Spring Hike – Long Point Trail at Summersville LakeApril 18, 2019
An Easygoing Hike With A Great View
If you like mild hikes that take you to amazing views, check out the Long Point Trail at Summersville Lake. (Keep in mind that this is NOT the trail of the same name in the New River Gorge!) Summersville Lake, a man-made lake managed by the Army Corps of Engineers, is a top destination in the area for recreation, for both motorized and manually powered watercraft.
What You’ll See
This 3.9-mile out-and-back trail is wide and well-marked with a gentle gradient winding through the woodlands covering Long Point. The trail takes you through the thick of a classic Appalachian hardwood forest, home to one of the most diverse collections of birds in North America. If you like critters, you’ll find them here as well, from squirrels and turtles to deer. In addition, summer time provides a shady canopy for much of your hike.
Eventually the forest thins and you won’t be able to miss the end of the trail. This is partially because of the sign warning you the trail is ending, but mostly because you’ll be on a sandstone cliff that opens up onto a stunning panorama of Summersville Lake. A word of caution: there is no railing or barrier once you get to the cliff so please be careful as you take in the gorgeous view.
If you hike during summer months, you’ll see the recreation scene in full swing on the lake’s cool waters. In late fall, after the lake is drawn down to winter pool during Gauley River rafting season, more shoreline emerges and is visible until the lake fills up again in spring.
How to Get There
Travel US 19 to Summersville airport road (19/32) and follow it all the way to the airport entrance. Before turning into the airport, you will see a red gate across the road. The trailhead is well-marked. Park here and hit the Long Point Trail!