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Beautiful Burnsville Lake was created by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to control flooding along the Little Kanawha River. The Corps began construction of the Burnsville Dam in 1972; the dam became operational in 1978. In addition to flood control, the 968-acre lake provides wildlife management and recreational opportunities such as boating, fishing, camping, cycling, picnicking, and nature watching. The choice is yours.
Boating is one of the most popular activities at Burnsville Lake. Virtually every option is available, as you can rent a jet ski for a fast-paced ride, a pontoon boat for a leisurely cruise, and a canoe for a bit of exercise. Three public boat launches are available. Soon you'll find that there's no better way to discover deep blue waters, emerald green shorelines, and a wide variety of flora and fauna than from the very center of it all.
Visitors to the lake who are truly looking to escape for awhile love the area campgrounds. The Riffle Run Campground is located near the dam and marina. This campground offers 60 sites, some with water, sewage, and electric hookups, and others with primitive tent sites. The campground also features restroom facilities and a playground for the younger members of the family. Bulltown Campground features 204 waterfront and wooded campsites with electric hook-ups. This campground also offers restrooms and playgrounds. The Bulltown Recreation Areas offer a swimming beach with restrooms, boat launch ramp, fishing access, picnic shelters, and horseshoe pits. When you make the decision to camp, look forward to nights below the stars, close to waters lapping against the shores, and dinners cooked over an open flame.
Fishing is a favorite Burnsville Lake pastime, and the reservoir is home to bluegill, carp, channel catfish, crappie, flathead catfish, largemouth bass, long-nosed gar, muskellunge, rock bass, sauger, saugeye, smallmouth bass, trout, sunfish, and walleye. Renting a boat is easy; all you need to bring is your bait box and a West Virginia fishing license.
Normal summer pool elevation of Burnsville Lake is 789 feet above sea level. The Corps of Engineers lowers water levels from October through March in anticipation of winter snows and spring rains. The lake's winter pool elevation is 776 feet above sea level, which reduces the lake's acreage from 968 acres to 550 acres.
If you're just aching to get out on the area trails, you have three options: on foot, on bicycle, or on horseback. Several trails snake their way around the lake and through the surrounding forests. Trail maps may be procured at the Burnsville Lake project office; while you're there, be sure to ask for recommendations about the best trails for your activities.
Burnsville Lake is an area of central West Virginia full of natural beauty and widely varied recreational opportunities. If you've been thinking about getting away from your everyday life, you'll soon come to the same conclusion as all of the lake's visitors: Burnsville Lake is the perfect place for your outdoorsy desires.
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