Kayaking Lake Marburg in Codorus State Park

Codorus State Park is a 3,500-acre Pennsylvania state park in southwestern York County, PA, with Lake Marburg as its center piece — and that’s where we headed to go kayaking. The waters are clear — you can see underwater grasses flourishing.

The park was created around Lake Marburg, an artificial lake covering 1,275 acres, and is named for Codorus Creek, which feeds the lake.

Codorus State Park was created through a cooperative effort between private enterprise and state and local government. First came Lake Marburg — named for a small community, including a farm, that was flooded as the lake came to life.

The borough of Spring Grove and the P.H. Glatfelter Company worked together to dam Codorus Creek. The purpose of the dam was to provide drinking water for Spring Grove and to meet the industrial needs of the paper plant owned by the P.H. Glatfelter Company in the borough.

With 26 miles of coastline, it’s unlikely you’ll run out of something new to see and enjoy on this lake — there are lots of small coves and lake branches to explore, as well as two islands.

Despite the 90-degree day, it was lovely on the water, with a fair stiff breeze that kicked up a little bit of chop. Combined with the wakes from fishing boats and more leisurely pontoon boats going by, the kayaking was fun but challenging.

Launching from the park’s marina, we spent a few hours paddling along the shore, passing below the Blossom Gove bridge before turning around and paddling back past the marina itself and exploring the coves and shoreline on that side of the lake.

There were a fair amount of fishermen (and women) on the lake the day we were there — apparently there was some sort of fishing contest between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. There’s good reason for all the fishing: the lake holds many different species of fish, including largemouth bass, yellow perch, crappie, muskellunge, catfish, northern pike, and bluegill in the warm waters of Lake Marburg. Folks fished along the shore as well.

Canoes, kayaks, sailboats and motor boats up to 20 hp are all permitted on Lake Marburg, provided they are registered properly with the state.

This is definitely a lake we’re going to return to — it’s just over an hour away from Baltimore, a little longer from DC, 45 minutes from Harrisburg — just so convenient and a lovely place!

Getting there: The 1,275-acre Lake Marburg has seven boat launch ramps around the lake, although I could only find addresses for six. All are open to the public, but the campground launch is only for the use of registered campers.

  • Black Rock Flats Boat Launch: 1060-1146 Black Rock Rd, Hanover, PA 17331
  • Smith Station Boat Launch: 2246 Smith Station Rd, Hanover, PA 17331
  • Visitors Center Boat Launch: 2600 Smith Station Rd, Hanover, PA 17331
  • Marburg Dirt Launch: 6397 Hoff Rd, Spring Grove, PA 17362
  • Codorus State Park Main Boat Launch Ramp: Sinsheim Road, Spring Grove, PA 17362
  • AOS Marina: 1 Marina Dr, Hanover, PA 17331

Hours: dawn through dusk

Website: https://www.dcnr.pa.gov/StateParks/FindAPark/CodorusStatePark/Pages/default.aspx

Wildflowers near the boat launch.

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