Let’s take a journey back in time. Beech Fork Lake was in its infancy. To add recreational opportunities the Corps of Engineers helped create the Rock Hollow Trail.
This seemed to be a feature trail, as it contained a scenic overlook, diverse terrain, plant, and animal life, and covered a distance slightly less than a mile. To add an educational, interactive component the Corps placed numbered wooden posts along the path and provided a handout with information on specific landmarks each post was intended to highlight.
Today about half of the wooden posts are standing and the handouts look like they came from an antique store on 14th Street West. However, the Rock Hollow Trail remains beautiful, wild and wonderful!
Enter the Friends of Beech Fork, a non-profit organization geared toward improving the facilities at Beech Fork Lake and preserving our resources for future generations. Together with Professor David Graefe of Marshall University and funding from the Wayne County Economic Development Authority and The US Army Corps of Engineers the Friends group launched the Rock Hollow Trail Project, which grows nearer to completion every day.
The Rock Hollow Trail, located across the road from the visitor center, will see several improvements. The main feature will be new educational and interactive signs. The signs were custom designed to provide information specifically relevant to the Rock Hollow Trail. They boast facts and images on subjects such as wildlife, geology, history of the area and lake, and ecology.
At this time the signs are drafted and being finalized. And the Friends group is confident the Rock Hollow Trail will serve as a marquee project that will attract future funding.
If you want to experience the Rock Hollow Trail with its original wooden posts and handouts you had better go soon! They will not be there for much longer.
Another update coming to Beech Fork Lake is the development of a new hiking trail, which was nicknamed Romie’s Run in honor of a Friends board member who discovered the trail. It seems the name is going to stick as Eagle Scouts are currently working to clear and mark the trail with the guidance of park rangers and Romie himself.
When completed this trail will be about 4 miles long and pass through an array of scenery including lakeside single track, creek crossings, an old overgrown road and incredible rock formations. This will likely be one of the more difficult and certainly beautiful trails around.
Other trails at Beech Fork Lake Marina include the Beaver Pond Trail and Twin Coves, which can be found closer to the swimming area. The trailheads are at the end of the parking lot that is furthest from the swimming area, somewhat tucked into the woods. After a short walk, the trails split and eventually merge back together creating a loop of about 3 miles. These trails are clear, well marked and feature both single and double track terrain.
Finally there is the Lakeside Trail that begins below the tower at the dam and follows along the lake to the swimming area. It is relatively flat and features great views of the lake.
Lots to see and do! Escape the heat under the canopy of the trees while visiting wildlife, beautiful scenery and exploring our heritage!