14 Best and Beautiful Lakes in West Virginia

Best Lakes in West Virginia: Virginia is an exotic location for the nature lovers. If you are searching for a location where you can spend a day out, try water activities so Virginia could be a great choice. Virginia offers amazing lakes where tourists can enjoy a memorable weekend, holiday or a day out. West Virginia is renowned for its stunning mountain and rolling hill scenery.

It is really one of the most densely karstic regions in the world which is located in the Appalachian region of the United States. Due to its geography and plenty of recreational opportunities, the state receives a lot of visitors.

West Virginia is home to several lakes in addition to its hills, mountains, and karst formations. These bodies of water provide visitors an abundance of recreational opportunities. Here in this article, we will discuss some of the most popular and lesser-known lakes of Virginia. Most of them are natural and you can come here with family while there are some romantic lakes also for a less crowd and a romantic date.

Some of them are already popular like Summerville, Spruce Knob Lake, Lake Sherwood etc and many visitors come here to spend some time in nature. Let’s take a virtual tour of the best Lakes in West Virginia.

Read more: 17 Best and Beautiful Lakes in Minnesota

Best Lakes in West Virginia

Virginia has several options to offer you when you are looking for a Lake for an outing. Virginia Lakes are beautiful and accessible both at the same time. Here are some of the most visited and best lakes in West Virginia which you can try in your next trip-

1. Summerville Lake

Best Lakes in West Virginia

West Virginia’s largest lake is called Summerville Lake. Situated near the north end of the 1,100-hectare lake is the Summersville Lake State Wildlife Area, which stretches along its 97-kilometer perimeter. There is a boat in the lake that was purposefully sunk so that guests could go scuba diving. Fishing, boating, and snorkeling are all available.

For those who would rather enjoy the lake without getting their feet wet, there are two options: rock climbing in the hills surrounding it and picnicking. This lake is popular for being a one destination for all. You can try water sports like snorkeling or boating at a reasonable cost.

On the same hand various other activities are also favorite and suitable for all age people like you can enjoy music, food, fishing, sunset etc. Summerville Lake is perfect for a group tour, family tour or couple’s date. Its heart-taking views are worth appreciating. This lake is considered one of the Best Lakes in West Virginia. 

2. Bluestone Lake

Bluestone Lake covered 58 kilometers, extending into neighboring Virginia and three counties in West Virginia. It is surrounded by the Bluestone Dam and is situated on the New River. The 825-hectare lake is an excellent location for boating, fishing, and water skiing, among other outdoor pursuits.

In addition, the Bluestone State Park is located there, on the west side of the lake where the Bluestone River empties into it. There is a picnic area, camping areas, a boat ramp, and a marina in Bluestone State Park. It also happens to be one of the state’s top locations for canoeing and white water rafting.

Bluestone Lake is magical like its name, it shines like a gemstone when sunrays touch the water. This location is also amazing for photoshoots and social media influencers also love to come here for their informative content.

3. East Lynn Lake Shelters

The East Lynn Lake Wildlife Management Area encircles this 400-hectare reservoir, which is situated on the East Fork of Twelvepole Creek. It is therefore a sanctuary for those who enjoy the outdoors and hope to see some of the local fauna. Along with non-native species, East Lynn Lake is home to 29 native fish species, making it a well-liked fishing destination. In addition, a lot of people come to enjoy water skiing.

If visitors would want to spend the night, they can camp at one of the various locations around the lake or stay in the East Lynn Lake Shelters. For the kids’ amusement, there are also picnic spots and a playground. This is popular among youngsters and those who love adventure activities.

This lake would be a great option if you want to spend a night under starts and witness a magical view when moon light shines over the lake it looks more beautiful.

East Lynn Lake is a great place to fish, especially for brown trout, largemouth bass, bluegill, and crappie. There are also a number of fishing competitions held at the lake all year long. In addition, East Lynn Lake provides a range of aquatic activities, including swimming, water skiing, and boating. Around the lake, there are several marinas and boat ramps that provide rentals and other services.

4. Burnsville Lake

Burnsville Lake

It is situated in the middle of the state on the Little Kanawha River is Burnsville Lake. The Burnsville Lake Wildlife Management Area, which has a wealth of recreational opportunities, encircles it. A few of the activities that draw visitors to the lake are boating, fishing, and water skiing.

It is a perfect destination to enjoy the nature and wildlife of Virginia. In addition, Burnsville Lake offers fantastic hiking, animal viewing, and picnicking opportunities, therefore it is considered one of the best lakes in West Virginia. There is around the 223-acre lake and 60 camping spots and a marina with boat rentals available. At the southeast end of the lake lies the Bulltown Historical Area, where one may also learn a little bit about the area’s past.

Great fishing is a well-known feature of Burnsville Lake. A variety of fish species, including walleye, crappie, bluegill, bass, and catfish, are stocked in the lake. The lake is home to trophy-sized muskies for anglers.

Numerous campsites around the lake provide both basic and upscale camping amenities. Around the lake, there are additional picnic spots that provide breathtaking views of the surroundings. Burnsville Lake is not just a well-liked leisure area but also a vital supply of drinking water for a number of the surrounding towns. Federal regulations are met by constantly monitoring the lake’s water quality.

5. Sleepy Creek Lake

Entirely contained inside the Sleepy Creek Wildlife Management Area is an 83-hectare lake. There is a gorgeous lake encircled by pine and oak trees. The lake is an excellent place to fish since it has an abundance of largemouth bass, northern pike, bluegill, and crappie.

The lake is only open to electric motorboats, and night fishing is forbidden. On the east side of Sleepy Creek Lake, there are three campsites situated along the lake’s coastline. There are seventy-five primitive camping spots accessible for overnight stays by tourists.

Berkeley County, in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia, has Sleepy Creek Lake, a 205-acre impoundment of the Meadow Branch of Sleepy Creek. Situated in the 23,000-acre Sleepy Creek Wildlife Management Area, encompassing both Morgan and Berkeley Counties, the reservoir has an elevation of 1,086 feet (331 m). Additionally, Sleepy Creek Mountain (1,905 feet) and Third Hill Mountain (2,172 feet) are the two mountain ranges that the lake is tucked between.

6. Spruce Knob Lake

At 1,170 meters, Spruce Knob Lake is located in the Allegheny Mountains. It’s a great area to spend a few days and the highest lake in all of West Virginia. Camping on the lake is a very relaxing experience because of its serene surroundings, which include a hardwood forest.

On land, hiking and riding are possible, and there is boating available in the lake. Hiking around the lake on the Whispering Spruce Trail is really worth it. It’s also the greatest spot to take in breathtaking panoramic views of the lake and its environs.

There are two nearby hiking paths in the Spruce Knob Lake area that give access to the surrounding forest and countryside. A mile-long trail encircles the lake, providing access for fishing and a breathtaking vista of the water. Gatewood Trail is the other trail. To the east of the lake, there is a 3-mile loop.

7. Beech Fork Lake

This 290-hectare lake is located close to the community of Lavalette in West Virginia’s northwest region. Beneath the Beech Fork Lake Wildlife Management Area is a stunning lake. It is located at the easternmost tip of the lake, the Beech Fork State Park has hiking, bicycling, swimming, boating, and fishing opportunities in addition to camping.

It also has a fishing pier, picnic tables, and a playground. Beech Fork Lake attracts a global influx of birdwatchers who come to observe various species such as wood warblers, thrushes, chats, vireos, ovenbirds, and cuckoos. Photographers are also fond of the lake.

For those looking for a range of exciting outdoor activities, Beech Fork Lake offers boundless amusement. Situated a short distance to the south of Huntington, Beech Fork Lake may be reached by car from Charleston and West Virginia. By damming the Beech Fork of the Twelve Pole Creek River, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers established Beech Fork Lake for leisure and flood control purposes.

8. Jennings Randolph Lake

Jennings Randolph Lake is located on the West Virginia–Maryland boundary, beside the North Branch Potomac River. The lake is utilized for pleasure and was constructed as a backup reservoir for Washington, D.C.

Along with hiking and eagle viewing, this place offers swimming, boating, fishing, kayaking, and water skiing. If you want to stay more than a day, you may camp here or, for a more luxurious option, stay at the privately owned lakeside resort.

The 385-acre lake is incredibly serene and lovely because it is surrounded by hills and parkland. This indicates that it’s a terrific spot for leisure activities as well as for unwinding and taking in the landscape.

9. Lake Sherwood

Tucked away in the Monongahela National Forest is this lovely 66-hectare lake. The Lake Sherwood Recreation Area is located in Lake Sherwood. There are picnic areas, camping spaces, a boat ramp, and a swimming beach at the lake. It’s also a fantastic location for kayaking, paddle boarding, and fishing.

For those who would rather stay on land, there are four paths encircling the lake where they may go trekking or play volleyball. The children can also play in the playground.

Lake Sherwood is located in the West Virginia watershed of the Greenbrier River. The 164 acres that make up the lake are situated on farms that were settled around 1790. Outdoor enthusiasts frequently visit Lake Sherwood, which provides a range of recreational opportunities, including swimming, boating, fishing, and camping. The lake is a great place for fishermen since it is home to a variety of fish species, such as largemouth bass, catfish, and tiger muskie.

At Lake Sherwood, there are 114 campsites in total—104 for single people and 10 for groups. Camping there is quite popular. For convenience, each site has a parking spur, tent pad, picnic table, fire ring, and lantern post. Furthermore, all camping grounds include easily accessible facilities and showers with running water, flush toilets, and hot showers.

10. Mount Storm Lake

Because of its pleasant temperature, this is one among West Virginia’s most popular lakes. The Mount Storm Power Station, which uses the lake for cooling, is to blame for this. Mount Storm Lake is a well-liked diving location and beginner diver training area due to its pleasant temperature.

Considering that the water never drops below 10°C, this is true all year round. The 490 acre lake is also a fantastic place to go boating, canoeing, and swimming. Additionally, a trail around the lake’s perimeter.

Mount Storm Lake is a lake spanning 1,200 acres. Wind surfing, scuba diving, jet skiing, and fishing are all done on the lake. Since there are no wakes, speed zones, or other prohibited locations in the lake, boaters are allowed to use an unlimited amount of horse power.

Numerous channel catfish and largemouth and smallmouth bass may be found in Mount Storm. Walleye and hybrid striped bass are also present. The public can participate in the station’s annual black bass fishing event in May.

11. Monongahela Lake

This 17-hectare lake is located in the Monongahela National Forest’s Gauley Ranger District. Because to the surrounding forest, the little lake has a charming appearance. Because there are so many panfish and bass at Summit Lake, fishing is one of the most popular activities there.

Rowboats and motorboats with less than 500 horsepower are permitted, however swimming is banned. There are several excellent cross-country skiing and hiking paths surrounding the lake. Additionally, there are 33 rustic campsites where you can enjoy a great night under the sky and stars. Monogahela will leave you with a memorable and pleasing experience.

Mountaineer Country Outfitters and sporting goods stores are ideal places to rent kayaks. Make your own travel plans or join one of our numerous local tour operators for a group journey up the river.

The lake is serene and tranquil in the early morning and throughout the day, surrounded by verdant, wooded slopes. Paddleboarders have a plethora of alternatives when planning their upstream journey thanks to the numerous entry locations both on and off the river.

12. Warden Lake

This beautiful lake is located at 392 meters above sea level. Warden Lake is tucked in between Baker Mountain and Big Ridge. It is famous for the Fishing for bluegill, largemouth bass, catfish, channel fish, and northern pike is the main attraction of the lake. Warden Lake offers beautiful view and sights to its visitors.

Here you can enjoy natural views throughout the day or late into the night. It looks more pretty during night and its views Using the gravelled boat ramp, access to the lake is restricted to electric engines only. There are restrooms available, but camping is not permitted.

The short track follows the perimeter of the burnt area, which rises to the tree line of Mount Murchison at 3,333 meters. This typical montane (valley bottom) environment is rich in wildlife-favorite plants, including wolf willow, juniper, buffalo berries, wild roses, and kinnikinic. This is a bear, moose, elk, and deer region.

The path opens out onto a rough road alongside the North Saskatchewan River, the glacier meltwater rushing through the murky, turquoise waters forming a variety of intricately patterned channels. Parts of the steep riverbanks appear to have been eroded by recent floods.

13. Stonewall Jackson Lake State Park

The main attraction at Stonewall Jackson Lake is fishing. Among other species, it is supplied with largemouth bass, crappie, walleye, bluegill, yellow perch, and carp. Stonewall Jackson Lake State Park is located along the 1,060-hectare lake’s edge. There are 40 campsites, a marina, and hiking and biking paths in this award-winning park.

There are three restaurants, a fitness center, a full-service spa, an indoor and outdoor pool, and more within the park. In addition, there are relaxing rooms, suites, and cottages where you can stay and take rest for a while. The location is accessible from road transportation while you need to take a small hike to reach at this destination.

14. Cheat Lake

Cheat Lake was established in 1925 by the Allegheny Power System to provide energy to the nearby area. In addition, the lake’s surface size is around 1,730 acres and is considered one of the best lakes in West Virginia. Activities available at Cheat Lake include swimming, hiking, boating, fishing, and camping. Numerous fish species, including bass, crappie, yellow perch, and white bass, may be found in the lake.

While visiting Cheat Lake, visitors may hike trails in the surrounding Coopers Rock State Forest or visit viewpoints at Snake Hill Wildlife Management Area to enjoy the expansive vistas. Apart from being a popular destination for entertainment, Cheat Lake is a vital supply of potable water for the nearby. It is guaranteed to fulfill federal and state water quality requirements by routine monitoring.

Tourists visiting the lake and Morgantown are accommodated at Lakeview Golf Resort and various hotels and vacation cottages. The most famous feature of Cheat Lake could be its traffic hub at the intersection of Interstate 68 and the WV-43 highway. This area is full with master-planned residential communities.

What is the best time to visit West Virginia?

Although West Virginia is a year-round travel destination, May and June, as well as September to mid-November, are the ideal times to go. Hikers may enjoy a wonderland of flowering wildflowers during the lovely late spring. Come go crazy at the June Mountain Music Festival if you love music.

West Virginia experiences stunning foliage in the early fall, which makes it the perfect time to explore the Hatfield-McCoy Trails on foot or by ATV. If you enjoy extreme activities, October’s Bridge Day is something you won’t want to miss.

Even while the frigid weather from late November to April may be brutal, there are plenty of winter activities to choose from and several Christmas light displays to take in around the state, so you might be too busy to notice. Because there are so many festivals and water-based activities to choose from, July and August’s heat and humidity actually work to the benefit of tourists.

Summer (June to August)

The middle of the year brings pleasant high temperatures and generally pleasant weather. There is five to seven days of moderate precipitation throughout these months. The second-highest travel season in West Virginia runs from June to August, so hotel rates and other amenities can go up a little.

Autumn (September to November)

Autumnal temperatures reach highs of 82.7°F (28.2°C) and 50.9°F (10.5°C), which will feel cool due to the wind and humidity. Four to five days a month see a considerable amount of rain or snow. Because of the weather, these are the quietest months for tourism, therefore prices for hotels may be reasonable.

Winter (December to February)

For vacationers hoping for warm weather, the temperature in West Virginia at this time of year is simply too chilly.

Spring (April to May)

This season seems rather chilly due to a combination of temperature and humidity. The highest temperatures are between 81°F (27.2°C) and 45.5°F (7.5°C), with the later months seeing higher temps. Rainfall is rather frequent, occurring around six days a month with notable precipitation. For those seeking activities, spring is a terrific time of year because it is the busiest season for tourists.

Conclusion: Best Lakes in West Virginia

These are many best lakes in West Virginia where you can spend a great time in the lap of nature. These lakes are popular among tourists and locals both. Most of the places are accessible using public or private transport while you need to trek or hike to reach till the main point of the lake. It is also important to take precautions and follow the rules while visiting the lakes for safety. Do not break any rule or swim in deep without precautions when you are here.

FAQs: Best Lakes in West Virginia

Q: What is the most popular lake of West Virginia?

A: Above mentioned all lakes are popular in West Virginia while Bluestone, Lake Sherwood, and Cheat Lake are some of the best lakes in West Virginia.

Q: Can we do fishing in West Virginia Lakes?

A: Fishing is not allowed in all lakes of West Virginia while some lakes allow fishing and other water sports activities for tourists.

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