Laurel River Lake has 5,600 acres of water surface and nearly 200 miles of tree-lined shore. Visitors can enjoy boating, swimming, fishing and camping in the great outdoors.
The U.S. Forest Service administers the lake and surrounding shoreline. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers oversees the operation of the lake's dam and nearby recreation facilities, including a picnic area and a swimming beach at the spillway.
Holly Bay Campground and Grove Campground at Laurel River Lake are operated by concessionaires under a special-use permit with the U.S. Forest Service. Camping fees and open seasons vary. The campgrounds are generally open mid-April through mid-October. Recreation Schedule and Fees
Recreation areas with activity Dispersed Camping:
Primitive campsites must be at least 300 feet from shoreline, roads or trails leading to the lake.
Lake and Pond Fishing
Recreation areas with activity Lake and Pond Fishing:
The lake provides excellent fishing for bass, rainbow trout, walleye, crappie, bluegill and catfish. Night fishing for trout is popular during the summer. Fishing licenses can be purchased at county clerk's offices, marinas, and many local stores. State fishing regulations are enforced.
Recreation areas with activity Viewing Wildlife:
The quiet coves and surrounding forest offer plenty of opportunities to enjoy nature. The lake is home to Canada geese, bald eagles, and many other wildlife species.
The Canada Goose Management Area in Cane Branch is closed to motorized boats.
Boat Ramps: Eight boat ramp locations provide convenient lake access. The boat ramps are developed at Craigs Creek, Flatwoods, Grove Marina, High Top, Holly Bay Campground, Holly Bay Marina, Laurel Bridge and Marsh Branch.
The boat ramp at Holly Bay Campground is for campers only.
Swimming is not allowed at the boat ramps.
Marinas: Two full-service marinas operate on Laurel River Lake. The marinas are located near Grove and Holly Bay campgrounds. The marinas are privately operated under a special-use permit issued by the U.S. Forest Service.
Boating - Non-Motorized
Recreation areas with activity Boating - Non-Motorized:
The Goose Management Area on Cane Branch is closed to motorized boats but open to canoes, kayaks and rowboats. The area provides a unique opportunity to explore the lake at a slower pace.
Recreation areas with activity Scuba Diving :
The clear waters of Laurel River Lake provide opportunities for scuba diving. Boats must stay 100 feet away from flags indicating that divers are below surface.
Recreation areas with activity Swimming:
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers maintains a swimming beach at the spillway of Laurel River Lake dam. Lifeguards are not provided.