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  • Writer's pictureBelmont County Tourism

Just add water! Explore Belmont County's waterways

“If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water.” — Loren Eiseley

Fishing, boating or swimming - if it involves water, you can find the perfect place for it in Belmont County. From Piedmont Lake at the western edge of the county all the way to the Ohio River at the border of West Virginia, Belmont County has you covered for a great day on the water. Watch our video here.

Piedmont Lake is located in Belmont, Guernsey, and Harrison counties near Freeport, Ohio and is accessible via US Route 22 and State Route 800. The 2,270-acre lake is home to black crappie, bluegill, bullheads, channel catfish, flathead catfish, largemouth bass, muskellunge (the state record was caught here), redear sunfish, saugeye, smallmouth bass, white bass, white crappie, and yellow perch. Reserve a campsite, boat, or cabin online at You can rent a pontoon or fishing boat for 24 or 48 hours or weekly. If fishing isn't your thing, Piedmont Lake rents kayaks for four or eight hours, or an entire week.

Egypt Valley Wildlife Area is situated in the southeastern part of Ohio, in Belmont and Guernsey counties. The primary access through the area is Interstate 70 and State Route 800. Morristown is located 3 miles east of the wildlife area. It contains 14,300 acres of former surface mining area. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has administered the public area since the mid-1990s. Several ponds are located here and ODNR stocks them with catfish and bluegill.

Barkcamp State Park, 65330 Barkcamp Rd. Belmont, offers fishing, boating, and swimming, as well as hiking, biking, and bridle trails, horseman's camp, seven picnic areas, and tent, RV, and cabin camping.

Only boats with electric motors are allowed on Belmont Lake. Seasonal boat tie-ups are available. A launch ramp allows access to the lake. Kayak rentals are also available.

A 700-foot beach provides enjoyment for swimmers and sunbathers.

Land acquisition for the park began in 1955, and a dam was completed in 1963 resulting in the 117-acre Belmont Lake. The park derives its unusual name from Barkcamp Creek, the former site of a logging camp where logs were stripped of their bark in preparation for delivery to the mill.

Zion Retreat & RV Park, 334 E. High St., Flushing, offers fishing, boating and swimming. Fees apply. Visit for pricing info. Rentals include standup paddle boards, kayaks, row boats, and pontoon boats (with a captain). Luxury and rustic cabins, as well as full hook-up RV spots are available for rental.

The Captina Creek offers excellent opportunities to canoe/kayak and fish. The watershed drains 227 square miles of the southern third of Belmont and extreme northern Monroe Counties.  Captina Creek is part of the Ohio River drainage basin and enters the river at Powhatan Point, Ohio.  The creek is over 35 miles in length and drops nearly 700 feet in elevation as it descends toward the river. Captina Creek is one of Ohio's cleanest streams in terms of water and habitat quality.  It is considered an Outstanding State Water by OEPA and an Aquatic Resource of National Interest by the USEPA.  Captina is home 56 species of fish and to rare and endangered species including the Eastern Hellbender salamander. Areas of interest within the watershed include Dysart Woods (one of the last remaining stands of old growth forest in Ohio) owned by Ohio University and Raven Rocks (a private preserve and sustainable community).

Belmont County borders the Ohio River. You can access it for fishing and boating at the Powhattan Point Marina and the Pike Island Locks and Dams in Yorkville. Pike Island Lock and Dam is the fifth lock and dam on the Ohio River, located 84 miles downstream of Pittsburgh. There are two locks, one for commercial barge traffic that is 1,200 feet long by 110 feet wide, and the auxiliary lock is 600 feet long by 110 feet wide.

Parks in Belmont County that have ponds for fishing include Barnesville Memorial Park, Schuler Park in Flushing, and Bethesda Park Lake. Barnesville's Rotary Park Lake has a kayak launch, boat dock, and fishing pier. Visit the recreation page of this website for more information.

For a list of great places to stay while enjoying Belmont County's outdoor recreation opportunities, visit the lodging section of our website.

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