Beech Fork State Park was officially opened in the winter of 1979 and offers 3,144 acres of some of the best recreation experience in the southwestern section of West Virginia. Beech Fork is located 12 miles south of Huntington and Barboursville and is just a short drive from Charleston, Cincinnati and Lexington. Developed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the mid 1970's, Beech Fork Lake has owned up to its popularity for recreation boating, fishing and wildlife watching experiences. Many varieties of migratory water fowl, neotropical songbirds, raptors, whitetail deer, fox, even an occasional passing black bear may be viewed while visiting the park. The early spring brings with it the welcome call of different species of frogs and toads. Spring wildflowers are a common sight to hikers and those who look carefully as they walk or bicycle along the roads and trails. Fishing is one of the most common activities that visitors and overnight guests may enjoy. The lake is known for largemouth and hybrid striped bass, catfish, walleye, saugeye (a cross of walleye and sauger), and bluegill. A Fishing license is required and is available at the park office. Y
The Overlook Trail is a nice workout; however, the actual overlook isn't that much to write home about. It basically overlooks Beech Fork Pool. The trail itself is clearly marked, though. It doesn't feel all that secluded, but it's still a nice enough hike.
This trail provides a nice little work-out. The first time I went, I stayed on the Lost Trail for the entire hike. The second time I went, I decided to follow the fork to the Mary Davis Trail around the lake. That turned into quite an experience, as I had no idea the Mary Davis Trail was so long and not as clearly marked as the Lost Trail. It was mid-late October, so the narrow trail was heavily covered by leaves. As the trail became harder and harder to see, I finally decided to turn around and go back. I spent about four hours hiking that day. I wouldn't mind hiking from the Lost Trail onto the Mary Davis Trail around the lake again, as that part was beautiful, but next time I will probably just turn around once the trail veers off from the lake.
I hiked the Lost Trail loop and part of the Mary Davis trail today. I really enjoyed the mile along the lake, but beyond the lake, there isn't enough to see to make the steep climb back to the start really worth it. So I decided to hike part of the Mary Davis trail, to see where it might lead, and about 1.5 miles or so into it, the path forks and the blaze color changes. Without a map (Mary Davis is not fully marked on the brochure map) I decided to head back to where the it forks from the Lost Trail. Got in almost 6 miles, not bad, just wish there was more to see.