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Canonsburg Lake is an artificial lake formed by Chartiers Creek behind a 525ft (160m) long and 45ft (14m) tall concrete dam. It was built in 1943 by Alcoa as a freshwater reservoir for their Canonsburg Forging Plant. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission purchased the lake and surrounding area in 1957 and converted it into a recreational lake.
Fishing and non-diesel powered boats are allowed on the lake. The boat launch is, however, just a piece of road that goes into the lake, meaning that you will get your feet wet if you have an inflatable kayak.
I am not aware that there are any kayak rentals around.
Unfortunately, maintenance of the lake is chronically underfunded and long overdue dam repairs and silt removal are not being done. An organization called the “Canonsburg Lake Restoration & Improvement Committee” has formed in 2000 to raise awareness funds to address these issues.
We love kayaking and while the lake north of the McDowell Ln bridge is nothing to brag about, kayaking south under the bridge and then staying left (east) of the islet brings you to nearly untouched nature with lots of birds and insects. We even saw a small turtle.
So far, we have only kayaked down to the Route 19 (Washington Rd) bridge which is about 1.3 miles from the boat launch.
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