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Octoraro Reservoir in Pennsylvania

Trip Overview

Octararo Lake is a drinking water reservoir in eastern Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Very easy paddle, the lake is an oxbow shape formed by 2 entering rivers. Due to its nature as a drinking water source, no swimming nor gasoline motors are allowed on it, which makes for a peaceful paddle even when busy.

Various parts of the lake are off-limits to boats (the stretch before the dam) or to beaching (critical bird nesting habitat). I highly recommend paddling up into the shallow rivers as the wildlife is plentiful and the people are non-existent.

The entry is done via a private landing on the west side of the lake via Jim's Bait and Tackle (Info at the end of this report). The cost per boat is $4.24.

You must have a PFD + whistle per each individual (PA DEP was out in force checking) as well as the provided flag indicating you had paid the entry fee.


Pit toilets (hold your breath!) at the landing. Boat rentals and payment can be made on site.


$4 launch fee per boat ($4.24 with tax).


From US1 in Oxford, PA - go north on PA472 (W Lancaster Ave). Turn left onto Spruce Grover Rd. Parking/launch is 1 mile down on left.


Jim Neary's Bait & Tackle

212 Spruce Grove Road

Kirkwood, PA 17536

  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: Flat/Sheltered Water
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip