Blue Marsh Lake
5 DAY FORECAST
PRIME FEEDING TIMES
Blue Marsh Lake is an artificial lake located northwest of the city of Reading, Pennsylvania, USA. It is in western Berks County, fed into by the Tulpehocken Creek. The main span of the lake is along the border between Bern and Lower Heidelberg Townships. However, the northwesternmost portions lie in the more sparsely populated North Heidelberg and Penn Townships. In the middle of the lake is a large, uninhabited island (claimed by Bern Township). The lake is a popular recreation area in the summer, where people can fish, swim, and boat.
The Lake over the years the lake has become a recreational hotspot. With over 36 miles of trails, 1,147 acres of water surface, picnic areas, a small beach and boat launches the lake can accommodate all kinds of outdoor enthusiasts. The reach of Blue Marsh Lake does not stop there. Over the years, the park has grown its outreach effort and organizes volunteers for events that happen all year round. Tours for school-age children, bird watching, Lenape Native American education and water safety are some of the types of programs organized by Blue Marsh Lake staff and volunteer groups.
The dam is an earthfill dam that that is 1,775 feet long, 98 feet high and can hold upwards of 16.28 billion gallons of water. During the summer months, the water level is 290 feet and 285 during the winter.
The facilities offer something for everyone. The recreation areas are open at 8 a.m. every day and close accordingly during each season.
Three boat launches:
- Dry Brooks Boat Launch ($3 fee per vehicle/$1 per person walk in charged from May 1 to September 30)
- State Hill Boat Launch ($3 fee per vehicle/$1 per person walk in charged from May 1 to September 30)
- Sheidy Boat Ramp (operated by the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission and requires proper state permits)
Dry Brooks Day Use area has three pavilions that operate on a first-come-first-serve basis. There are also many stand alone picnic tables and grills. Bathrooms and a concession stand are centrally located. If you want to take a dip, the swim beach is at the area—but be careful as there are no lifeguards on duty and it is swim at your own risk. There is a daily fee of $3 per vehicle/$1 per person walk in charged for access to the day use area; an annual pass can be purchased for $30.
There are trails for every type of activity. The multi-use loop trail circles the lake and you can ride a horse, bike, walk or run. This trail also connects with the Berks County Park & Recreation trail system. Skinners Loop and Foxtrot Hiking trail are connected to the multi-use trail and will bring you close to the water’s edge. The Squirrel Run trail is near the State Hill Boat Ramp. There also are the universally accessible Eyes of the Eagle Sensory trail and the Great Oak Nature Trail located at the day use area.
Stilling Basin is where the water is expelled from the dam and has become a popular fishing location and has a universally accessible fishing platform.
The Visitor Center overlooks the dam tower and offers a spectacular view of the lake.