Property OwnershipPPL Preserves - Lake WallenpaupackLake Wallenpaupack NewsletterLake Elevation

How it works

PPL's Wallenpaupack hydroelectric plant is powered by the water contained by a 1,280-foot-long and 70-foot-high dam, which creates the popular 5,700-acre Lake Wallenpaupack. The lake has many benefits beyond clean, renewable electricity generation. The generation process begins when water from the bottom of the lake flows into a 14-foot-wide pipe called a flow line.

The water travels 3.5 miles through the flow line to the power plant where it spins two turbines as it rushes past them. The turbines spin within each of the two generators to create 44 megawatts of electricity, which is enough power for about 35,000 typical homes. As the water exits the power plant, it flows into the nearby Lackawaxen River.

The ability of generation plants like Wallenpaupack to quickly respond to increases in electrical demand or fill in for large plants helps reduce stress on the electricity grid. PPL also can use the hydroelectric plant to manage lake levels in support of recreation or flood control, and to provide water to the Lackawaxen River in support of boating or fish habitat.

History and Benefits

PPL built Lake Wallenpaupack in 1926 as a hydroelectric plant. The project took 2,700 people about two years to complete, which included the construction of the dam, power plant, flow line and Tafton Dike. Once the dam was closed off, the reservoir took about seven months to fill to become Lake Wallenpaupack.

The Wallenpaupack hydroelectric plant is operated remotely from a control center 85 miles away in Allentown, Pa. The plant is owned by a subsidiary of PPL Generation, and had its operating license last renewed in July 2005 by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

In addition to providing a water source for the generation of clean, renewable electricity, the 5,700-acre lake plays a critical role in regional water management. At 13 miles long and about 60 feet at its maximum depth, the lake also provides year-round recreation opportunities including camping, fishing, boating and water-skiing.

Its recreation benefits extend beyond the lake. Water released into the Lackawaxen River reduces its temperature in the summer, making it more suitable for some fish, most notably trout. Warmer lake water released to the Lackawaxen in winter leaves waters open so bald eagles can obtain food throughout the year, much to the delight of bird-watchers and other nature lovers. And water releases are scheduled at certain times of year to support boating and recreation on the river.

Lake Wallenpaupack also serves as a flood control resource for the Lackawaxen and Delaware rivers. The lake's ability to hold water and store it for gradual release at an appropriate time helps to limit the effects of flooding downstream. PPL manages the lake level, in accordance with its FERC license, to support recreational uses and provide the maximum water-storage capability at times when flooding is most likely to occur.

PPL owns most of Lake Wallenpaupack's shoreline and uses sound land management practices to help protect the quality of the lake's water and the natural beauty of the shoreline.

>> Learn more history about the dam

Lake Wallenpaupack news

PPL Community Access Workshop

Saturday, May 10th
8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
PPL Wallenpaupack Environmental Learning Center, Route 6, Hawley

PPL and the PA Fish and Boat Commission

Do you live in a community or have a boat slip on Lake Wallenpaupack and have questions about the management of the lake?This new free workshop is for you. It will also be the spring kickoff meeting of the Wallenpaupack Communities Association.

Learn about the history of the lake and PPL’s Shoreline Use Permitting Policy. We will cover the types of uses that are permitted on PPL property, details on docks and water uses, how to find the Project Line and normal high water mark, as well as common violations and myths of the lake.

Do you have questions on buoys, speed limits, noise, etc.? PA Fish and Boat Commission will also be on hand to discuss what they do on the lake and answer any of your questions.

To ensure an accurate count for materials, registration is required by May 7th. For questions or to register, contact PPL at 570-253-7063 or

Policy Book Edits

PPL manages Lake Wallenpaupack to protect the environmental, recreational, cultural, scenic, and power production resources of the project. We strive to balance the needs of these resources along the 52 miles of shoreline we own around the lake. To protect the lake and address safety concerns and liability, PPL has a shoreline management program in place with a permitting policy. PPL has revised our “Public Lake Use and Shoreline Use Permitting Policy”. This process, over the past two years, has involved input from local, state, and federal agencies as well as our public advisory committee.

Brief Overview of the Revisions:

Since PPL’s Lake Office took back the management of the community access and commercial properties in 2009, we felt it important that the policies which relate to them were included in the book. For this reason, the nonstandard section and the vegetation management section were pulled out into a section of their own, as they both apply to all front-lot owners.

Prohibited actions now include all sea plane landings and the placement of fill, rope swings, clotheslines, satellite dishes and any other items on PPL property that give the impression of private property. Permissible items now include a 20-pound propane tank attached to a grill, non-permanent pavers as a path material, and a storage box for boating supplies and life jackets. Please refer to the Policy for additional conditions for these items. Commercial properties can now propose a vegetation plan to PPL; and a list of approved plantings is now included as Appendix D.

As a front-lot owner, you know the value of preserving Lake Wallenpaupack. Please take some time to look at the revised policy, effective January 2014. It can be found by clicking on “Property Ownership”. If you would like a hard copy of the policy or have any questions about the recent revisions, please contact us at or

Contact Us

PPL Lake Wallenpaupack Office
126 PPL Drive
P.O. Box 122
Hawley, PA 18428-0122
1-877-PPL-LAKE (1-877-775-5253)

Office hours: Available by appointment only between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and select Saturdays during the summer.

Map of Lake
Meet the staff

Heather Hopkins

Heather Hopkins is PPL’s Lake Wallenpaupack policy supervisor, responsible for managing the shoreline permitting system. She started with PPL in 2005.

Her main responsibilities include management of the lakes’ 1500 front-lot properties including community access, commercial, and residential. Management of these properties entails performing routine inspections of the shoreline to ensure compliance with PPL’s policies and local, state and federal regulations. She is also responsible for the issuance of shoreline use permits and License Agreements, and addressing and responding to all front lot owners’ questions and concerns. Heather also presents various programs to educate the public on PPL’s shoreline management program.

Heather's passion for protecting this beautiful resource goes beyond the office because the lake area is also where she calls home. She and her family reside in the Lake Wallenpaupack community.