Lake Wallenpaupack

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Lake Wallenpaupack
Location Pike / Wayne counties, Pennsylvania, United States
Coordinates 41°24′47″N 75°14′25″W / 41.41306°N 75.24028°W / 41.41306; -75.24028Coordinates: 41°24′47″N 75°14′25″W / 41.41306°N 75.24028°W / 41.41306; -75.24028
Type Reservoir
Primary inflows Wallenpaupack Creek[1]
Primary outflows Lackawaxen River
Basin countries United States
Max. length 13 mi (21 km)[1]
Max. width 1 mi (1.6 km)[1]
Surface area 9 sq mi (23 km2)[1]
Average depth 30 ft (9.1 m)
Max. depth 60 ft (18 m) [1]
Shore length1 52 mi (84 km)[1]
Surface elevation 1,185 ft (361 m)[1]
1 Shore length is not a well-defined measure.

Lake Wallenpaupack is a freshwater lake in Pennsylvania. It is the third largest lake in Pennsylvania measuring 52 miles of shoreline, 13 miles in length, 60 feet deep at points, and has in excess of 5,700 acres of surface water. It was created in 1926 by PPL, the Pennsylvania Power & Light Company, for hydroelectric purposes as well as flood control; however, it is best known as one of several major recreational destinations in the Pocono Mountains. It is located near the city of Hawley, and includes the counties of Pike and Wayne located in northeastern Pennsylvania.


The Lenape Indians named the area "Wallenpaupack" which means "The Stream of Swift and Slow Water." William Penn later owned the land and then deeded it to his son, who then gave it to James Wilson, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.[2]

The lake was planned as a drinking water reservoir, though it was never actually used for this purpose.[citation needed] In order to create the lake, a dam was constructed on Wallenpaupack Creek at Wilsonville. The land of Wilsonville and the surrounding area in the valley was purchased by PPL from about 100 owners at about $20 an acre and most of the property was razed or moved. Some houses remained, and as the valley was flooded the water was so clear that one could see the houses under the water. In all, 17 miles (27 km) of roads and utility poles were rerouted, and Purdytown cemetery[3] had to be relocated. The former town of Wilsonville now lies under the water near the dam.[4]

New owner[edit]

PPL manages the 3,300 acres of land around the lake as well. While homeowners have access rights, they must apply for permits for things such as landscaping to installing exterior lights and cannot cut down vegetation to improve their view of lake — a provision to keep the man-made lake natural.

PPL knows every rock and tree on this shoreline, and they are very good stewards of the lake

—Jo-Ann Rose, Administrator for Palmyra Twp. in Pike County[5]

In June 2014 PPL announced it will be divesting its electrical generation facilities.[6] Plans call for a spinoff to a newly created company Talen Energy formed from the generation assets of PPL and Riverstone Holdings. Before the deal is approved by federal regulator FERC one of the requirements will be to limit the size of the new venture, so it is possible that Talen would be forced to spinoff the power plant, Wallenpaupack Hydroelectric Project leaving ownership of the lake unclear as of March, 2015.


An integral part of the Lake Region of the Pocono Mountains, Lake Wallenpaupack is both a regional, as well as local, recreation attraction in the tri-state area (Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York), and is popular with seasonal visitors from the New York City and Philadelphia areas, particularly in the summertime. The lake provides boating, swimming, and fishing access in the summer, as well as ice skating and ice fishing in the winter. Its wooded shoreline also provides opportunities for hiking and viewing wildlife. Lake fish include smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, rock bass, bluegill, walleye, muskellunge, northern pike, pickerel, rainbow trout, brown trout, lake trout, catfish and yellow perch. Striped bass and hybrid striped bass have been stocked in the lake. The lake is 13 miles (21 km) long, has 52 miles (84 km) of shoreline, and is about 60 feet (18 m) deep at its maximum depth.


Lake Wallenpaupack faces a number of environmental problems, including water-quality issues from heavy boat usage, algal blooms and rapid sedimentation related to agricultural runoff, and an invasion of purple loosestrife along the shores. [7] The lake is used as an educational resource to teach ecology to students of the Wallenpaupack Area School District, in a curriculum that has been described as innovative.[8][9]

Popular culture[edit]

  • Lake Wallenpaupack was featured as a retreat location in the popular TV show The Office in the eleventh episode of the second season, Booze Cruise.
  • The lake is the setting of the book Baked Beans for Breakfast (1970) by Ruth Chew.[citation needed]
  • The lake is also featured in Oprah's Autobiography, "Somehow I Manage".


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Hopkins, Heather. "PPL's Wallenpaupack hydroelectric plant". PPL. Retrieved June 2012. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Purdytown Cemetery". Retrieved June 2012. 
  4. ^ Peter Becker (Jul 19, 2012). "Town Under the Lake". The News Eagle. Retrieved September 2013. 
  5. ^ Falchek, David (June 6, 2014). "PPL pullout means uncertainty for Lake Wallenpaupack". The Times-Tribune. Retrieved March 18, 2015. 
  6. ^ Poole, Claire (June 10, 2014). "PPL, Riverstone create Talen Energy". The Street. Retrieved March 18, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Lake Wallenpaupack Ecology Diligently Overseen" by Peter Becker, Wayne Independent, Tue Jan 29, 2008. (accessed Oct 17, 2010)
  8. ^ Wallenpaupack Area School District: Lake Wallenpaupack Office, PP&L Co. Lake Wallenpaupack Watershed Management Dist. F.X. Browne Inc. EDUCATION AND OUTREACH
  9. ^ Browne, F.; T. Peifer; W. Bergstresser (1994). "An innovative environmental education curriculum for the Wallenpaupack Area School District". Lake and Reservoir Management 9 (2). 

External links[edit]