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Aerial view of Tygart Lake and dam

Tygart Lake

530 Paul E. Malone Road
Grafton, WV  26354-7136
(304) 265-1760
Daily Lake & Recreation Information:
(304) 265-5953


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Authorized by the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1935, Tygart Dam was the first of 16 flood control projects in the Pittsburgh District. The project provides flood protection for the Tygart River Valley as well as for the Monongahela and upper Ohio Rivers.

Tygart has the capability to store the equivalent run-off of 4.56 inches of precipitation from its 1,184 square mile drainage area. The project’s flood control benefits were dramatically demonstrated during the November 1985 floods when Tygart alone prevented an amazing $195.8 million in damages and lowered flood crests along the Monongahela River by as much as 6.8 feet. Since its completion in 1938, Tygart has prevented flood damages estimated to be nearly $1.2 billion. When compared to the flood control benefits which have resulted, the $18.5 million construction costs are greatly overshadowed.

In addition to flood control, the Tygart project was also authorized for navigation and water supply purposes.  During the summer and fall low-water season, Tygart releases additional water downstream to meet navigation water supply requirements on the Monongahela and upper Ohio River for commercial navigation. The increased flow also improves water quality and quantity for domestic and industrial use, recreation, esthetics and aquatic life.

Recreation, Events, Facilities & Activities


Located in the picturesque West Virginia countryside, Tygart Lake's blue waters and irregular shoreline contrast with the surrounding steep mountain terrain. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers invites you to discover the beauty of Tygart Lake and its scenic vistas that provide the ideal setting for many outdoor recreational activities.

With the exception of the administrative area in the vicinity of the dam, the lake and its surrounding Federal lands are out-granted by the Corps of Engineers to the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources as part of Tygart Lake State Park and the Pleasant Creek Hunting and Fishing Area.

The steep, wooded mountainsides and the clear inviting waters of the lake attract many visitors to Tygart for a day of relaxation and enjoyment. Located around the lake are several picnic areas, hiking trails, playgrounds, and the State Park's swim beach. The beach has a well maintained sunbathing area and a cement deck that extends into the warm waters of the lake. Certified lifeguards are on duty at the beach to insure the safety of swimmers. The exceptional clarity of Tygart Lake is also attracting an ever increasing number of scuba divers to explore the lake's depths, especially in the area of Henderson's Rocks.

Tygart Lake's 10 mile length and deep waters have made the lake a popular site for power boaters and water-skiing enthusiasts. The lake's irregular shoreline also provides many inlets and backwater areas for canoes and small fishing boats to explore. Excellent access to the lake is provided by four boat launching ramps and a public marina contributing to the lake's popularity with boaters.

Tygart Lake is considered by many to be one of the best bass waters in the area and fishing its deep waters can be a rewarding and exciting experience. In addition to bass, anglers will find abundant walleye, muskie, crappie, perch and numerous pan fish. All species of fish found in Tygart Lake are sustained through natural reproduction rather than by stocking attesting to the exceptional water quality of the lake. Fishing for rainbow and golden trout, which are periodically stocked in the tail waters of Tygart Dam, is also popular with many anglers.

Those seeking overnight accommodations at Tygart Lake have a choice between lodge or cabin facilities available at the State Park.  There are also campgrounds available at the State Park and the Pleasant Creek Public Hunting and Fishing Area for those desiring a more rustic experience during their stay.

Current Events

Life Jacket Loaner Program

The Boat/U.S. Foundation for Boating Safety has funded a Life Jacket Loaner Program for Kids at Tygart Lake. The Boat/U.S. Foundation for Boating Safety will provide the Corps of Engineers 15 life jackets of various sizes for children. Tygart Lake marina operator Dan Williams of Grafton, WV and the Corps have partnered together to provide the free children's life jackets for short-term loan throughout the summer boating season. The U.S. Coast Guard requires recreational boats to have a wearable life jacket on board for each passenger, but life jackets suitable for children are not always available.  In addition, the Corps requires that children under 10 years of age wear a life jacket while boating.  Children are especially at risk on and near the water.  A properly sized life jacket can be the difference between life and death for a small child.  The life jackets come in three sizes: infant, child, and youth.  A boater merely signs out the jacket (s) and returns it at the end of the day.


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Tygart Lake will hold tours of Tygart Dam every Friday in June, July and August. The tours of the dam are free to the public, however pre-registration is required and tour size is limited. To register for a tour, please call the Corps of Engineers office at Tygart Lake at 304-265-1760. Registration for tours is permitted up until the day of the tour on a first-come, first-served basis. Upon arrival, all adults will be required to present valid photo identification. Check-in time is at 12:45 pm and the tour begins at 1:00 pm. Foreign nationals must apply 30 days in advance for approval to go on a tour.

Facilities and Activities


  Dam Site Grafton City Park

Pleasant Creek

Tygart Lake State Park
 Accessible Facilities  X X X
Boat Launch Ramp X X X
Boat Rental   X
Campground     X X
Camper Dump Station   X
Drinking Water X X
Electric Hookups     X
Information Center X    
Marina     X
Picnic Area  X     X
Restroom Facilities X X  
Showers       X
Swim Area        
Trail X     X


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