Sue and John Walker of Lewistown, Pa., haul out their 12-foot Pelican Intruder after using it to fish and float down the Juniata River. (Photo by Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program)

Join us over the next three weeks to discover the newest public access sites your state has to offer.

If you’re looking to get out and play on the water this summer, Pennsylvania’s many public spots to fish, swim, boat and recreate are a great start. These are places where you can fish, swim, kayak, canoe or boat, and in 2017, Chesapeake Bay Program partners added two new sites in Pennsylvania. Learn a little more about them below.

Decatur Street Boat Launch (Lancaster County)

The Decatur Street Boat Launch, maintained by the county government, is part of the Northwest Lancaster County River Trail that follows the Susquehanna River in Lancaster County. This new boat launch site is Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessible and provides a spot for fishing and scenic viewing. It will be maintained by the local county government.

McVeytown Boat Launch (Mifflin County)

Thanks to a grant from the National Park Service Chesapeake Gateways Network, and the hard work of the Mifflin County government, there is now an access to the water along a 22-mile stretch of the Juniata River in McVeytown. This public access site includes a boat ramp, parking, fishing platform, scenic viewing area and ADA access.

There are now 1,292 public access sites across the Chesapeake Bay watershed that allow for boating, fishing, swimming and other recreational activities, 209 of which are in Pennsylvania. Public access sites are maintained by a variety of partners, including local, state and federal agencies as well as nongovernmental organizations. That’s why it is vital to establish strong partnerships and initiatives among all partners in order to provide more opportunities to access the water.

Increasing public access to open space and waterways creates a shared sense of responsibility to protect these important natural environments. Through the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement, our partners have committed to increasing public access as part of a larger effort to engage communities in our conservation work. The number of public access sites in the watershed is on track to reach 1,439 by 2025. Since tracking began in 2010, our partners have opened 153 sites, meeting 51 percent of our goal to open 300 new sites over the next decade.

Find a public access site near you.



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