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Summer Activities at Burnsville Lake

Published May 20, 2015

HUNTINGTON, W.Va – Burnsville Lake is one of central West Virginia’s key attractions and offers visitors a wide variety of activities such as fishing, boating, camping, hunting, hiking, biking and picnicking.

Burnsville Lake has two day-use areas, Bulltown Day-Use Area and Riffle Run Day-Use Area. The Bulltown Day-Use Area is located near the town of Napier and has a swimming beach with accessible restrooms and changing booths. A boat launch ramp, fishing access, picnic shelters, horseshoe pits, and a playground are also available. The Civil War Confederate Overlook and the Falls Mill Scenic Area are located nearby. Falls Mill was the site of a gristmill on the Little Kanawha River and in addition to the beautiful waterfall; there are picnic tables, a picnic shelter, a ball field, and fishing opportunities with accessible restroom facilities. The Riffle Run Day-Use Area is located near the town of Burnsville. The area offers a launch ramp, picnic shelters, horseshoe pits, a ball field, playgrounds, restrooms, and fishing areas. Accessible restroom facilities are available and a privately-operated marina is also located in this area. The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources stocks trout in the tailwaters in the spring.

Burnsville Lake also has two campgrounds. Riffle Run Campground is located near the dam and marina, and 54 campsites are located in partially wooded areas with electric, water and sewer hookups. Six primitive sites are also available. The campground has accessible shower / restroom facilities, two playgrounds, sewage dump station, fishing, boating and other recreational opportunities such as biking, hiking, and hunting. Reservations are not accepted in Riffle Run Campground. Because of many dedicated volunteers, this area has been operated exclusively by volunteers for several years. Riffle Run has continued to remain open without shortened seasons or reduced services, thanks to volunteer support.

Bulltown Campground has both waterfront and wooded campsites at this very popular destination spot. Electric hookups are available on all 204 sites, and water and sewer hookups are available on 134 of the sites. The campground has accessible shower / restroom facilities, four playgrounds, a fresh water fill-up station, a sewage dump station, two horseshoe pits, a volleyball court, a basketball court, fishing, boating, hiking, biking and hunting. Campsites at Bulltown Campground can be reserved through the National Recreation Reservation Service by phone at 877-444-6777 or online at

Bulltown Historic Area has an interpretive center / museum and historic structures dating back to the mid- to late-1800s. The Cunningham farmstead is located here. Self-guiding trails with an original section of the Weston and Gauley Bridge Turnpike are available for visitors. Special programs and tours of the historic structures and the Civil War Battlefield are available during the summer months. Special tours are also available throughout the year. The Bulltown Historic Area is located at the site of the Battle of Bulltown, which occurred on October 13, 1863. Please call 304-853-2371 for reservations. Living history events and demonstrations are also offered.

Burnsville Lake also offers an extensive 88 mile trail system for hiking, bicycling, and horseback riding. The Weston and Gauley Bridge Turnpike Trail connects Burnsville Lake to Stonewall Jackson Lake and has over 10 miles of picturesque scenery. The Weston and Gauley Bridge Turnpike Trail is on the National Park Service’s National Recreation Trail Register and the National Register of Historical Places.

Burnsville Lake relies on volunteer support to help keep the recreation areas open. Typical volunteer duties include staffing a visitor center, giving tours, providing living history, mowing, string trimming, cleaning facilities and grounds, painting, light carpentry, and general maintenance support.  Selected persons will be given a free full-hookup campsite at either Bulltown or Riffle Run Campground for providing at least 24 hours of work per week. If you are interested in helping the staff at Burnsville Lake, please contact a Park Ranger at 304-853-2371. 


Public Affairs Office

Release no. PA 15-22