Douthat Lake, Virginia, USA

Welcome to the ultimate guide for history, statistics, local fun facts and the best things to do at Douthat Lake.

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Douthat Lake visitor and community guide

Lake Locations: USA - South - Virginia - Shenandoah Valley -

50-acre Douthat Lake (that’s “DOW-thut”) is surrounded by the beautiful Allegheny Mountains in Virginia’s 4,545-acre Douthat State Park. It’s accessible through year-round cabins (rented by the state park system) and through well-equipped campgrounds that are tent and RV friendly.

Popular activities include fishing, swimming, hiking, picnicking, boat rentals, and water biking. Mountain biking and horseback riding are permitted on designated multi-use trails in the park.

A large swimming beach marks the spot for boat rentals. Your own non-motorized boat can be launched at a gravel ramp.

There’s a daily fee-fishing permit required for trout. Two fishing piers are available. Douthat Lake is stocked with rainbow trout, brown trout, and brook trout – which bite most frequently during spring and fall. You can also catch largemouth bass, sunfish, black crappie, channel catfish and prized chain pickerel. Anglers occasionally catch yellow bullhead catfish, redbreast sunfish, pumpkinseed sunfish, and white suckers.

The dam and lake were completed in 1936, constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The dam, lodge, and some surrounding structures are faced with unusual stonework.

Douthat State Park and its 40+ mile system of 24 trails is a National Historic Landmark. It is one of Virginia’s first state parks, and became a model for many other state parks in the USA. Its elevation peaks at 3,000 feet; nights can be cool.

There’s a restaurant and camp store lakeside. The nearest towns are Clifton Forge and Iron Gate, where you can find groceries, supplies, and gasoline.

If you’re looking for a quiet spot with great trout fishing, surrounded by all the resources of one of Virginia’s finest state parks, Douthat Lake is well worth your visit.

Custom Douthat Lake house decor

Read our full review of these personalized lake house signs.

Things to do at Douthat Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Picnicking
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Horseback Riding
  • State Park

Fish species found at Douthat Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Black Crappie
  • Brook Trout
  • Brown Trout
  • Bullhead Catfish
  • Catfish
  • Chain Pickerel
  • Channel Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Pickerel
  • Pike
  • Pumpkinseed
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Redbreast Sunfish
  • Sucker
  • Sunfish
  • Trout
  • Yellow Bullhead

Best hotels and vacation rentals at Douthat Lake

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Douthat Lake photo gallery

New photos coming soon!

Douthat Lake statistics & helpful links


Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Dammed

Water Level Control: Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

Surface Area: 50 acres

Shoreline Length: 1 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,433 feet

Average Depth: 20 feet

Water Volume: 1,000 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1936

Water Residence Time: 17 days

Drainage Area: 17 sq. miles

Trophic State: Oligo-mesotrophic

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