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

Get caught wearing a life jacket this summer!

PPL and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission are very excited to work together on a new boating safety initiative on the lake for young boaters this season. Children who “get caught” wearing their life jackets will be rewarded with a cool T-shirt for making the right decision to be safe. In Pennsylvania, all children 12 years of age or younger are required to wear a life jacket when underway on a boat that is 20 feet in length or less, and all canoes and kayaks. Beyond being a statewide regulation, ensuring kids are wearing a properly fitting life jacket is also common sense. If you get caught this summer, please share a photo with us on Facebook at or email to

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

Katie Lester Katie Lester is PPL’s Manager of Community Relations for Lake Wallenpaupack.

Katie is responsible for the day-to-day management of the lake and the shoreline, which includes shoreline inspections and interacting with local and state officials from various agencies. She manages PPL’s 9000 acres at the lake including the environmental preserve, hiking trails and campgrounds.

She is also on the board of directors for the Lake Wallenpaupack Watershed Management District, which develops programs to protect the local watershed.

When she’s not out on the lake meeting front-lot owners, she’s reminded about the lake’s natural beauty and importance to the local community with simply a glance out her office window. She leads public tours of the hydroelectric plant and offers a number of public programs throughout the year about lake policies. She started with PPL in 2005.

Katie holds a degree in Environmental Science and Policy. She resides in Honesdale, Wayne County, Pa.