Willard Bay State Park was created in 1966. The freshwater lake was formed by an earthen dam on Bear River to provide irrigation water. The Utah State Parks system acquired the land surrounding the lake in 1964 and developed the area into a state park. The park has grown in popularity as the nearby city of Ogden and its suburbs have expanded. Today, Willard Bay State Park receives more than 200,000 visitors annually.
Willard Bay State Park in Willard, Utah is home to a variety of wildlife. Birdwatchers may spot bald eagles, ospreys, great blue herons and pelicans. Mammals such as mule deer, porcupines and beavers inhabit the park. Reptiles like garter snakes and western rattlesnakes can also be found in the area. The lake contains largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, bluegill, catfish and crappie, providing fishing opportunities for anglers.
Willard Bay State Park sits on the shores of Willard Bay, a freshwater lake that was formed by damming Bear River. The park is located on the northwestern edge of the Great Salt Lake desert. The area's geology is characterized by flat terrain and soils made up of clay, silt and sand. The nearby Wellsville Mountains provide a scenic backdrop to the park.