Sutton Lake

Quick Facts

Sutton Lake

West Virginia

(304) 765-2816

Map Directions

Things To Do


Sutton Lake covers 1440 acres and is a beautiful lake, winding 14 miles along the Elk River, with many coves along its 40 miles of shoreline. The lake is 125 feet deep at the dam. Sutton Dam is located just above the Town of Sutton, 101 miles above the mouth of the Elk River in Charleston. It is a concrete-gravity structure 210 feet high, 1,178 feet long, and 195 feet wide at the base. It controls a 537 square mile drainage area, including the upper Elk River, and the Holly River. Sutton Dam was built primarily for flood control on the Elk, Kanawha and Ohio Rivers. During periods of flooding, water is stored behind the dam, frequently reducing the severity of flooding below the dam. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers operates and maintains the dam and project recreation facilities. A small visitor center is located at the Project Office. Restrooms are located at the Project Office and all recreation areas.

Map of Sutton Lake

Latitude, Longitude: 38.662459, -80.693722



  • Boating

    Launch ramps for the boating enthusiasts and fishermen are located at Bee Run Day Use Area, Bakers Run campground, Gerald R. Freeman campground, and the South Abutment Day Use Area, behind the Dam. Specific boating and other rules and regulations are available at the marina or the Corps office at the dam. There is a Day Use fee for boat launching. Frequent boat launchers may purchase an Annual Day Use Pass at the Project Office. Golden Age Passports, Golden Access Passports, and America the Beautiful Passes may be used for discount at all Federally operated areas where a fee is charged. Passes are honored, but not issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

  • Bicycling

    Bicycles are permitted on main roads and campground areas. Contact a Park Attendant or Ranger for the location of areas conducive to off-road bicycling. Special regulations must be observed on the DNR leased areas of the project. Under West Virginia law, all riders under the age of 15 years MUST wear a protective helmet.

  • Camping

    Campsites at Sutton Lake are available at Gerald R. Freeman Campground, Bakers Run Campground, and Bee Run Campground. Gerald R. Freeman Campground, with 159 sites, and Bakers Run Campground, with 79 sites, are Class A areas, with heated shower houses, dump stations, water fountains, playgrounds, boat launch ramps, and some electric hook-ups. Gerald R. Freeman Campground also has a small marina. Sites are usually available on a first - come first- serve basis. Gerald R. Freeman Campground does accept reservations. Bee Run Campground is a primitive area, with limited facilities. Gerald R. Freeman and Bee Run Campgrounds open in late May and close after deer season, in early December. Baker's Run Campground opens in late May and closes in mid to late October. Shoreline camping is not permitted.

  • Fishing

    Fishermen find bass, crappie, catfish, and sunfish plentiful in the lake. The Elk River below the dam is well known for muskie and walleye fishing, and trout are stocked in the Down Stream Area in the spring and fall. A handicap accessible fishing pier has been constructed at the Downstream Area to offer easier access to the quality fishing below the dam. Of course, you do not have to be a fisherman to enjoy the natural beauty on and around Sutton Lake. Sportsmen are required to have a West Virginia hunting and/or fishing license.

  • Hiking

    Fire roads and hunter trails provide foot access to many remote areas around Sutton Lake and the Elk River Wildlife Management Area.

  • Hunting

    The Corps of Engineers owns more than 12,000 acres, of which, 10,235 acres are leased to the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources. This property combined with the state owned 6,949 acres of the Elk River Wildlife Management Area, constitutes nearly 18,000 acres of public hunting lands. The terrain is diverse and so large, it is managed in two sections, the Elk and Holly sections. The Elk River section is primarily made up of steep hills, ridges, and benches. The Holly River section is on the north side of the lake and consists of forested hills and open farmlands. Game animals found at Sutton Lake include deer, turkey, squirrel, ruffed grouse, Canadian geese, and other water fowl. Hunters are required to have a West Virginia hunting license.

  • Picnicking

    Picnic sites are available in all recreation areas. There are five picnic shelters in the Day Use Areas at Sutton Lake. Two shelters are located in the Downstream Day Use Area, two in the Bee Run Day Use Area, and one is located at the South Abutment Day Use Area. Shelters are available on a first-come-first-serve basis unless reserved. Shelters may be reserved in advance for a fee.

  • RVing

    Please call the primary number for more information.

  • Water Sports

    Swimming beaches are located at the South Abutment and Bee Run Day Use Areas. No lifeguards are provided. Swim at your own risk.



Take Interstate 79 to exit 64, the Sutton/Gassaway exit, follow signs to Sutton Dam (North on Route 4).

Phone Numbers


(304) 765-2816


(304) 765-2705

Campground reservations

(877) 444-6777