The Schuylkill River Greenways map is divided by Trailheads, Trail Towns and Places to Visit.
Blue Marsh Lake is a man-made lake along the Tulpehocken Creek that features numerous boating, hiking, biking, and birdwatching opportunities. It is maintained by the Philadelphia District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Located minutes from Reading, it is a great place to enjoy a day outside.
To contact Blue Marsh for information about hours, etc. please call (610) 376-6337, or visit their official website.
While the original goal of Blue Marsh Lake was to provide flood control to part of the Schuylkill River Valley, over the years the lake has become a recreational hotspot. With over 36 miles of trails, 1,147 acres of water surface, picnic areas, a small beach and boat launches the lake can accommodate all kinds of outdoor enthusiasts. Lake recreation activities include swimming, boating, water skiing, scuba diving, and fishing, plus ice boating, ice fishing and ice skating during the winter months. There are biking and equestrian trails around Blue Marsh, and the Lake is a great place to go birding.
The multi-use loop trail circles the lake and you can ride a horse, bike, walk or run. This trail also connects with the Berks County Park & Recreation trail system. Skinners Loop and Foxtrot Hiking trail are connected to the multi-use trail and will bring you close to the water’s edge. The Squirrel Run trail is near the State Hill Boat Ramp. There also are the universally accessible Eyes of the Eagle Sensory trail and the Great Oak Nature Trail located at the day use area. Stilling Basin is where the water is expelled from the dam and has become a popular fishing location and has a universally accessible fishing platform.
The reach of Blue Marsh Lake does not stop there. Tours for school-age children, bird watching, Lenape Native American education and water safety are some of the types of programs organized by Blue Marsh Lake staff and volunteer groups.
There are three boat launches:
Dry Brooks Boat Launch: $3 fee per vehicle/$1 per person walk in charged from May 1 to September 30.
State Hill Boat Launch: $3 fee per vehicle/$1 per person walk in charged from May 1 to September 30.
Sheidy Boat Ramp: operated by the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission and requires proper state permits.