Home > Missions > Recreation > West Virginia > Beech Fork Lake

How To Find Us

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Directions

Directions/Location: From Interstate 64 near Huntington: From Exit 8 take Rt. 152 South toward Wayne, WV. After approximately 7 miles turn left on Beech Fork Road (near Lavalette) and go approximately 3 miles to the Dam site. The Visitor Center is on the right near the dam and the Beech Fork Marina is just past the Visitor Center on Beech Fork Road. 

Mailing Address:
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Beech Fork Lake 
3784 Beech Fork Road
Lavalette, WV 25535
 
Contact: (304) 525-4831 or (304) 522-0359

 

General Information

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General Information

 Beech Fork Lake (authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1962) is part of the integrated flood reduction system operated by the Corps of Engineers for the entire Ohio River Basin. When these lakes are operated as a vast storage system, flood crests along the Ohio can be significantly reduced. Beech Fork Lake opened for recreational activities in May 1978. Beech Fork Lake is near the community of Lavalette, Wayne County, West Virginia, approximately 10 miles south of Huntington. The lake has a summer pool surface area of 720 acres and a 10 horsepower limit on boat engines. Motors with greater than 10 horsepower must have the propeller removed. Use Fees are required at the Marina Launch Ramp ($3.00 per launch) and Stowers Branch Swim Beach ($1.00 per person over age 12, $4.00 per carload maximum). Annual Day Use Passes are available at the Visitor Center for $30.00. These passes allow unlimited use of the Marina Launch Ramp and Stowers Branch Swim Beach at Beech Fork Lake, plus all other Corps of Engineers recreation areas nationwide where a day use fee is required. Federal age and access passes may be used for a 50 percent discount at all Corps operated recreation areas where a day use fee is in effect, plus pass holders are entitled to a 50 percent discount on the price of an Annual Day Use Pass.

Historical info

Several old cabin sites along with a rock shelter at Beech Fork Lake have historical/cultural significance.   All natural formations and archaelogical features (artifacts) must not be disturbed.   Lake Status

Recreation

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Bicycling

Bicycles are permitted on main roads only. Under West Virginia law, all riders under the age of 12 years MUST wear a protective helmet. No bike trails are provided at Beech Fork Lake in the area operated by the Corps of Engineers. A bike trail is located at Beech Fork State Park (304-528-5794).

 

Boating

Launch ramps for boating enthusiasts and fishermen are located at the Beech Fork Marina and for campers at the Lower Bowen campground. A Use Fee of $3.00 per day is required for use of the Marina Launch Ramp. See 'General' information for information regarding purchase of an Annual Day Use Fee Pass. 
There is a 10 horsepower limit on boat engines, jointly established by the US Army Corps of Engineers and the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources. ALL PROPELLERS ON BOATS WITH ENGINES LARGER THAN 10 HORSEPOWER MUST BE REMOVED.  Beech Fork Lake is a relatively small, shallow lake with banks consisting of soil that is easily eroded.  This horsepower restriction helps ensure a safe, enjoyable boating experience while protecting the shoreline from being severely degraded by the large wakes caused by greater horsepower watercraft.
For a rental fee, the privately-operated Beech Fork Lake Marina, located at the dam, provides visitors with docking facilities and rental of motorboats, canoes, and lifejackets. Lake brochures are available at the Visitor Center or from Park Rangers.  

Camping

Camping at Beech Fork Lake is restricted to developed camping areas at Beech Fork State Park (a 25-30 minute drive from the Beech Fork Lake Dam at Lavalette, WV).  Camping in all other areas, including the backcountry and shoreline, is prohibited. 
Beech Fork State Park includes a 275 site campground, day use facilities, and adjoining areas operated by the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Division of Parks and Recreation. All campsites have electrical hookups, and there is a boat launching ramp nearby.  For more information call Beech Fork State Park at (304) 528-5794. Their web address is http://www.wvparks.com/beechfork. The use of vehicles off authorized roadways at Beech Fork Lake is prohibited.

Fishing

The Beech Fork fishery is a shared responsibility. The Department of Natural Resources and the Corps manage the fisheries program by habitat improvement and an aquatic vegetation program which benefits all fish species. The Department of Natural Resources has stocked the Lake with Saugeye fry, channel catfish, largemouth bass, black crappie, and hybrid bass.  The outflow area downstream of Beech Fork Dam is stocked with trout February through April.  West Virginia fishing licenses are required. Fishing License Information

Handicapped access

All picnic shelters and restrooms, the Beech Fork Lake Visitor Center/administrative building, and the Marina launch ramp are universally accessible.  In addition, each recreation area offers several universally accessible, individual picnic sites; and the recreation areas upstream and downstream of the Dam feature universally accessible fishing piers.    

Hiking

Several trails are maintained by the Corps of Engineers at Beech Fork Lake.  They are located in the vicinity of Beech Fork Dam, and the Stowers Branch Beach.  Beech Fork State Park (304-528-5794) also features a network of trails.  

 

Horseback Riding

(Not Available)

 

Hunting

Wildlife management is a shared responsibility. The Department of Natural Resources and the Corps manage the wildlife program by habitat improvement and food-plot programs for the benefit of many wildlife species. West Virginia hunting licenses are required. Contact the project office for a topographic map showing where hunting is permitted.  

Marina facilities

Privately operated Beech Fork Lake Marina, located at the damsite at Lavalette, WV, provides visitors with docking facilities and rental of motorboats, canoes, and lifejackets. For more information call the marina at (304) 522-9374.

Picnicking

There are four picnic shelters with electrical outlets, charcoal grills, playgrounds, and restrooms located in the recreation areas upstream and downstream of Beech Fork Dam.  These shelters are available on a first-come, first-served basis EXCEPT WHEN RESERVED IN ADVANCE.  The fee to reserve a shelter is $50.  There also is a picnic deck at the Stower’s Branch Beach that may be reserved for $25.  Reservations must be made by accessing the National Recreation Reservation Service.  (See "Shelter Reservation System in Effect.")  Numerous picnic sites containing one or two picnic tables are also available, but on a first-come, first-served basis only. 

Swimming

A swimming beach is located at Stower's Branch Beach. No lifeguards are provided. Swim at your own risk.  The fee to swim is $1.00 per person per day, up to a maximum of $4.00 per vehicle.  There is no charge for children under 12. 

Vistor Center

The Corps of Engineers Beech Fork Lake Visitor Center is open throughout the year, Monday thru Friday 7:30 AM until 4:00 PM, and on weekends Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, 9:15 AM until 7:30 PM.  Federal Annual Day Use Passes can be purchased during these times. We do not sell federal or state discount passes.  For more information call 304-525-4831.

 

Announcements

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The National Recreation Reservation System must be used to make shelter reservations at Beech Fork Lake. This system allows reservations to be made up to 360 days in advance, and may be accessed toll free by phone at 1-877-444-6777, or on the internet at www.recreation.gov. Those wishing to make reservations will need to indicate to the reservation service that shelters at Beech Fork Lake are considered "day use facilities." Also, they must know the number of the shelter they wish to reserve. Shelter 1 is upstream of the dam near the marina, Shelter 2 is upstream of the dam near the basketball court, Shelter 3 is downstream of the dam near the outflow, and Shelter 4 is downstream of the dam near Beech Fork Road. (See also "Picnicking.")

 

All four shelters at Beech Fork Lake have playgrounds near by, plus charcoal grills, and electric available. The reservation fee is $50.00 for the day.  The Picnic Deck at the Stowers Branch Swim Beach has picnic tables and charcoal grills and may be reserved for $25.00 for the day.

In exchange for 'free' camping, reliable and committed volunteers are needed to perform light maintenance, act as visitor center hosts, and collect fees from the public as they enter the Stower's Branch Swimming Beach. Campsites include water, sewage and 50 amp electric hook-ups. Laundry facilities are also available free of charge to volunteers. For additional information contact us by phone at 304-525-4831.