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Jennings Randolph Lake

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Title: Jennings Randolph Lake  
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Subject: Mineral County, West Virginia, Potomac River, West Virginia Route 42, Berkeley County, West Virginia, Grant County, West Virginia
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Jennings Randolph Lake

Jennings Randolph Lake
Jennings Randolph Lake in 2005.
Location Garrett County, Maryland / Mineral County, West Virginia, United States
Type reservoir
Primary inflows North Branch Potomac River
Primary outflows North Branch Potomac River
Basin countries United States

Jennings Randolph Lake is a reservoir of 952 acres (3.85 km2) located on the North Branch Potomac River in Garrett County, Maryland and Mineral County, West Virginia. It is approximately eight miles upstream of Bloomington, Maryland, and approximately five miles north of Elk Garden, West Virginia.


  • Construction and management 1
  • Planned hydroelectric facility 2
  • Recreational facilities 3
  • References 4

Construction and management

The lake was constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, as authorized by the Flood Control Act of October 23, 1962 (Public Law 87-874) and is described in House Document No. 469, 87th United States Congress, second session. Construction of the lake was completed in 1981,[1] and resulted in the flooding of the community of Shaw, West Virginia and the realignment of West Virginia Route 46.[2] Originally named Bloomington Lake, it was later renamed for West Virginia Senator Jennings Randolph. The lake, which serves as an emergency reservoir for the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, is managed by the Corps of Engineers.[3] Coordination of the lake's use for water supply purposes is managed by the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin (ICPRB).

The impoundment also collects acid mine drainage from coal mines located upstream, which improves the water quality of the river downstream.[4]

Planned hydroelectric facility

In 2008 Fairlawn Hydroelectric Company filed a proposal with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to construct a hydroelectric facility at the dam.[5] FERC approved a license for a 14 MW facility on April 30, 2012. Construction has not started as of 2015.[6]

Recreational facilities

  • Howell Run Picnic Area
  • Howell Run Boat Launch
  • Robert W. Craig Campground
  • Shaw Beach
  • West Virginia Overlook
  • Maryland Overlook
  • Maryland Boat Launch


  1. ^ Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin. Rockville, MD. "Co-op History." Updated 2010-07-08.
  2. ^ United States Geological Survey, Kitzmiller, Md.-W. Va. 1:24000 quadrangle, 1950 edition
  3. ^ U.S Army Corps of Engineers. Baltimore District. "Jennings Randolph Lake." Accessed March 9, 2008.
  4. ^ Garett County Government, Oakland, Maryland (November 2014). Garrett County Water and Sewerage Master Plan; 2014 Revision (Draft) (PDF) (Report). p. 2-10. Retrieved 2015-05-31. 
  5. ^ Fairlawn Hydroelectric Company, LLC.; Notice of Intent To File License Application, 73 F.R. 30390 (May 27, 2008).
  6. ^ U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore, MD (February 2015). "Jennings Randolph Lake, MD & WV; Fact Sheet as of February 2015."
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