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Holtwood

The Holtwood hydroelectric facility provides lakeside recreational opportunities and facilities for camping, hiking, picnicking, boating, sightseeing, fishing and hunting on more than 3,000 acres. Holtwood and Lake Aldred demonstrate the successful combination of power generation, recreation and land management.

Make safety a priority

A river warning system operates for the safety of visitors below the Holtwood dam
  • Be alert – heed warning signals
  • Leave the riverbed area when the alarm sounds
  • Information is available at access points in this area
  • Susquehanna River Hotline at 1-800-692-6328


The 2,400-acre Lake Aldred is popular for boating and water-skiing.

Weise Island, in the middle of the Susquehanna River just north of Pequea Creek, has a natural sandy beach for day use only.

Safety tips

  • Boat ramps for public use are available at the villages of York Furnace and Pequea
  • Public marina located at York Furnace
  • Please stay about a mile below the Safe Harbor Dam
  • Be wary of currents at the north tip of Weise Island and on the east side of the Urey Island chain A line of buoys limits access to the Holtwood dam and its 55-foot spillway
  • Boating is prohibited south (downstream) of the buoys
  • Below the dam, boating is restricted downstream to the Norman Wood Bridge

For portage assistance at Holtwood Dam, a minimum of 24 hours notice is required. Please call 717-284-4101 in advance to make portage arrangements with the plant. 

NOTE: Portage access at Holtwood is on the East Shore (river left) upstream of the dam. For safety reasons, please do not cross the buoy line that leads up to the portage take-out area. A phone is located at the boar ramp to contact the plant upon arrival. 

Lake Aldred abounds in walleyes, bass, catfish, panfish and muskellunge.

The Holtwood dam’s tailrace – where river water leaves the power plant – is a favorite fishing site and features a handicap-accessible fishing pier.

Camping
Holtwood offers two campgrounds providing more than 150 campsites in wooded settings:

Lock 12 Historic Area
One of the most well-preserved locks of the old Susquehanna and Tidewater Canal

  • Built between 1836 and 1839 for commerce
  • Located between the greater Harrisburg area and the Chesapeake Bay
Lock 12 is located in York County along Route 372 near the Norman Wood Bridge