By Huntington District Public Affairs StaffOctober 5, 2018
On a beautiful late September afternoon many friends and partners of Grayson Lake gathered on its banks to mark the 50th Anniversary. A half century of serving the local community and the nation is no small feat. Since going into operation in 1968 Grayson has prevented around $150 million in damages to property and countless lives.
The ceremony involved several guest speakers. The leading speaker was Colonel Jason Evers, Commander of the Huntington District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Mike Thomas Malone, Carter County Judge Executive recounted his memories of the construction of the dam and his involvement in setting the time capsule.
Jill York, Kentucky State Representative spoke about growing up in the area and frequent visits to Grayson Lake for recreation with her family and friends. She also mentioned the economic benefits for local businesses.
Robin Webb, Kentucky State Senator, spoke of her family ties to the state park that bears her family's name.
Several of the Grayson Lake's local affiliates set up booths to provide information to the public about the services they provide. Free food, children's activities and dam intake structure tours were offered.
The ceremony concluded with comments from Frank Jeffery, Lake Resource Manager, when he thanked his staff for putting the ceremony and festivities together and reminding those in attendance that they were welcome to contribute to the time capsule that will be opened on the lake's 100th anniversary.
Grayson Lake is located in two Kentucky counties, Carter and Elliott. By 1968 the lake covered approximately a 1,500-acre seasonal pool. The Grayson Lake State Park consists of 1,512 acres. The name Grayson comes from the name of the county seat of Carter County, and is named in honor of Colonel William Grayson, an officer who served under George Washington during the American Revolution.
The Grayson Lake was a project which began construction in 1964 to help control the flood waters of the Little Sandy River. The dam also improved the water quality of the area. The lake is filled with an abundance of bass, bluegill, catfish, crappie, and trout. There are 74.2 miles of shoreline that has magnificent scenery. Some of the sandstone walls along the shore reach as high as 150 feet.
The project's authorized purposes are flood risk management, water quality, and recreation. Grayson Lake also provides municipal water supply to 10,000 citizens in Carter and Elliott Counties, Ky. The dam was completed in January 1968 and serves a drainage area of 196 square miles. Land includes 16,934 feet acres and 151 easement acres. There are six recreation areas at the project, including Grayson Lake State Park.
The state park opened in 1970 and quickly became a popular addition to the state park system. Grayson Lake has been an economic asset to both Carter and Elliott Counties. Carter County is also the home of Carter Caves State Park.
Also, the Below Dam Recreation Area includes picnic tables and grills, one group picnic shelter, playground, canoe launch and Environmental Natural Study Field, a 1.75 mile National Registry Nature Trail, and a 2.25 mile primitive hiking trail. The Nature Trail winds through stands of mature timber and open areas in various stages of succession. It passes through sandstone cliffs and rock formations that create picturesque waterfalls during the wet seasons.