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Bath County Virginia Hiking Trails

Kelly Bridge Trail

George Washington and Jefferson National Forests

Length: 0.02 miles
Rating: Easy

Kelly Bridge Trail begins in the parking lot next to the boat launching ramp on Coles Point.  This is a trail to the universally accessible Kelly Bridge fishing pier.  The tread is poured concrete, about 50 inches wide, and is accessible to wheelchairs.

The fishing pier is a wheelchair accessible fishing platform and is the only one of its kind in the Alleghany Highlands area.  The pier was named for the old steel Kelly Bridge that crossed the Jackson River before Lake Moomaw was formed.

The construction of Gathright Dam was originally authorized in 1947.  Construction did not begin until 1965 and was completed in 1981 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  When the dam was completed, Lake Moomaw was formed, and today it is 2,530 acres with 43 miles of shoreline and an average depth of 80 feet.

The formation of the lake created a great fishing opportunity for the area.  Among other fish, the lake contains trout, crappie, channel catfish, sunfish, yellow perch, black bass, and chain pickerel.  A state fishing license is required when fishing from the pier.  No trout stamp or National Forest stamp is required.

There is a fee to use the Coles Point parking area, May 1 thru October 1.  Coles Point is sometimes flooded in early spring, and then lake levels during the late summer are well below the pier.  Fish habitat structures, in the form of Christmas tree bundles, tire bundles, and concrete shapes, have been installed in the vicinity of Kelly Bridge pier to improve the angler’s experience.


Kelly Bridge Trail is located next to the boat launching ramp at Coles Point.  From Covington take State Route 220 North.  Turn left onto Route 687.  Then turn left onto Route 641/666.  At the three-way intersection that is the entrance to Lake Moomaw, bear right on Route 605 and follow it for several miles, across the Gathright Dam, to Coles Point.

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