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East Branch Clarion River Lake, also known as East Branch Lake, is aptly named: it was created by the United States Army Corps of Engineers in 1952 by damming up the East Branch of the Clarion River. Authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1944, the lake helps control flooding in the Clarion River Valley, the Allegheny River area, and upper portions of the Ohio River. Its clear blue waters stretch out over 1,160 acres and run 5.7 miles in length. The lake's average depth is about 55 feet, and its maximum depth is about 147 feet.
East Branch Clarion River Lake provides many recreational opportunities for visitors and residents. Anglers flock to the lake during summer months to throw in a line, sit back, and wait for catches of smallmouth bass, muskellunge, walleye, lake trout, brown trout, rainbow trout, and brook trout. Fly fishermen delight in the knowledge that the creeks of Elk State Park are stocked regularly by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. For the brave of heart, ice fishing is also a popular activity in the winter.
East Branch Lake offers a wonderful opportunity to "escape from it all" and trade the urban hustle and bustle for a calmer, more tranquil environment. East Branch Campground lures travelers with her siren song of rest and relaxation. A campsite that caters to many different tastes, the campground offers electric campsites as well as traditional campsites. The area boasts a scenic overlook picnic area with panoramic views of the lake, a plethora of hiking trails, a playground for children, and even warm showers.
One of the most popular activities on the East Branch Clarion River Lake is power boating. Without horsepower limit, you are able to enjoy the breeze in your hair and a spring in your aquatic step as you zip around the lake. (Please exercise caution and safe boating practices.) Tow a water skier behind your boat, or take the plunge and jump in yourself to enjoy the thrill of this water sport. Although swimming from your boat is permitted, swimming from the shoreline is not, since there are no designated swimming areas or lifeguards.
When it's time to take a break from water activities, hiking trails, such as the Shady Ridge Nature Trail, abound in the area and give hikers the perfect opportunity to enjoy the indigenous flora and fauna of the area.
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