Blue Marsh Lake is located northwest of Reading in Berks County, Pennsylvania. This is a multi-purpose project built and maintained by the Philadelphia District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The dam was authorized by Congress for flood control, water supply, water quality and recreation. Construction began in 1974 and was completed in 1979. The dam is located on the Tulpehocken Creek and the project's water control practices benefit downstream communities. The project provides flood risk management benefits primarily for Reading, Birdsboro and Pottstown areas. Water supply and water quality management practices benefit areas further downstream, including Philadelphia.
While the main purpose of Blue Marsh was to provide flood control to part of the Schuylkill River Valley, over the years the lake has become a recreational hotspot. With over 36 miles of trails, 6200 acres of land, 1148 acres of water, picnic areas, a small beach and boat launches the lake can accommodate all kinds of outdoor enthusiasts. 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 maintained at 290 feet above sea level. In the winter the lake is drawn down five feet to provide for additional flood water storage.
The grasp of Blue Marsh does not stop there. Over the years, the park staff has increased outreach efforts and organizes volunteers for events that happen all year round. Three of the larger programs include Take Pride in Blue Marsh (April), Get Outdoors Day (June), and National Public Lands Day (September). Tours and programs for school and civic groups emphasize the Corps missions, water safety and outdoor recreation. Contact Blue Marsh Lake to find out more about these and other programs we offer.
Through a partnership established with Penn State University, Blue Marsh Lake will be acting as a host facility for a study on biological control methods of the Spotted Lanternfly throughout the summer months.