Boating at Raystown Lake

Raystown Lake is a popular destination for boats of all shapes and sizes.  Whether you’re launching a boat for the day, staying overnight for a weekend, or mooring for the season Raystown Lake offers the beautiful views and facilities to suit your needs. For more information, follow the links above or visit the "Marinas and Launches" page.

Visit Our Marinas and Launches Page

Fees & Permits

Launch fees and permits are no longer required at Raystown.  Visitors may launch their boat and park free of charge.  (State vessel registration, permits and other requirements still apply.)

In 2011 staff determined that the day use fee program, established in the mid 1990s, was no longer cost effective to administer. Furthermore; in view of leaner budget times, the program’s labor intensive costs are better put to use in higher priority areas serving the public.


Raystown is a popular boating destination.  As such, launches can be very busy with parking areas often filled to capacity on summer weekends and holidays.  To avoid a full parking lot we suggest visitors arrive early and take advantage of our launch status hotline for the most up-to-the-hour parking information.

Parking spaces are designated by bumpers.  Some areas may be restricted to only single cars, shelter users, etc. and are designated by signs.  Before launching, be sure adequate parking is available.  Parking is available on a first come, first served basis.  Visitors are not permitted to reserve parking spaces for any amount of time.  All trailer parking is head-in only, no drive thru or reverse parking permitted.

Boat Launch Status Hotline: (814) 658-3405 *dial prompt 2

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Overnight Boaters

Few outdoor experiences can match waking up on a foggy morning to a mirror-like lake or listening to nothing but your line splash and the owls hoot in the dead of night.  Overnight boating is permitted at Raystown and those visitors should be familiar with a few specific rules and concerns when it comes to enjoying the lake at night.

  • Camping is only permitted in designated sites.  Visitors wishing to stay overnight must be contained to their boat.
  • Imagine how many burn spots would deface our shoreline if everyone decided to have their own campfire.  Shoreline fires are prohibited.
  • No overnight mooring is permitted within 300 yards of any recreation area.
  • Follow the old scout rule: leave the outdoors better than you found it.  Remove litter and take care of Mother Nature.
  • Visitors would be surprised how many boaters spend the night on Raystown and just how far sound carries.  Quiet hours are in effect lake-wide from 10:00 PM to 6:00 AM.
  • The Friends of Raystown Lake generously provide and maintain night-time navigational lights, marking major points and bends along the main channel.  For reference, green lights are located on the eastern (mountain) side of the lake and red lights are on the western side.  To learn more about the Friends, become a member, or support their efforts click here.
  • State Law requires all vessels to show running lights between sunset and sunrise.  For details on requirements visit the “Rules and Tips” section of this page.


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No Wake Zones

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission defines no wake speed as:

 "...the slowest possible speed of a motorboat required to maintain maneuverability so that wake or wash created by the motorboat on the surface is minimal."

This speed varies depending upon the size and hull of each boat.

Several no wake zones are established at Raystown to ensure safety, environmental protection, and quiet relaxation.  These zones are identified by no-wake buoy markers.  In addition to the zones located on the map to the right boaters should remember that no wake speed is required by law when operating within 100 feet of shorelines, docks, and ramps.  These areas may or may not be designated by a buoy marker.

Additional situations require no wake speed and are defined by the Fish and Boat Commission.  See the Rules and Tips section of this page for details.

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Sea Planes

Raystown Lake is open to seaplanes within a designated landing zone.  The sight of a seaplane is exciting, but boaters are reminded to stay clear of moving seaplanes.  When on water, seaplanes are subject to all vessel requirements (see Rules and Tips section of this page).

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Rules & Tips

Knowing the rules and planning ahead will help you save a lot– time, stress, money and maybe a life!  Plan before you go and get the most out of your vacation!

Raystown lands and waters are subject to Federal rules and regulations AND Commonwealth boating laws.  Federal rules and regulations are posted at every bulletin board for reference.  Copies are available from a ranger or at the Visitor Center.  The following is a partial list of rules provided to address common boating related questions and concerns.

  • We encourage all visitors to practice courtesy and patience.  Please be prepared to launch before approaching the ramp to prevent blocking ramp access.  Tie-down lanes are available for this purpose.  Remember we were all new boaters at some point, be understanding with inexperienced boaters.

  • Commercial tow services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (for fee) at Raystown.  Visit: to learn more about towing.

  • Parking spaces cannot be reserved or guaranteed, but we encourage visitors to arrive early and use our status hotline at (814) 658-3405, prompt 2.

  • Seven Points offers overflow parking and rarely fills to capacity.  When in doubt, try parking at Seven Points!  Print this map to locate overflow parking and a rendezvous point.

  • Parking is limited.  Please use care to insure vehicles and trailers do not obstruct adjacent spaces.

  • Mooring is permitted along most of the shoreline so long as it does not interrupt navigation of other boats.  Please use ropes, as chains damage trees.

  • Transient slips are available at the Marinas.  Seven Points, Susquehannock and Nancy's campers may use designated overnight mooring areas.  Otherwise boats, when not in actual use, must be removed from the water.

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Bobber's Boating Tips

Visit Bobber Online
  • Lifejackets save lives of all ages. Wear them!
  • Extended exposure to sun, noise and motion slows reaction time. Don’t add alcohol to the mix!
  • Every year Park Rangers respond to cliff jumping related injuries. Think before you leap!
  • Bow riding is a spinal injury waiting to happen.
  • Keep cabin air flowing to avoid a carbon monoxide emergency!

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