Tygart Lake State Park: The Complete Visitors’ Guide
About Tygart Lake State Park
Tygart Lake State Park is located in Taylor County, just south of Grafton, WV. The Lake itself stretches across 10 miles, covering a total area of 1,750 acres. Tygart Lake is open to swimming, fishing and boating in its crystal clear waters, with open season taking place between May and September. There are no horsepower limits for boats looking to set out on Tygart Lake, and there are no restricted hours for jet skis. The forest surrounding the lake is filled with trails perfect for walking, hiking and exploring nature.
Tygart Lake was created in 1938 by the US Army Corps of Engineers as an overflow reservoir for Tygart River, the Monongahela River and the Ohio River. Many other notable waterways that flow through North Central West Virginia and into Taylor County find their way to Tygart Lake. Seven years later in 1945 the lake and surrounding area would be officially named and established as the Tygart Lake State Park by the United States Government.
A map of Tygart Lake State Park can be found here, provided by the WV Division of Natural Resources.
For an almost heavenly outdoor adventure, plan your visit to Tygart Lake State Park during leaf peeping season in the fall. Schedule your trip with our guide to the Top Spots for Leaf Peeping in Mountaineer Country.
Things to do on Tygart lake
Tygart Lake Marina
Open seasonally, Tygart Lake Marina is the main hub for all water activities on the lake. Centrally located at the widest point of Tygart Lake, the Marina is lined with docks fit for pontoon and fishing boats. The Marina also offers different options to help you refuel— top-off the gas tank in your boat, or treat yourself to ready-to-go food perfect for a day on the water.
Visitors are welcome to rent boats at the Tygart Lake Marina, or Kayaks from the Tygart Lake State Park Bench Area. Both pontoon boats and fishing boats are available for rental with deposit and under specific guidelines. Check out the Tygart Lake Marina Mountaineer Deal so you can save while you sail!
Tygart Lake Cruises
Depart from Tygart Lake Marina for a peaceful cruise around the lake. Choose between historical cruises, pirate-themed adventures and dinner cruises, or inquire about private cruises and boat rental. Open cruises are scheduled daily for visitors to join on a first come first serve basis. Find a complete schedule of cruises by visiting the Tygart Lake Marina online.
Tygart Lake Fishing
Tygart Lake’s depth and calm waters make it perfect for fishing off a boat. The lake is stocked with a variety of fish, including walleye, catfish, bluegill, bass, crappie, and smallmouth bass. Shoreline fishing is also an option, with over 30-miles of accessible lakeshore. With no special fishing regulations, Tygart Lake welcomes fishermen of all skill levels.
Tygart River Dam
Walk along the Tygart River Dam for an impressive overlook onto the lake below. The dam regulates water flow from the Tygart River into the Lake, and has been owned and operated by the U.S. Corps of Engineers since 1938, when it was first built. The Dam is made from solid concrete, relying on its weight alone to hold back the waters from the Tygart River.
Tygart Lake Public Golf Course
Opened in 1967, the Tygart Lake Public Golf Course features 18-holes across 6,255 yards of golf. The course is rated 69.8 with a slope rating of 123 on blue grass, and has a par of 72. Golfers are welcome to enjoy concessions at the Sandwedge Snack bar, as well as full meals at the Fairway Restaurant. Pick-up equipment and Tygart Lake Golf Course merchandise from the Pro Shop, open seven days a week.
Golfers can prepay their green fees by visiting the Tygart Lake Public Golf Course online. Memberships and season passes are also available, with special discounts available for young professionals, families, senior golfers and corporate golfers.
The golf course is also host to many private events and professional tournaments throughout the year. Check out the Tygart Lake Public Golf Course Facebook page for event information and important updates about the course.
Tygart Lake State Park has five distinct trails, ranging in difficulty from light leisurely strolls to more moderate and challenging hikes. The trails vary in length, following the shoreline and connecting different picnic areas and campsites throughout the park.
- Dogwood Trail – 2 Miles: Explore the wooded area behind the Tygart Lake Lodge along this 2-mile trail. Steep inclines up and down higher elevation makes this a moderately demanding hike.
- Ridge Trail – 0.75 Miles: Catch a glimpse of the local wildlife along this 0.75-mile trail. Accessible via the Picnic Area 3 Parking lot, this moderately hilly trail will take hikers through the forest before ending at the nature center.
- Lake Trail – 0.5 Miles: A quick detour along this 0.5-mile trail will take visitors from the nature center to the shoreline. This trail follows along a small stream over easy-to-traverse hills.
- Woodland Trails – 1.5 Miles: Pass through historic farmland with this 1.5-mile trail located on the southern end of Tygart Lake. This moderate trail takes hikers up and over a decent hill but is reasonably level throughout.
- Tygart Dam Trail – 0.75 Miles: This 0.75-mile trail takes hikers from the Tygart Lake Lodge along a hilly shoreline to the Tygart Lake Dam.
Places to Eat Nearby
Tygart Lake State Park offers light concessions at the Marina, as well as full-menu dining at the Tygart Lake Public Golf Course and Tygart Lake Lodge. For more options, visitors are encouraged to travel just north of Tygart Lake to the town of Grafton, WV. Find national favorites and home-town restaurants perfect for breakfast lunch and dinner.
Espresso Yourself, Jerry’s Restaurant & Lounge, and Lesa’s Place each offer a variety of breakfast options so that you can start your morning right. Leonard’s Grill, Carpi Pizza Parlor, Biggies, Grafton Hometown Pizza and Home Town Hotdogs are lunchtime favorites among locals. Gourmet Express, Eastern Chinese, and White Front Tavern and Grill offer hearty dinner options, perfect after a day on the water.
Looking to stock up on snacks? Tygart Valley Bulk Foods is an Amish style grocery store selling deli meats, cheeses, snacks and gluten-free products. For something sweeter, call ahead to T’s Tasty Treats and order decadent cakes, cookies, and pastries ready for pick-up. Cool off on a hot day with an ice-cold treat from the Summers Dairy Queen. Pack a lunch and head to one of Tygart Lake State Park’s many picnic locations!
Where to Stay
Tygart Lake Lodge
Tygart Lake Lodge overlooks the northern end of Tygart Lake, bringing together modern comforts with natural surroundings. Choose from one of 20 rooms, with executive suites and ADA options available. Multiple venue spaces, tall ceilings, and a grand dining hall are host to activities and group events throughout the year. For outdoor fun, head down to the beach for swimming and canoe and kayak rentals. Don’t forget your four-legged friends! Special pet-rates are available for specific rooms at the Lodge.
Find your own getaway at one of Tygart Lake’s cabins. Go for classic comforts in rustic one-bedroom cabins with AC and full kitchens. Bringing the whole family? Vacation cabins offer multiple rooms and spacing common areas perfect for reunions, holidays and other gatherings. All cabins come with satellite TV, as well as fireplaces and linen service.
Campgrounds & RV Sites
Truly immerse yourself in nature at one of Tygart Lake State Park’s campgrounds and RV sites. Currently, there are 40 sites available for reservations—with both water and electric hookups available at select sites. Sites can be reserved for up to two weeks and are open to RVs, vans, trailers and tents. Picnic areas, showers and restrooms are also available at campgrounds for public use.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Tygart Lake man made?
Yes. Tygart Lake, and the Tygart Lake Dam, were constructed in 1934 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in order to redirect water from the Tygart Valley River and provide flood control for the surrounding area.
How many acres is Tygart Lake?
Tygart Lake stretches 10-miles long, covering an area of 1,750 acres. The surrounding Tygart Lake State Park covers an additional 391 acres.
Is Tygart Lake State Park pet-friendly?
Yes; Dogs and cats are allowed on hiking and walking trails but must be leashed at all times. For camping and overnight stays, Tygart Lake allows up to two animals at once, for $20 per night.
Can you camp at Tygart Lake State Park?
Yes. Currently, there are 40 sites available for reservations—with both water and electric hookups available at select sites. Sites can be reserved for up to two weeks and are open to RVs, vans, trailers and tents. Picnic areas, showers and restrooms are also available at campgrounds for public use.
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