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Cowanesque Lake




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General Information

Description - Cowanesque Lake has an embankment of rolled rock and earth fill measuring 3,100 feet in length, rising 151 feet from stream bed, with a 400 foot long uncontrolled spillway in the right abutment. The outlet works consists of an excavated approach channel, a combined intake and gate structure with two 6 x 14 foot service gates, a 15-foot horseshoe tunnel and a concrete outlet structure with stilling basin. The recreation lake at elevation 1,080 msl has a surface of 1,090 acres and a length of 4.2 miles. Spillway crest elevation is 1,117 msl. The project provides flood control, water supply, water quality and recreation to the surrounding area. The Corps operates and maintains three recreation areas on the lake. The South Shore Day Use Area has boat launching, picnicking and swimming facilities. The Lawrence Picnic Area has grills, tables, restrooms and a picnic shelter. The Tompkins Campground has 86 traditional campsites, 16 hike-in sites, a 24-site group camp, a campers' boat launch and a campers' beach. There are two overlooks and two downstream fishing accesses.

Attractions - The embankment is of rolled rock and earth fill, 3,100 feet in length, rising 151 feet from streambed, with a 400 foot long uncontrolled spillway in the right abutment. The outlet works consists of an excavated approach channel, a combined intake and gate structure with two 6x14-foot service gates, a 15-foot horseshoe tunnel and a concrete outlet structure with stilling basin. The recreation lake at elevation 1,080 msl has a surface of 1,090 acres and a length of 4.2 miles. Spillway crest elevation is 1,117 msl.

Most of the time the dam operators release water from the dam independent of other dams' operations. Water is released through the gates in the dam control structures. The dam operators get weather information by telephone and the Internet from the National Weather Service. Stream level information is received by the Internet and over the radio from stream and rain gauges on the watershed. There are four categories of information that these gauges transmit: pH, temperature, conductance or the concentration of metals are in the water and stage which is the elevation of the river. These four areas are all very important to monitoring high water and water quality.

To keep the lines of communication open, the dams have radio drills every day with the Baltimore District's Water Control and Quality Section (WCQS). The WCQS has overall control of water release of all the dams in the district. Also, there is a radio drill every Wednesday with the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, which controls the areas downstream of the dams. In addition, the Tioga-Hammond dams coordinate with the Cowanesque Dam since all three dams feed into the same downstream area.

The project provides flood control, water supply, water quality and recreation.

Recreation - The Corps operates and maintains three recreation areas on the lake. The South Shore Day Use Area has boat launching, picnicking and swimming facilities. The Lawrence Picnic Area has grills, tables, restrooms and a picnic shelter. The Tompkins Campground has 86 traditional campsites, 16 hike-in sites, a 24-site group camp, a campers' boat launch and a campers' beach. There are two overlooks and two downstream fishing accesses.

Climate - Pennsylvania generally has a moist climate with cold winters and warm summers. The Cowanesque Lake area has cold winter months with temperatures averaging around 22 degrees Fahrenheit (-6 degrees Celsius). The area's average summer temperatures range around 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 Celsius). Precautions should be made when traveling this snowy area in the winter.

Location - Cowanesque Lake is located along the northern border of Pennsylvania. It is about 50 miles north of Williamsport off US 15. Turn left (west) onto SR 49.


Current Conditions & Trip Reports

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Number of People Encountered: 11-25 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: The camping at Tompkins was really great, there is a swimming area and the grounds are well maintained with no traffic through the grounds from people who are sight seeing. The sites were well planned and the whole area was impressive. Great prices too.


More Information

Contact Information:
Cowanesque Lake, Rd. 1, Box 65 , Tioga, PA, 16946-9733, Phone: 717-835-5281

Additional Information:
Allegheny National Forest Area - The Allegheny National Forest Region of Pennsylvania is a remote area of the state characterized by wilderness surroundings. This region offers the best opportunities for viewing elk and black bear.
Pennsylvania Lakes and Reservoirs - Pennsylvania boasts as having more flowing water than any other state in the "lower 48." Whether you're looking for limestone streams, famous for trout fishing or whitewater rapids for an afternoon thrill ride, this state can fulfill that desire. The keystone state offers over 2,500 lakes and 300 streams. Ricketts Glen State Park is famous for its 30 waterfalls, the highest being a 94 foot tumble. In addition, Pennsylvania is home to the Allegheny National Forest known for its lush hardwoods, rich wildlife and a 12,000 acre lake considered ideal for catching trophy walleye, pike and muskellunge.

Links:
Cowanesque Lake - Official agency website

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