Jennings Randolph Lake, Maryland & West Virginia, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Mid-Atlantic - Maryland - Western - South - West Virginia - Potomac Highlands -

Also known as:  Jennings Randolph Reservoir, Bloomington Lake

Jennings Randolph Lake is nestled in a scenic valley along the North Branch Potomac River. This portion of the Potomac creates the county and state border between Garrett County, Maryland and Mineral County, West Virginia. The rural lakes and rivers of West Virginia’s eastern panhandle and Maryland’s western panhandle make this a popular tourist area. Drawn to the steep rugged hills of the northern Allegheny Mountains, residents of Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C. find respite on the beautiful water of Jennings Randolph Lake, less than 150 miles from home.

Jennings Randolph Reservoir was completed in 1982 as part of the Jennings Randolph Lake project. Originally named Bloomington Lake, the reservoir was renamed in honor of West Virginia Representative and Senator Jennings Randolph. Located eight miles north of the mouth of Savage River, the reservoir’s 952 acres are an impoundment of the North Branch Potomac River. Savage River dam and Jennings Randolph Lake dam are operated by the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers. These two dams work in combination to protect water quality, manage flood control, provide regional water supplies and create recreational opportunities. The Water Resources Development Act of 1988 added downstream whitewater recreation to the project purposes.

ReserveAmerica consistently ranks the recreation areas at Jennings Randolph Lake among the country’s best. Found within the park’s 4,500 acres is a campground offering over 80 campsites with hot showers, restrooms, washhouse, playground, camp store, horseshoe pits, and an amphitheater for Saturday evening programs. Howell Run Picnic Area is set on a hillside offering sweeping views of Jennings Randolph Lake and its 14-mile shoreline. Pack your lunch and plan to spend the day enjoying the playground, volleyball court, and horseshoe pits. Amenities at the picnic area include tables, grills, restrooms, and covered pavilions available with reservation and daily fee.

Shaw Beach is open to swimmers from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Come prepared for fun and relaxation along the 200-foot swimming beach. Dedicated sun-seekers will appreciate the additional grassy space where you can stretch out and soak up the rays. Facilities found at the beach include restrooms and changing building, playground, water fountains, foot-wash station and picnic tables. Life guards are not on duty so always keep safety in mind.

With a length of 5.5 miles, Jennings Randolph Reservoir is a boater’s delight. Two paved boat launches are available. Howell Run Boat Launch is maintained by the Corps of Engineers and can be found off West Virginia’s State Route 46. A day use fee or annual pass is required to use the launch unless you are a registered camper. Mt. Zion Road leads to Maryland’s 30-foot wide, 600-foot long boat launch. Maryland also requires a fee to use their launch ramp. Both launch sites include a floating dock, paved parking lot, restrooms and nighttime lighting.

With at least four state trout fishing records having been drawn from the lake’s waters, it is no wonder that fishing is the number one attraction at Jennings Randolph Reservoir. In 1989 Maryland Department of Natural Resources was granted a license to raise trout in a portion of the stilling basin. Over the past years West Virginia released 2,500,000 walleye fry and Maryland released 13,000 rainbow, cutthroat and brown trout into Randolph Jennings Reservoir. The coordinated water flow from Randolph Jennings dam and Savage River dam has improved the wild trout population downstream of the dams. In addition to trout, species found in Jennings Randolph Lake and North Branch Potomac River include common shiner, river chub, spottail shiner, white sucker, yellow bullhead, tiger muskellunge, Potomac sculpin, Blue Ridge sculpin, bluegill, smallmouth bass and largemouth bass.

The addition of Barnum Whitewater Area (BWA) in 1988 created a major new attraction at Jennings Randolph Lake. When sufficient water is available each spring and fall, the Corps release enough water from Jennings Randolph Reservoir to create Class I, II and III whitewater rapids. The run will carry you seven miles from Barnum, West Virginia to Bloomington, Maryland. Along the run, paddlers find areas of calm water perfect for swimming and fishing what is considered one of the best trout streams east of the Mississippi. Barnum Whitewater Area is managed by Mineral County Park and Recreation Commission. For convenience, the Commission also maintains year-round camping cabins in Barnum.

On either side of the former Bloomington Lake, visitors find endless opportunities to explore the outdoors. Within the Potomac Highland Tourism Region of West Virginia and a short walk from the Barnum Whitewater Area, lies 1200 acres of the Allegheny Wildlife Management Area. Another 5,000 acres of the wildlife area lies immediate east of Jennings Randolph Lake. Hunting bear, deer, grouse, squirrel, turkey, bobcat, gray and red foxes, and raccoon is permitted within the wildlife area.

Twenty miles northwest of Jennings Randolph Lake, you will find Deep Creek Lake, pride of the Western Maryland Tourism Region. This 3,900-acre reservoir is Maryland’s largest freshwater lake. Activities at Deep Creek Lake include fishing, boating, swimming, hiking, biking and golf. When winter weather arrives, activities turn to ice fishing, skiing, snowboarding and tubing. Drive a few miles north and discover Savage River State Forest. Contained within the forest’s 54,000 acres are 12,000 acres of “wildlands” waiting to be explored. Activities listed within the forest include biking, boating, cross-country skiing, camping, fishing, canoeing, hiking, hunting, picnicking, horseback riding and snowmobiling.

Knowing that there are few more beautiful places to live or vacation, lake-view properties are becoming available around Jennings Randolph Lake. Select hilltop cabins overlooking Jennings Randolph Lake, Potomac riverside vacation rentals, or real estate property within surrounding rural communities and you will find yourself at the center of unforgettable beauty and year-round outdoor adventures. Whether you paddle the rivers, fish the lakes, or hike the mountains, at the end of the day you will love calling Jennings Randolph Lake home.

Things to do at Jennings Randolph Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Tubing
  • Golf
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Picnicking
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Snowboarding
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • State Forest
  • Playground

Fish species found at Jennings Randolph Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Brown Trout
  • Carp
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Muskellunge
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Sculpin
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Sucker
  • Sunfish
  • Tiger Muskellunge
  • Trout
  • Walleye
  • Yellow Bullhead

Jennings Randolph Lake Photo Gallery

    Jennings Randolph Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

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    Lake Type: Not Known

    Water Level Control: U. S. Army Corps of Engineers

    Surface Area: 952 acres

    Shoreline Length: 14 miles

    Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,495 feet

    Water Volume: 130,900 acre-feet

    Completion Year: 1982

    Drainage Area: 263 sq. miles

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    Trophic State | LakeLubbers

    Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

    An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

    A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

    A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

    The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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    Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

    This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

    Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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    Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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    Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

    Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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    Completion Year | LakeLubbers

    This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

    The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

    You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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    Water Volume | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

    You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

    Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

    1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

    The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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    Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

    You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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    Average Depth | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

    Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

    Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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    Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

    At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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    Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

    Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

    When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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    Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

    You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


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    Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

    This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

    A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

    When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

    You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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    Surface Area | LakeLubbers

    This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

    The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

    You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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    Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

    This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

    Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

    "Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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    Lake Type | LakeLubbers

    There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

    - A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

    - A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

    - A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

    "Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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