US Army Corps of Engineers
Philadelphia District & Marine Design Center Website


The Dry Brooks Day Use Area/Swim Beach and associated facilities are CLOSED for ongoing paving project activities. The area will reopen on May 28, 2021. 
All other recreation areas remain open for use during the closure.

COVID-19 Mitigation Measures at Blue Marsh Lake

  • Masks must always be worn when entering any building including the Visitor Center, comfort stations, and administration buildings.
     
  • Masks must be worn outdoors on Blue Marsh Lake property and recreation areas if physical distancing cannot be met, such as when hiking on trails or visiting sites that may be popular or crowded.
     
  • Visitors actively engaged in water-related activities with a clear and immediate risk of masks becoming wet may temporarily forgo wearing masks, but must maintain physical distance whenever possible. 

Blue Marsh Lake Face Mask Requirements Press Release, 05MAR2021
Executive Order 13991, 20JAN2021 - Protecting the Federal Workforce and Requiring Mask-Wearing

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Latest News

Blue Marsh Lake Day Use Area to be Closed for Paving Project
3/23/2021
Due to paving and construction activities involved with the rehabilitation of park roadways, the Dry Brooks Day Use Area will be closed for public access. This includes all facilities within the Day...
Army Corps of Engineers requires face masks at Blue Marsh Lake
3/5/2021
As the nation works to slow the spread of COVID-19, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reminds all visitors, volunteers, and employees that a face mask is required to be worn at all Blue Marsh Lake...
Blue Marsh Lake Swimming Beach to Open; Restrictions in Place for Holiday Weekend
7/1/2020
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced the swimming beach at Blue Marsh Lake will open to the public on July 2, 2020. The bathhouse and shower facilities at the beach will also open. Visitation in...
There are no programs or public events scheduled at this time due to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic. Special events are approved on a case by case basis, when a special use permit is submitted.

Programs & Events

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Blue Marsh Lake

Blue Marsh Lake was constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1978 and has prevented more than $90 million in flood damages. The recreation program at the project attracts almost 900,000 visitors a year.
Blue Marsh Lake Control Tower
Blue Marsh Lake was constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1978 and has prevented more than $90 million in flood damages. The recreation program at the project attracts almost 900,000 visitors a year.
The Blue Marsh Lake Visitor's Center features educational information on the project, which was constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1978 and has prevented more than $90 million in flood damages. The recreation program at the project attracts almost 900,000 visitors a year.
A Blue Marsh Lake Ranger takes a selfie photo with another Ranger while kayaking.
Four Park Rangers pose at an exhibit table with water safety materials during an event.
Blue Marsh Lake was constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1978 and has prevented more than $90 million in flood damages. The recreation program at the project attracts almost 900,000 visitors a year.
Blue Marsh Lake Trails
A Park Ranger riding on a boat collects a water sample for testing and monitoring purposes.
Sojourn

Blue Marsh Lake Overview

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.

Facilities & Activities

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. It is a great place to start your visit. You will find information about the lake, other Corps projects, and learn more about dam operations.

The Dry Brooks Day Use Area attracts a large percentage of visitors to the project. Located within this site is a swim beach but be alert as there are no life guards on duty and it is swim at your own risk. 

Amenities offered in this area include numerous first-come, first-serve picnic tables and grills, as well as a Concession Stand and public restrooms. 

There are three pavilions available for reservation by logging on to Recreation.gov or by calling 1-877-444-6777.

Please be aware that the boat launches fill quickly on weekends and Holidays during the summer boating season. 

Dry Brooks Boat Launch 

Operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Located at 1336 Palisades Drive, Leesport PA, Dry Brooks Boat Launch is the smaller of the two launches operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Boaters launching from this location will be directly across from the Dry Brooks Day Use Area and is a convenient location for those wishing to meet with family and friends picnicking at the Day Use Area.

Amenities include a Comfort Station with restrooms and water available May – October, and a Port–A–Potty during the winter season.

State Hill Boat Launch 

Operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Located at 599 Brownsville Road, Sinking Spring PA, State Hill Boat Launch is the largest boat launch at Blue Marsh Lake. Boaters launching from this location enter directly into the main pool area of the lake.

Amenities include a waterless Comfort Station that is open year-round.

Sheidy Boat Launch  

Operated by the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission

Located at 5998 Bernville Road, Bernville PA, Sheidy Boat Launch is the smallest boat launch at Blue Marsh Lake, and the only boat launch that is not operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Boaters launching from this location will be in the northern area of the lake, furthest from the main recreation areas, and within the designated No Wake Zone of the lake. Please take note that all boaters launching from this location must have the proper state permits, such as a non-powered launch permit.

Amenities include Port–A–Potties year-round.

Located at 1280 Palisades Drive, Leesport PA, the Stilling Basin is where the water is released from the dam and has become a popular fishing location with a universally accessible fishing platform. 

The downstream tail waters are considered one of the best trout fisheries in southeastern Pennsylvania and are managed as a Delayed Harvest Artificial Lure Area

There are trails for every type of activity at Blue Marsh. The multi-use loop trail encircles the lake and is recognized as a National Recreation Trail. You can hike, bike or ride a horse. Skinners Loop and Foxtrot Hiking Trail are connected to the multi-use trail, and will bring you closer to the water's edge. The Squirrel Run Nature Trail is near the State Hill Boat Ramp. There also is a universally accessible Eyes of the Eagle Sensory Trail and the Great Oak Nature Trail located within the Day Use Area. The Union Canal Connector Trail provides visitors with a path to the Schuylkill River Trail and the Berks County Parks and Recreation Department trail system (horses are prohibited on this trail). 

Contact

Blue Marsh Lake
1268 Palisades Drive
Leesport, PA 19533-9750
610-376-6337
Email
Blue Marsh Lake Directions

Locations for GPS Purposes

Dry Brooks Day Use Area: 1364 Palisades Drive, Leesport, Pa 19533
Dry Brooks Boat Launch: 1332 Palisades Drive, Leesport, PA 19533
State Hill Boat Launch: 599 Brownsville Road, Sinking Spring, PA 19608

Volunteers

Are you or your organization interested in volunteering at Blue Marsh Lake? 

Submit your inquiries or completed Volunteer Application using the link below.

Volunteer Contact