Beech Fork Lake, West Virginia, USA
Nestled in the verdant West Virginia hills off of Interstate 64 in Wayne County, Beech Fork Lake provides endless entertainment for visitors seeking a variety of fun outdoor activities. Located a few miles south of the City of Huntington, Beech Fork Lake is a short drive from Charleston, WV; Cincinnati, OH; and Lexington, KY. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers created Beech Fork Lake for flood control…
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Welcome to the ultimate guide to Beech Fork Lake! Article topics include:
- All About Beech Fork Lake
- Where to Stay
- Vacation Planning Tools
- Things to Do
- Known Fish Species
- Beech Fork Lake Map
- Statistics / Weather / Helpful Links
- Beech Fork Lake Gifts
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All About Beech Fork Lake, WV
Nestled in the verdant West Virginia hills off of Interstate 64 in Wayne County, Beech Fork Lake provides endless entertainment for visitors seeking a variety of fun outdoor activities. Located a few miles south of the City of Huntington, Beech Fork Lake is a short drive from Charleston, WV; Cincinnati, OH; and Lexington, KY.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers created Beech Fork Lake for flood control and recreation by damming the Beech Fork of the Twelve Pole Creek River. Popular belief holds that George Washington was among the explorers who gave Twelve Pole Creek River its name (its mouth was measured at 12 “poles” across). The lake opened to the public in 1978, and nearby Beech Fork State Park opened in 1979. The park offers 3,144 acres of wildlife and a breathtaking view of the lake. The Corps maintains Beech Fork Lake at a summer elevation of 592 feet above sea level. Lake levels are lowered in the fall to a winter pool elevation of 583 feet to make room for melting snow and heavy spring rains. Water levels reached an all-time high on March 6, 1997 at 608.45 feet, just six feet below the flood control pool of 614.5 feet.
The 720-acre lake is a peaceful place to enjoy a meandering boat ride, especially since the lake prohibits engines over 10 horsepower (larger boat engines must remove the propeller). Paddle boats, canoes, kayaks, and row boats are available to rent at Beech Fork Marina, near the Beech Fork Dam and Recreation Center, while pedal boats and licensed jon boats can be rented at the boat launch in Beech Fork State Park.
With over 12,000 acres of land including the lake, state park, and wildlife preservation areas, both experienced and novice anglers have ample opportunity to fish for largemouth, smallmouth and hybrid striped bass, catfish, walleye, saugeye, black crappie, and bluegill. Hunters will find seasons for rabbit, turkey, deer, squirrel, grouse, raccoon, fox, mourning dove, woodcock and waterfowl. Swimmers and sunbathers can relax at the lake’s swimming beach near the dam or take a dip in the deluxe 50-meter swimming pool at Beech Fork Lake State Park, complete with bathhouse and snack stand.
Don’t forget to take a nature hike or bike ride through the dense hickory, oak, and pine trees that cover 85% of the area. Also, keep your eye out for migratory water fowl, neotropical songbirds, raptors, whitetail deer, fox, and even the occasional black bear. You can also spot various frog and toad species as well as wildflowers tucked into the landscape. If you’re in Beech Fork State Park, why not start or join a game of volleyball, basketball, softball, tennis, or horseshoes, or enjoy a meal under one of the picnic shelters.
If an overnight stay is on the agenda, Beech Fork State Park has hundreds of campsites available, ranging from primitive to full service with water, sewer, and electricity. Many campsites are lakefront, and all sites have a grill and picnic table and access to full service bathhouses and restroom facilities. If camping isn’t your style, try one of the six deluxe cabins with lake views and modern conveniences. Both campsites and cabins are available year-round.
Schedule some time to explore nearby towns. In nearby Milton, check out a glass factory and watch from the observation deck as artisans handcraft glass, blow it into shape, and then finish the item. Also nearby is historic Huntington. It’s situated on the Ohio River and houses the Huntington Museum of Art and a riverfront park with festivals and picnic areas. Then stroll downtown to Heritage Village and tour the renovated B & O Railway Station with a real locomotive and Pullman Car, as well as Huntington’s first bank that was allegedly robbed by the James Gang in September 1875.
It’s easy to see why Beech Fork Lake attracts over one million annual visitors. Whether it’s for a day, a weekend, or a week, there will never be a shortage of fun things to do at Beech Fork Lake.
Things to Do at Beech Fork Lake
These are some activities in the Beech Fork Lake, WV area visitors can enjoy:
- Vacation Rentals
- Swimming Pool
- Cabin Rentals
- Wildlife Viewing
- State Park
What Kind of Fish Are in Beech Fork Lake?
Beech Fork Lake has been known to have the following fish species:
- Black Crappie
- Saugeye Perch
- Striped Bass
Find Places to Stay at Beech Fork Lake
If you’re considering a Beech Fork Lake lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.
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More Sites to Book a Beech Fork Lake Vacation
Our interactive Beech Fork Lake lodging map above is an easy tool for comparing VRBO rental homes and nearby hotels with Booking.com, but there could be times when you need to expand your search for different types of accommodations. Here are some other lake lodging partners we recommend:
Beech Fork Lake Statistics & Helpful Links
Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed
Water Level Control: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Surface Area: 720 acres
Shoreline Length: 31 miles
Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 592 feet
Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 0 feet
Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 614 feet
Average Depth: 13 feet
Maximum Depth: 15 feet
Water Volume: 9,180 acre-feet
Completion Year: 1978
Drainage Area: 78 sq. miles
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