CLAYTOR LAKE STATE PARK
Located on the 4,500 acre, 21-mile long Claytor Lake (from which the park was named) in the New River Valley of southwestern Virginia, Claytor Lake State Park offers a wide variety of activities for water and land enthusiasts. Easily accessible from Interstate 81, the park features the only full service marina in the state park system. In addition, there are miles of hiking trails, swimming, camping facilities, cabins and a visitor center. The visitor center is located in the historic Howe House.
The lake and the park are named after Graham Claytor (1886-1971), who was vice president of Appalachian Power and supervised construction of the dam.
From Memorial Day through Labor Day, lake swimming is available from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday through Sunday and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday. (Hours are somewhat shorter when local schools are in session in early June and late August.) The swimming season begins the weekend prior to Memorial Day weekend and runs daily from Memorial Day through Labor Day. The area features a swimming beach with diving tower, snack bar, and souvenir and gift shop.
Swimming is free for campers and cabin guests but cannot be guaranteed should circumstances beyond the park's control require that swimming be closed. We do not give refunds for swimming to overnight guests under any circumstances.
Each year in November, the lake is drawn down approximately five feet for maintenance. During this period, usually two weeks, it may be impossible to launch boats from the Claytor Lake boat launch, and fishing from the shore is difficult. There is a public boat launch just outside the park from which guests may be able to launch unless they have particularly large boats. The lake level will return to normal over time depending on rain.
Bass, catfish, muskie, walleye and striped bass are among the popular sport fish found in the lake. A valid Virginia fishing license is required and is available at the marina when it is open or the park officue during the off-season.