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Places to swim in and around State College this summer | Blog | Way of life

Summer at State College has certainly begun, and if the air conditioning and popsicles aren’t cooling you down, don’t worry — The Daily Collegian has your back with a list of places to swim in town.

First, our own on-campus bathing spots.

Penn State has three aquatic locations on campus: the McCoy Natatorium indoor and outdoor pool and the White Building indoor pool.

The two indoor pools are closed for the summer but are normally open during the fall and spring semesters for students to use.

McCoy Natatorium

The outdoor McCoy Natatorium pool, however, is open weekdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for informal recreation. On Saturday, the hours go from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and on Sunday, the hours extend until 5 p.m.

The swimming pool is also open from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on weekdays.

Be sure to check the Student Affairs website for pool guidelines and scan the aquatic pool schedule every week as the schedules are subject to change.

Whipple Dam State Park

Next is Whipple Dam State Park, which is just south of State College.

Whipple Dam has a park, lake, and beach spanning 256 acres, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. The park can also be used for picnicking, swimming, boating and fishing.

Whipple Dam is about 25 minutes from campus. The park is open every day of the year, and hours of operation for the beach and other areas are available by calling the Greenwood Furnace State Park office.

William L. Welch Community Pool

Back in the borough, the William L. Welch Community Pool – located on Westerly Parkway – is open for its summer season.

According to the Central Region Parks and Recreation website, Welch hosts two public pools with features such as spray ramps, diving boards, slides and a rock climbing wall.

Daily admission for residents ages 3-10 and 65+ is $8. For residents aged 11 to 64, the rate is $10.

After 5 p.m., all residents 3 years and older must pay $5.

Daily admission for non-residents ages 3-10 and 65+ is $10. For non-residents between the ages of 11 and 64, the rate is $12.

After 5 p.m., the rate for all non-residents 3 years and older must pay $7.

Registration for season passes and community swim programs is available on the Central Region Parks and Recreation website.

Lac Colyer

Slightly further afield, but still in Center County, is Colyer Lake, about a 20-minute drive from campus.

The lake, according to AllTrails, has a loop trail that takes about 54 minutes to complete.

Visitors can fish, boat, swim, or paddleboard in the lake or hike and stroll through the natural area.

The 77-acre site is maintained by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission for public fishing and boating, according to the commission’s website.

Bald Eagle State Park

Last but not least on the list is Bald Eagle State Park, about 30 minutes northeast of Penn State by car.

Bald Eagle State Park is home to a 1,730-acre lake that surrounds Bald Eagle Mountain and is open daily, year-round from sunrise to sunset, according to DCNR’s website.

Besides the lake, the park has two campgrounds, a beach, forests, fields and wetlands.

Activities at Bald Eagle State Park are not limited to swimming in the lake. Visitors can hike, picnic, boat, fish, and camp in the park overnight.

Take a dip, dive in and enjoy the water before fall freezes over.


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