General Info

Hemlock Lake was originally called Straight Run Dam when it was completed by the Pennsylvania Fish Commission in 1970. The dam is 650 feet long and is 40 feet high at its highest point. The dam impounds a 60 acre lake. Its deepest point is approximately 33 feet. Indiana County Parks leases the site from the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission as a public recreation area. Please be advised that the access roads to Hemlock Lake do not receive winter maintenance.

Activities & Accommodations


Hemlock Lake features a pavilion on each shore. The West Shore Pavilion has a capacity of 20 people, while the East Shore Pavilion can hold up to 50 park-goers. The pavilions at Hemlock Lake are free for public use on a strictly first-come first-served basis, with no reservation or paperwork required. Read more about free pavilions.

Hunting & Fishing

The 205 acre park features a 60 acre lake with two boat launches and areas for hunting, hiking, and fishing (including ice fishing). The lake has been stocked with bluegill, bass, catfish, muskellunge, walleye and northern pike. Fishermen may moor their boats at the park following regulations established by the Fish & Boat Commission. Only electric motors and hand propelled boats are permitted. Other nearby recreation areas include PA State Gamelands #174, Cloe Dam (Jefferson County) and Little Mahoning Creek. Learn more about the species of fish in Hemlock Lake (a.k.a. – Straight Run Lake) by reading the spring 2008 biologist’s report. And for our bird-watchers, a comprehensive Hemlock Lake Park bird list is available in PDF format. This list was compiled by Margaret Higbee using data collected by the Todd Bird Club.

Straight Run Lake (aka Hemlock Lake) – May 2018 Night Bass Electrofishing Survey