Burnsville Lake

Quick Facts

Burnsville Lake

West Virginia

(304) 853-2371

Map Directions

Things To Do


Although the primary purpose of the dam is flood control, Burnsville Lake offers many recreational opportunities such as hunting, fishing, picnicking, hiking, camping, and much more. At the Burnsville Lake Dam and the Riffle Run Campground/Day-Use/Boat Launch, you can take advantage of camping at one of sixty sites (non-reservable, electric & non-electric), take a picnic or plan a family reunion at one of the four reservable shelters. Boat rentals and storage are available at the marina. Take a trip back in time at the Bulltown Historical Village to get a taste of pioneer life during the Civil War Era. At Bulltown Campground, you can camp next to the lake, or surround yourself in the forest, at one of the 204 campsites (reservable, electric & non-electric). Plan a get together at one of the two reservable shelters in the day-use area. The swimming beach is located nearby.

Map of Burnsville Lake

Latitude, Longitude: 38.823393, -80.611324



  • Boating

    Launch ramps for the boating enthusiasts and fishermen are located at the Riffle Run Day Use Area, Bulltown Day Use Area and Bulltown Camping Area.

  • 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. Under West Virginia law, all riders under the age of 15 years MUST wear a protective helmet.

  • Camping

    Riffle Run Campground will be closed for the 2010 camping season due to site renovations through the America Reinvestment Recovery Act (ARRA) Stimulus Program. Riffle Run Campground offers 60 sites: 5 three-point hookups (water, sewage, and electric), 49 with electrical hookups, and 6 primitive and tent sites. Shower and restroom facilities, a playground, sewage dump-stations, and fresh water fill-up stations are also located within the campground. Riffle Run campground is on a first come-first serve basis. Bulltown Campground has 204 sites: 22 sites with 30 amp electrical hook-ups, 48 sites with 50 amp electrical hookups, and 134 sites with 50 amp electrical, water, and sewer hookups. Restroom and shower facilities, playgrounds, dump-stations, fresh water fill-up stations, an interpretive shelter that may be reserved by campers for special occasions, and a boat launch ramp are located within the campground. The campsites vary from waterfront to wood lot. To make a reservation at Bulltown Campground, call toll-free 1-877-444-6777 or visit on the internet at www.recreation.gov during peak season. Bulltown Campground sites during the non-peak season are on a first-come, first-serve basis.

  • Fishing

    Game fish occurring are largemouth and smallmouth bass, rock bass, bluegill, sunfish, walleye, Saugeye, Sauger, crappie, muskellunge, channel catfish, flathead catfish, long-nosed gar, and carp. Trout are also stocked in the tailwaters during the spring. West Virginia fishing licenses are required.

  • Hiking

    Several trails are located at Burnsville Lake. A trail system map can be obtained at the project office, campground entrance stations, or from Park Rangers.

  • Historic Sites

    The Bulltown Historic Area includes a visitor's center, structures dating back to mid to late 1800's, and a Civil War battlefield. Tours of the area may be arranged through the staff at the visitor center or you can take a self-guided tour using various interpretive plaques placed throughout the area. On October 13, 1863, the Battle of Bulltown occurred near the Union trenches. This skirmish lasted only 12 hours. The Confederate forces were led by Colonel William L. Jackson (a native of Lewis County, Virginia-now West Virginia-and first cousin of 'Stonewall

  • Horseback Riding

    Private (non-commercial) horseback riding is permitted at the Burnsville Lake Wildlife Management Area on the established trail system, however horses are not permitted in camping and day use areas. Contact Burnard Gibson at French Creek DNR for specific regulations and details at 304-924-6211.

  • Hunting

    Wild game mostly occuring are white-tailed deer, turkey, and squirrel including some rabbit and bear.

  • Picnicking

    Picnic shelters are located at the Bulltown Day Use Area and the Riffle Run Day Use Area. All shelters are available on a first come, first served basis except when reserved in advance. A fee is required for reserving a shelter. Picnic shelters may be reserved by calling the National Recreation Reservation Service toll-free at 1-877-444-6777 or visit on the internet at www.recreation.gov . Shelter #1 and Shelter #2 are located downstream below Burnsville Dam, Shelter #3 and Shelter #4 are located just behind the dam in the Left Fork Picnic Area, and Shelter #5 and Shelter #6 are located in the Bulltown Day Use Area. There are also picnic tables at all recreation areas on the Burnsville Lake project.

  • RVing

    Contact the park for more information.

  • Water Sports

    A swimming beach with restrooms, change booths, and outside showers is located at the Bulltown Day Use Area. No lifeguards are provided. Swim at your own risk.



To visit the Burnsville Lake Dam and the Riffle Run Campground/Day-Use/Boat Launch take exit 79 from Interstate 79, then travel 2.5 miles East of Route 5. To visit the Bulltown Historical Area and the Bulltown Campground/Day-Use/Beach/Boat Launch take exit 67 from Interstate 79, then travel approximately 10 miles East on Route 4/19.

Phone Numbers


(304) 853-2371

Campground reservations

(877) 444-6777