Jennings Randolph Lake

Quick Facts

Jennings Randolph Lake

West Virginia

(304) 355-2346

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

Tucked between Garreett County, Maryland, and Mineral County, West Virginia, Jennings Randolph Lake stretches along 5.5 miles of spectacular countryside on the North Branch of the Potomac River. The area is renowned for its unspoiled wilderness and natural beauty. The lake provides a sanctuary for countless birds, animals and fish where nature comes first and having fun is a close second. Jennings Randolph Lake offers something for everyone, be it hiking, fishing, camping, boating, or nature walks.

The lake is a 952-acre reservoir that was constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and completed in 1981.

Map of Jennings Randolph Lake

Latitude, Longitude: 39.413650, -79.136840

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Activities

  • Boating

    The Howell Run Boat Launch (located off WV State Route 46) consists of a wide two-lane concrete ramp, with a floating dock for temporary loading and unloading of boats. The large paved parking area insures plenty of parking spaces and a comfort facility is available for the boater's convenience. Motorboats, sailboats, and other watercraft frequent the lake with water skiing and fishing being the most popular pastime. A vault toilet comfort station is available at the launch facility. Both the comfort station and the launch ramp are lighted at night. A day use fee is charged for launching trailered boats; however, annual passes are available. The annual pass will be valid for 12 months from the date of sale. There is no launching fee for registered campers and Golden Age/Golden Access cardholders are entitled to a discount towards the boat launch fee. The Maryland Boat Launch is on Mt. Zion Road off Maryland state route 135 on Backbone Mountain. The launch includes a thirty-foot wide, 600-foot long concrete boat ramp with a floating pier system. The large paved parking area can accommodate fifty cars and trailers and a comfort facility is available for the boater's convenience. Motorboats, sailboats, and other watercraft frequent the lake with water skiing and fishing being the most popular pastime. Both the comfort station and the launch ramp are lighted at night. The Maryland Boat Launch has a service charge.

  • Camping

    The campground has 82 campsites, of which 70 have electrical services. The facility has hot showers, water hydrants every third or fourth site, and flush toilets at the washhouse and in the back loop comfort station.The campground also features a playground for children, campground store, horseshoe pits, and an amphitheater for evening programs presented by the ranger staff on Saturday nights. A large group picnic shelter with electricity, potable water, a full basketball court and horseshoe pits is also available. In addition, the "High Timber" and "Sunset" trails are provided for your hiking enjoyment. The "High Timber Trail" is a 3/4 mile tree identification trail while the Sunset Trail offers the hiker a panoramic view of the back of the dam and breathtaking sunsets.

  • Fishing

    During the past four years, a total of 2,500,000 walleye fry have been released into Jennings Randolph Lake by WV Fisheries and 13,000 rainbow, cutthroat and brown trout by MD DNR. Prior stockings of largemouth and smallmouth bass have proved successful and are reproducing well. Fishing is quickly becoming one of the most popular attractions at the lake.

  • Hiking

    The High Timber Trail is a 3/4 mile tree identification trail while the Sunset Trail offers the hiker a panoramic view of the back of the dam and breathtaking sunsets.

  • Picnicking

    The picnic area is nestled into the rugged hillside and provides the picnicker with a beautiful view of the lake. In addition, a one mile down and back lakeside trail provides the visitor a means to walk off that large picnic lunch.The Howell Run Picnic Area has 26 picnic tables, 13 grills, two covered pavilions, a comfort facility with flush toilets, potable water, playground equipment, volleyball court, and two horseshoe pits for visitors enjoyment. The two covered pavilions each accommodate approximately 50 guests and are equipped with large, group-size grills. The shelters are available for reservations or can be used on a first-come, first-saved basis. Contact a member of the ranger staff for reservations or call the administration office at (304) 355-2346 during the hours of 7:30 AM to 4:00 PM, Monday through Friday

  • Water Sports

    The Shaw Beach offers a place to cool off on a hot summer day, sand on your feet, a sunny grassy area for relaxing with your favorite book or enjoy the view of the lake. The facility includes a forty-car parking lot, two hundred-foot swim beach, restroom/changing building, playground equipment, water fountains, foot wash station, information bulletin board, and picnic tables.The Corps does not provide lifeguards but does provide safety throw rings each day the beach is open. Beach rules and regulations are posted on the bulletin board. The area is generally open from the week before Memorial Day through the week after Labor Day.

Park Partners

Friends of Jennings Randolph Lake

Friends of Jennings Randolph Lake is non-profit organization with the sole purpose of providing additional recreational opportunities and to protect the environment for future generations to enjoy.

Directions

Driving

DIRECTIONS TO JENNINGS RANDOLPH LAKE FROM BALTIMORE, MARYLAND From Baltimore take 70 West to Frederick, Hagerstown and Hancock. Then follow signs Rt. 68 to Cumberland. Follow Interstate 68 which goes directly onto the Freeway in Cumberland. Stay on Freeway a short distance and make right turn at Exit 220 South Greene Street. At stop light turn left which is Rt. 220 South and will take you through Cresaptown. Follow Rt. 220 South signs that will take you to McCoole, MD, and across the bridge into Keyser, WV Continue on Rt. 220 South to New Creek, WV which goes into Rt. 50 West, turn right at top of mountain on Rt. 42 North to Elk Garden, WV. Go into Elk Garden and keep to the right towards Rt. 46 East which brings you down pass the boat launch area and at the top of the hill, left brings you to the Visitors Center and Park Office and right will take you to the campground.

DIRECTIONS TO JENNINGS RANDOLPH LAKE FROM KEYSER, WV Follow Rt. 220 South signs that takes you to New Creek, WV, which goes into Rt. 50 West. Turn right at top of the mountain on Rt. 42 North to Elk Garden, WV. Go into Elk Garden and bear to the right on Rt. 46 East which brings you down pass the boat launch and to the top of the hill. At the top of the hill, turn left to the Visitors Center and Park Office or right will take you to the campground.

DIRECTIONS TO JENNINGS RANDOLPH LAKE FROM BLOOMINGTON, MD Coming from Bloomington, MD go on Rt. 135 West turn left on Rt. 38 South into Kitzmiller, MD. Go across the bridge and railroad tracks onto Rt. 42 South which comes into Elk Garden, WV then turn left on Rt. 46 East. This brings you down pass the boat launch area and at the top of the hill, left brings you to the Visitors Center and Park Office or right will take you to the campground.

DIRECTIONS FROM CUMBERLAND MD TO MARYLAND BOAT LAUNCH AT JENNINGS RANDOLPH LAKE From Cumberland, MD take I-68 to Exit 34, Rt. 36 to Westernport, MD (14.8 miles). Turn right on Rt. 135 at the intersection of Rt. 36 and Rt. 135. Take Rt. 135 West to Mt. Zion Road (10.2 miles). Turn left on Mt. Zion Road follow the signs to the boat launch.

DIRECTIONS TO JENNINGS RANDOLPH LAKE FROM ROMNEY, WV From Romney, WV follow Rt. 50 West this will bring you to New Creek. Continue on Rt. 50 West Saddle Mountain View on the left, go a short distance and turn right on Rt. 42 North to Elk Garden, WV. Go into Elk Garden, you will see a gate right beside the road on the left at the Elk Garden School bear to your right on Rt. 46 East. Continue until you pass the Howell Run Boat Launch on your left, at the top of the next hill, turn left into the WV Overlook and Park Offices. Continuing straight on Rt. 46 East for an additional ½ mile will bring you to the Robert W. Craig Campground on your left.

TO JENNINGS RANDOLPH LAKE FROM MORGANTOWN, WV Take I 68 East towards Cumberland, MD. Take Rt. 42 to Friendsville, MD exit off Interstate 68. Follow that road to the top of the hill until you come to intersection follow signs 219 south. Go approximately 4 to 5 miles and turn left at Little Sandy's Restaurant on left this is Sand Flat Road. Follow Sand Flat Road to next intersection and turn left on 135 east. Go on 135 east until you see signs that say 38 South into Kitzmiller, MD. Once in Kitzmiller cross the bridge into West Virginia, (42 South). Continue on 42 South into Elk Garden, WV. Continue through Elk Garden then turn left onto Rt. 46 East. Continue until you pass the Howell Run Boat Launch on your left, at the top of the next hill, turn left into the WV Overlook and Park Offices. Continuing straight on Rt. 46 East for an additional ½ mile will bring you to the Robert W. Craig Campground on your left.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(304) 355-2346

Weather

(304) 355-2890

Links