Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Conneaut Lake, PA

  • Published 2022/09/12

Conneaut Lake is a borough named after the famous lake adjacent to it.

The lake spans 947 acres and was formed due to the receding ancient glaciers that melted during the Pleistocene Era.

The small borough in northwestern Pennsylvania’s Crawford County offers visitors a tranquil atmosphere and dozens of outdoor recreation.

Everything you’ll enjoy mainly revolves around the famous lake’s pristine waters.

Conneaut Lake has a population of roughly a thousand, mainly thriving on fishing and operating lakeside resorts.

Today, the borough is a charming vacation destination mostly visited by tourists from Pittsburgh and Cleveland in Ohio.

Conneaut Lake also has a rich history and heritage worth discovering.

If you’re planning to visit this town soon, check out the best things to do in Conneaut Lake, Pennsylvania!

Make a Splash at Fireman’s Beach

There’s no better way to enjoy Conneaut Lake than by diving straight into its crystal clear waters.

This famous location has been one of the region’s best vacation destinations since the 1950s.

Vacationers can choose from various beaches around the lake, including Fireman’s Beach, located between Aldina Drive and North Second Street.

Before it became Fireman’s Beach, it was named Dennis Beach in the 1950s.

Large crowds frequently flock to the lake to cool down, especially during the summer.

Depending on your preferred outdoor activity, you can swim, kayak, or fish at this beach.

It has concession stands that provide food and drinks for everyone, including numerous boat launches, making it an excellent location to spend your day.

Snap Some Photos with the Woolly Mammoth Sculpture

Conneaut Lake became more famous when numerous wooly mammoth bones were uncovered at its bottom in the 1950s and 2014.

With that in mind, pay a visit to the 10-foot steel Woolly Mammoth Sculpture at Fireman’s Beach.

The sculpture is part of an art trail that connects Fireman’s Beach and the historic Ice House Park.

To make the sculpture, the artists used steel rods that were overlaid and locked together to form the fixture of the Woolly Mammoth Sculpture.

The sculpture has a basket weaver pattern similar to a nest if you look at it closely.

Its purpose is to remind everyone that these prehistoric animals once roamed Conneaut Lake.

If you stand from afar, you can easily distinguish the shape of the mammoth, making it a gorgeous backdrop for a photo.

Explore Conneaut Lake’s Activities

Those who aren’t satisfied chilling at the beach can always explore the entire Conneaut Lake on a boat.

One must-do activity is exploring Pennsylvania’s most extensive lake spanning over 925 acres.

While paddling on your kayak or riding a motorized boat, you can visit various townships such as Summit and Sadsbury.

Aside from boating, you can cast your line and wait for various fish to take the bait.

Conneaut Lake is a premier destination for anglers because of its abundance of various fish species.

It has panfish, Northern Pike, white bass, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, and other occasional trophy fish.

If you’re up for action-packed activities on the lake, you can go waterskiing and jet skiing, which are available at some places.

You can sit down and relax at the lake’s shores and enjoy its gorgeous scenery while passing the time.

Indulge in Excellent Wines at Conneaut Cellars Winery & Distillery

Conneaut Cellars Winery & Distillery along Conneaut Lake Road has been producing fine local wines since 1982.

This winery proudly produces excellent, affordable wines made with grains and grapes from the region.

Visiting Conneaut Cellars Winery & Distillery is an excellent choice for those who want to relax or unwind instead of exploring the outdoors.

While at this winery, you can taste wines such as Chardonnay, Pino Grigio, Snug Harbor, Gewürztraminer, Riesling, Wolf Island, Princess Snowater, Huidekoper, Allegheny Gold, and Rose Wine.

Of course, it has its signature blend of equally worth-tasting wines.

Overall, it’s a must-visit winery for those who crave wines while touring Conneaut Lake.

Pass the Time at Ice House Park

Situated on Water Street, Ice House Park is a historic location once home to the Conneaut Lake Ice Company.

Today, it’s a famous community park in the area where parkgoers can enjoy various outdoor activities.

Historically, Ice House Park operated from 1880 to the 1930s and provided vital resources throughout Conneaut Lake.

Today, it’s a famous spot for everyone, offering a gorgeous view of the lake.

While visiting, admire the view of its gazebo while enjoying the calm atmosphere.

It’s an excellent place to enjoy various activities such as picnics and games.

In addition, the park also hosts community events throughout the year.

While you can enjoy dozens of activities at this park, there’s no more relaxing way to spend your time there than sitting comfortably while passing the time.

Hop on a Tour with The Barbara J Cruises

For a more convenient way to explore all corners of Conneaut Lake, check out The Barbara J Cruises.

You can find the 56-feet long paddleboat or sternwheeler docked on the side of Ice House Park.

If you’re too lazy paddling a kayak to explore Conneaut Lake, joining this lake cruise is most suitable.

The lake cruises take you on a nostalgic ride throughout Conneaut Lake.

At the same time, you’ll enjoy its surroundings’ gorgeous scenery.

Joining The Barbara J Cruises is a worthwhile experience exploring you and your loved ones should try.

It has regularly scheduled cruises and also hosts private parties and chartered cruises.

Go for a Swim at Midway Beach

Conneaut Lake has numerous beaches to visit, including Midway Beach on Midway Drive.

Like most beaches surrounding the lake, this one offers a family-friendly atmosphere and gorgeous scenery, especially its sunset.

This beach is managed by Midway Civic Club, which also holds various activities for the public to join.

They also provide lifeguards that ensure everyone’s safety while enjoying the lake.

For your convenience, Midway Beach has a concession stand that serves food and drinks such as hotdogs and shakes.

So, you know where to explore Conneaut Lake whenever you’re itching for a swim.

Satisfy Your Cravings at Silver Shores Restaurant

Besides being a renowned restaurant, Silver Shores Restaurant on Conneaut Lake Road is also historically significant to the borough.

For almost a century, this local restaurant has been serving locals and visitors its signature dishes, making it a household name in Conneaut Lake.

Incredibly, it’s the borough’s only full-service restaurant, making it an excellent place to satisfy your cravings.

You can take your meal on its patio, which gives you an excellent view of the lake’s marina and the horizon.

Regarding its menu, Silver Shores Restaurant serves comfort such as pasta, meat, and seafood, using fresh and locally-sourced ingredients.

When your stomach starts to growl, drive to this local favorite to grab your meal.

Get a Good Scare at Ghost Lake 13 Years of Fear

Ghost Lake 13 Years of Fear is Pennsylvania’s longest-running haunted attraction located along Center Street West.

This scary attraction is an excellent place to bring your travel buddies or even your loved ones for a nightmarish but fun-filled experience.

It features a two-hour tour through 11 haunted houses, two rides, and its signature “13 levels of fear.”

Over 200 acting monsters give visitors a good scare inside one of the haunted houses, making it an exciting place to visit.

This attraction has been scaring and entertaining visitors for almost a decade.

It makes this place a household name in entertaining locals in Conneaut Lake.

So, don’t forget to add Ghost Lake 13 Years of Fear to your itinerary for a one-of-a-kind experience in Conneaut Lake.

Give Your Best Swing at Oakland Beach Golf Course

Treat yourself to some relaxing but action-packed golf sessions.

To do this, head to Oakland Beach Golf Course, which has been operating in Pennsylvania for over 90 years.

You can find this top-notch golf course along Oakland Beach Road.

It features an 18-hole championship course that highlights rolling fairways while being surrounded by mature wooded areas.

However, don’t be deceived by its tranquil atmosphere because it also has unique challenges along the course, enough to test your skills.

After your round, proceed to its restaurant and lounge for some delicious meals and drinks.

To complete your visit to the Oakland Beach Golf Course, check out its golf shop to upgrade your current gear.

Join the Conneaut Lake Area Historical Society’s Tours

The Conneaut Lake Area Historical Society is the official group that chronicles the area’s rich and vast history.

It has a museum along North 3rd Street, and you can explore its various exhibits featuring the ice industry back in the day.

In addition, you can see up close the woolly mammoth bones and other historical artifacts about Conneaut Lake.

Aside from visiting the museum, you can also join the Conneaut Lake Area Historical Society’s various programs.

It mainly includes tours through some of the area’s historical attractions and sites.

At the same time, you can attend educational events, community events, and other monthly programs relevant to the group’s mission to preserve and collect historically pertinent materials of Conneaut Lake.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Outside Conneaut Lake are vast natural areas and fields offering unique attractions worth checking out.

So, here are some top-notch attractions near Conneaut Lake that you should visit.

See Ducks Walk on Fish at the Linesville Spillway

People watching the ducks at Linesville Spillway

Petropoxy (Lithoderm Proxy), CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You read that right.

The Linesville Spillway, also known as the Pymatuning Spillway, is a popular destination for curious people who want to see ducks walk on fish.

Before visiting this attraction, you must drive 8.7 miles east of Conneaut Lake in Lineville.

Here, you can see ducks walking on top of a swarm of carp fighting for food hurled by onlookers above the spillway.

Swarm of carp at Linesville Spillway

Rich Carson /

A chunk of white bread thrown at the water attracts carp and ducks at the spillway of the Pymatuning Reservoir.

It creates a chaotic but fascinating scene wherein thousands of carp swarm the piece of bread while ducks walk on top of them to get a fair share.

This scene is rare, but it gives you an unusual sight, making it a worthwhile place to visit.

Besides that, you can do various outdoor activities at the Linesville Spillway, such as hiking and boating, to complete your visit.

Walk through the Halls of the Baldwin-Reynolds House Museum

The Baldwin-Reynolds House Museum in Meadville is a 16-minute drive or 10.9 miles southwest of Conneaut Lake

The Crawford County Historical Society runs the museum.

It mainly features various memorabilia, furniture, and original furnishings of the 1800s residence of the late Supreme Court Justice Henry Baldwin.

The museum, formerly known as the Mount Vernon of Meadville, features a southern-style Greek Revival mansion constructed in 1843.

It has two stories filled with various exhibits featuring Baldwin’s life and its significance to Meadville.

Joining guided tours inside the museum is a worthwhile experience to learn about Crawford County and Meadville’s history.

In addition, you can attend art-related, cultural, and historical events at the Baldwin-Reynolds House Museum.

To complete your experience, check out the museum’s gift shop that sells Christmas ornaments and artsy prints.

Get up Close with the Animals at Pymatuning Deer Park

A 15-minute drive 12.2 miles southwest of Conneaut will take you to the Pymatuning Deer Park in Jamestown.

This fascinating attraction opened in 1953 and became a famous tourist destination.

It is home to over 250 animals from all over the globe.

Get to see and pet over 200 animals on display, such as deer, ponies, zebras, goats, donkeys, camels, and other exotic animals.

At the same time, enjoy various outdoor activities with your family, such as picnicking, train rides, pony rides, hiking, and others.

However, the petting zoo and the pony and train rides at Pymatuning Deer Park are the favorite activities you should do, especially with kids.

Check Out the Odd but Creative PennDOT Road Sign Sculpture Garden

The PennDot Road Sign Sculpture Garden in Meadville is 10 minutes from Conneaut Lake.

This odd but creative public art installation features recycled PennDot signs or traffic signs formed into various shapes and sizes.

It was once a dull road maintenance facility in Meadville until a team of Allegheny College students turned it into a famous tourist attraction.

The PennDot signs were shaped into barns, houses, roller coasters, hot air balloons, and a locomotive.

Visiting the PennDot Road Sign Sculpture Garden offers you a charming and unique backdrop for a photoshoot.

Final Thoughts

Conneaut Lake is indeed a charming vacation destination.

Now that you’re done reading the best things to do in Conneaut Lake, Pennsylvania, which one will you enjoy first?

Don’t forget to bring your sunblock, picnic baskets, and extra energy to make your visit memorable.

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