Minsi Lake is a natural area of woodlands, wetlands and a 117-acre lake within the Greater Minsi Lake Corridor Greenway as identified in the Lehigh Valley Greenways Plan. The Minsi Lake Vernal Pools Natural Heritage Area is partially located within the site, on the north side of the lake, and is listed as an area of State Significance in the Natural Heritage Inventory of Lehigh & Northampton Counties, PA; which means the area is important for biological diversity and ecological integrity at the state scale. This statewide importance is based on the fact that this Natural Heritage Area contains one of the largest concentrations of vernal pools (seasonal ponds) known in Pennsylvania. Over 400 vernal pools are located on several hundred acres of forestland immediately north of Minsi Lake, providing critical habitat for amphibians, while helping recharge East Branch Martin’s Creek.
As the largest lake in Northampton County, Minsi Lake is an important stopover for long-distance migrating waterfowl, including common and red-throated loons, horned and red-necked grebes, buffleheads, ring-necked ducks, ruddy ducks and occasionally long-tailed ducks and scoters. Mallards, wood ducks and Canada geese are common breeding species of waterfowl at the lake. And ospreys and bald eagles are commonly seen at the lake during spring and summer.
As one of only two PFBC operated lakes in the County, Minsi Lake is hugely popular with anglers from across the Lehigh Valley. In addition to rainbow trout, which the Commission stocks, the lake also contains naturally reproducing populations of bluegills, pumpkinseeds, yellow perch, black crappie, chain pickerel, brown bullhead catfish and largemouth bass.
In addition to fishing and boating, public recreational facilities at Minsi Lake include two paved boat launches (one each on the west and east shores), a small picnic area, additional picnic tables and two trails. The Lake Trail (approximately 1.0 mile) runs through mature woodlands on the north side of the lake, connecting the west shore and east shore parking lots. A much shorter trail runs from the west shore parking lot through the picnic area and then along the dam to the outfall of the lake at the east shore, into East Fork Martin’s Creek.
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