A fisherman’s paradise in the Appalachian mountains, Watoga State Park is home to a man-made lake and the Greenbrier River, where you can snag yourself a largemouth bass, channel catfish, bluegill, or trout.
Watoga State Park is tucked away in the West Virginia mountains near the Monongahela National Forest. With more than 10,000 acres in the mountains of Pocahontas County, Watoga State Park is West Virginia’s largest state park, and has endless outdoor recreation activities for you to try. You can hike or run along more than 40 miles of trails, join in at one of the park’s naturalist programs and learn about the plants and animals in the area, or grab a fishing rod and set out on the lake.
What Makes It Great
One of the most popular activities at the park is fishing at Watoga Lake, formerly known as Lake Killbuck. This 11-acre manmade lake is stocked with largemouth bass, channel catfish, bluegill, and trout. While the trout are stocked from January until Memorial Day, you can find them in the deeper, colder water during the summer and fall. The park only allows trolling motors, so if you are looking for solitude and minimal disruptions, this is a great spot to cast your rod. The Greenbrier River also flows through the park, so if you prefer river fishing and riverside camping, you can do that here, too.
If you don’t have your own boat, you can rent a paddleboat, rowboat, canoe, or kayak at the park from Memorial Day weekend until Labor Day. In the winter, you can ice fish at Watoga and get some good catches, although the conditions of the ice are not monitored by park officials.
When you are done catching fish for the day, enjoy a dip in the park’s solar-heated swimming pool, which is open from Memorial Day until Labor Day, or head back to one of the cabins to relax. You can also visit the Ann Bailey’s Lookout Tower, which is named after the famous storyteller and frontierswoman who served in the Revolutionary War.
Who is Going to Love It
Because Watoga State Park has both lake and river fishing, it appeals to a wide variety of anglers. If you are a lone fishermen, you will love the solitude With fishing opportunities year round, including ice fishing on the lake in the winter, anglers can take advantage of the bounties of fish anytime of year. In the summertime, families take advantage of the park for multi-day fishing trips and the riverside campsites.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Take U.S. Route 219 to Seebert Road. The road is just south of Mill Point and north of Hillsboro along 219. Seebert Road becomes County Road 27/3. Follow this to Watoga Park Road. There will be signs directing you to the entrance at Watoga State Park.
A West Virginia fishing license is required to fish at the park’s lake or along the Greenbrier River.