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50-acre Douthat Lake (that's "DOW-thut") is surrounded by the beautiful Allegheny Mountains in Virginia's 4,545-acre Douthat State Park. It's accessible through year-round cabins (rented by the state park system) and through well-equipped campgrounds that are tent and RV friendly.
Popular activities include fishing, swimming, hiking, picnicking, boat rentals, and water biking. Mountain biking and horseback riding are permitted on designated multi-use trails in the park.
A large swimming beach marks the spot for boat rentals. Your own non-motorized boat can be launched at a gravel ramp.
There's a daily fee-fishing permit required for trout. Two fishing piers are available. Douthat Lake is stocked with rainbow trout, brown trout, and brook trout - which bite most frequently during spring and fall. You can also catch largemouth bass, sunfish, black crappie, channel catfish and prized chain pickerel. Anglers occasionally catch yellow bullhead catfish, redbreast sunfish, pumpkinseed sunfish, and white suckers.
The dam and lake were completed in 1936, constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The dam, lodge, and some surrounding structures are faced with unusual stonework.
Douthat State Park and its 40+ mile system of 24 trails is a National Historic Landmark. It is one of Virginia's first state parks, and became a model for many other state parks in the USA. Its elevation peaks at 3,000 feet; nights can be cool.
There's a restaurant and camp store lakeside. The nearest towns are Clifton Forge and Iron Gate, where you can find groceries, supplies, and gasoline.
If you're looking for a quiet spot with great trout fishing, surrounded by all the resources of one of Virginia's finest state parks, Douthat Lake is well worth your visit.
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