing hiking trails, picnic areas, and a beach and boat launches. Part of the Greater Reading Trail System, the recreation area’s trails are great for biking, walking, hiking, and horseback riding. The Visitor Center overlooks the dam tower, delivering a spectacular view of the lake.
Blue Marsh Lake’s facilities offer something for everyone. The developed recreation areas are open at 8 a.m. every day and close around dusk accordingly during each season. The Visitor Center overlooks the tower and dam offering a spectacular view of the lake. Visitors enjoy the Dry Brooks Day Use Area for its swim beach, picnic tables, grills, pavilions, public restrooms, and concession stand. Although this popular location has a staffed snack bar, there are no lifeguards on duty.
The three boat launches offered at Blue Marsh Lake will thrill boating enthusiasts. If fishing is your interest, The Stilling Basin is very popular and has a universally accessible fishing platform. The Stilling Basin is where the water is released from the dam and is considered to be one of the best trout fisheries in southeastern Pennsylvania.
Hikers, bike riders, geocachers, and even horse riders enjoy Blue Marsh’s plethora of trails. The National Recreation Trail at Blue Marsh is a loop trail that encircles the lake, while Skinners Loop and Foxtrot Hiking Trail bring you closer to the water’s edge. The Tulpehocken Creek Valley Geo Train is a geocaching interpretive trail which contains 20 caches along the scenic Tulpehocken Creek and around Blue Marsh Lake. With five other trails to choose from, there is plenty to do at Blue Marsh Recreation Area!