Coles Point Day Use Area

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

Coles Point picnic shelters are tucked in a small opening surrounded by a hardwood forest. Opportunities abound for hiking, photography, nature study, birding and viewing wildlife. Best of all, Coles Point is perched along Lake Moomaw, providing convenient access to boating, fishing, swimming and relaxing on the beach.

Natural Features: The picnic shelters are situated on a wooded peninsula at the south end of Lake Moomaw in Alleghany County. This manmade lake, at 2,530 acres, sits on the Jackson River and has 43 miles of wooded shoreline.  Coles Point is part of the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests which span across Virginia and parts of West Virginia and Kentucky. These forests protect 40 tree species within mostly Appalachian hardwood and mixed pine-hardwood forests, 60 species of mammals and 200 species of birds.

Recreation: An inviting swimming beach within the recreation area lures crowds, and the picnic area has an open field for games like Frisbee and soccer.  The park offers boating and fishing for large and smallmouth bass, brown trout, bluegill, crappie, shad, catfish, sunfish and chain pickerel. Two fishing docks, two boat ramps and a swimming beach with a bathhouse are located on-site. The 1-mile Morris Hill Bike Trail is popular among hikers and bikers. The 3-mile Fortney Loop Trail is open to hiking along a path with several switchbacks.

Facilities: Each picnic shelter can accommodate up to 50 people and 20 vehicles. Eight picnic tables sit on a concrete pad, and several additional tables are scattered around the shelter. Each shelter is also equipped with two large barbecue grills, one electrical outlet, drinking water and flush toilets.

Nearby Attractions: Head downstream on the Jackson River for fly-fishing, canoeing, rafting and kayaking. A half-hour east of the lake is Hot Springs, Virginia, a quaint and small rural resort town. The nearest groceries and gas are located in Covington, Virginia about 30 minutes from the lake. A pay phone is located at the nearby Morris Hill Campground.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Bathrooms and water are temporarily unavailable. A porta-pottie is available.
Fees $5 per vehicle
Open Season: May 23 - September 7
Closest Towns: Covington, VA
Water: Drinking water available during open season
Restroom: Flush toilets with warm water showers available during open season
Operated By: James River Ranger District: (540) 962 - 2214

General Information


GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
37.95028, -79.96222
37°57'1"N, 79°57'44"W

From I-64 at Exit 16A in Covington, Virginia, follow signs to U.S. Highway 220 and travel north about 5.5 miles. Turn left on State Road 687/Jackson River Turnpike and travel about 3.2 miles. Turn left on State Road 641/Indian Draft Road, which soon becomes State Road 666. Travel about 4.2 miles on 641/666 to a 3-way intersection. Turn right on State Road 605 and travel 4.5 miles, passing the Morris Hill Campground entrance, and crossing the Gathright Dam. Picnic shelter #1 will be on the left.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


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