Beaver Lake

  • Highlights: Lake views, bird watching, wildflowers
  • Distance: 3.0 mile loop
  • Elevation Change 171 feet
  • Trail Surface: dirt and gravel, several wooden boardwalks
  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Trailhead Parking: Pocahontas State Park, CCC Museum parking area, park entry fee required
  • Website: AllTrails and Pocahontas State Park
  • Beer Pairings: Three Leg Run: Rapid Response Red Ale & Panic Bar IPA

The Hike:

The trailhead for this family-friendly hike is to the right of the CCC Museum. Follow signs to the blue-blazed Beaver Lake Trail. Numerous trails connect with the Beaver Lake Trail so make sure to follow the blue blazes to stay on the trail.

In a few hundred yards, the connector trail from the parking area joins the Beaver Lake Trail. The trail loops around the lake so either direction will return you to this spot. The first of several floating platforms provide some nice views of the lake and an opportunity for some bird watching. We spotted several blue heron and a variety of other birds on our late February hike. 

We hiked counterclockwise around the lake. The trail passes away from the lakeshore through a wooded section. Several wooden boardwalks keep your shoes dry and provide views of the wetlands. A cement bridge passes over Third Branch Creek as the trail begins a gradual ascent.

The lake soon returns to view and in the summer, water lilies cover parts of the lake. The trail climbs again and leads to a stone spillway, constructed by the CCC during the 1930s. A footbridge crosses the creek which flows into Swift Creek Lake on the other side of the road. Follow the trail uphill and walk beside the lake. At the junction, turn right to return to the parking area and your vehicle.

Hike Photos:

Click on an image below for an enlarged view.

Trail Map:

Beer Pairing: 

Three Leg Run Brewery in Chester VA is located just minutes from the trailhead. They offer 10 beers on tap, indoor and outdoor seating, a variety of food items, and live music on Fridays. They also have wine and mead. Pete enjoyed a cold glass of Rapid Response (7.3% ABV • 25 IBU) a red ale with some nice toasted malt tones. Kathy liked Panic Bar (6.3% ABV • 42 IBU) a hazy New England-style IPA with fruity, floral, and juicy notes.

Hike and drink responsibly. Never drink and drive. Stay safe, be responsible, and leave no trace.