Boley Lake is easily accessible, but Glade Creek requires some more physical hiking and climbing to reach the shoreline.
Time To Complete
Spring, Summer, and Fall
Boley Lake closes for the winter, usually at the end of October, and remains closed until the first trout stocking around February. The lake is officially open from the Saturday before Memorial Day until Labor Day.
On Leash Only
There are no fees to enter the park for day use, but cabin rental and recreational facilities do have varying costs. See website for more information.
Babcock State Park covers 4,127 acres of rugged beauty in Clifftop, WV, adjacent to the New River Gorge National River. The park is very rural, creating a serene atmosphere where you can really connect with nature. It has two fishing areas: Glade Creek and Boley Lake. Glade Creek is stocked with trout, and is home to one of the state’s most iconic landmarks—the Glade Creek Grist Mill. The 19-acre Boley Lake sits atop a nearby mountain ridge, and has trout, largemouth bass, and bluegill. The park headquarters has a gift shop, and there are several picnic shelters, hiking trails, and overlooks in the area.
What Makes It Great
Since there are two different options for fishing here, a creek versus a lake, anglers have the option of whichever best suits their needs. Boley Lake is peaceful, and while it’s not known as the most reliable spot to catch a fish, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (WVDNR) does stock it with trout each month from February through May. Each angler is allowed 6 per day. You can also find largemouth bass and bluegill.
The lake is non-motorized, making it all that more tranquil. Bring your jon boat with trolley motor (no gas-powered motors) and discover the nooks and crannies of this waterway. The only other people likely to cross your path are explorers in paddleboats or kayaks, or on stand-up paddleboards. If you prefer to travel by foot, a trail zig-zags along the hillside and follows the shoreline.
Glade Creek offers an alternative to casting on a lake. This trout stream snakes through the hillsides, passing by the park headquarters and grist mill. The creek is also stocked, sometimes year-round. But reaching the water can be difficult, so be cautious along the shoreline.
Since these two spots are within Babcock State Park, the staff is available if you need information about proper bait or suggestions about the best shoreline locations. Just stop by the park headquarters; they are always willing to help.
Who is Going to Love It
Fishing at Glade Creek requires hiking and climbing to get to an ideal spot, so you should be in good physical shape. Boley Lake, on the other hand, is great for beginners and families. In this secluded setting, a simple boat, trusty pole, and a little bait is all you really need.
Babcock State Park is also great for anglers who want to enjoy a quiet, relaxing day. Boley Lake is far from civilization, with the exception of the park amenities. If you aren’t a fan of crowds, but don’t want to be completely secluded, this is the place for you.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
To reach Babcock State Park, take US-60 East off of Route 19 and follow it until you reach WV-41 South. Continue on WV-41 South for about 4 miles, then turn onto Babcock Road in Clifftop, WV.
Boley Lake closes for the winter, usually at the end of October, and remains closed until the first trout stocking around February. In season, which is from the Saturday before Memorial Day until Labor Day, you can park next to the lake.
Boley Lake is non-motorized. There are no boat ramps and swimming is not allowed. Paddleboat and canoe rentals are available in the summer. Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) are mandatory.
All anglers must get a West Virginia Fishing License. Visit the WVDNR's website for a list of local vendors. Mealworms and nightcrawlers are typical bait, but live minnows are prohibited.