Colyer Lake reopened 3 years ago. Explore a new trail with Centred Outdoors

Located in Centre County, Colyer Lake is a 77-acre impoundment owned by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and managed by the Fish and Boat Commission for public fishing and boating. The lake and surrounding land recently underwent an impressive restoration — ensuring access to this beautiful treasure for generations to come.

The lake was drained in 2014 to allow for crucial repairs to the lake’s dam. During the draw-down, PA Fish and Boat also took the opportunity make additional improvements to the lake including the installation of underwater habitat structures to help support fish and other aquatic wildlife. Once the dam repairs were completed, the commission allowed the lake to refill and stocked the lake with a variety of warm water fish species.

The lake is now managed under Pennsylvania’s Big Bass Program and the Panfish Enhancement Special regulations to help protect these species while they become established in their new home. Excellent angling opportunities exist for largemouth bass, chain pickerel, panfish and catfish. A fishing pier is also available for persons with disabilities. In addition to the fantastic fishing opportunities, over 200 species of birds have been sighted at Colyer Lake, including Bald Eagle, Osprey and various species of ducks.

Since reopening in 2016, the lake has once again become a popular destination for anglers, hikers, bird-watchers and boaters. In 2017, a new 2.7 mile hiking trail was installed for walking, birding, mountain biking and horseback riding. The trail circles the lake and features stepping-stone stream crossings, boardwalks and fishing access areas.

Visitors to the Centred Outdoors event at Colyer Lake will explore the new trail surrounding the lake and have the opportunity to rent a boat to explore its waters before or after the hike. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission will be nearby to provide “hands-on” information about the creatures that live in and around the lake.

Planning to attend this week’s adventure? Here’s what you need to know:

What: Centred Outdoors: Colyer Lake

When: Sunday, with guided hikes at 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. and Wednesday at 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Where: Colyer Lake, 236 Lake Road, Centre Hall

Parking: Ample parking available

What to bring:

  • A refillable water bottle

  • Sun protection including a hat and sunscreen

  • Comfortable walking shoes

  • Long pants and high socks may be preferred for additional protection from insects and ticks

  • A light snack or picnic, especially if you plan to come early or stay after the hike

  • Child carrier/backpack is recommended for very young children

  • Binoculars for bird and wildlife watchers

Difficulty of hike: This is and easy 1.5 mile of hike and will take approximately 1.5 hours.

Additional Information:

  • Pets must be kept on a leash and owners must clean up after their pets.

Next week’s adventure: Centred Outdoors will be visiting Musser Gap on Sunday, Aug.4 and Wednesday, August 7.

Centred Outdoors will host free, guided adventures to Centre County residents and visitors every Sunday from 2-5 p.m. and every Wednesday from 5-8 p.m. through Aug. 6. The finalized schedule can be seen at www.centredoutdoors.org, where users can log in to create their own profile, RSVP, and receive weekly emails about each event. While online registration is not required, it is the best way to receive event updates. Look to the Centre Daily Times every week for complete details about the upcoming Centred Outdoors destination.

Jon Major is the communications strategist for ClearWater Conservancy.