Summersville, West VirginiaSeptember 25, 2012
We have some special towns here in southern West Virginia. Ever wanted to learn more about Summersville in Nicholas County? Read on.
What and Where
Located about 30 minutes south of the geographical center of West Virginia is the town of Summersville. This small community is a short 20-minute drive north of the New River Gorge. And it has plenty of recreation of its own. Here are some of the things that make Summersville so special.
Summersville Lake and Dam
Summersville Lake is West Virginia’s largest and is located just outside of town. With over 60 miles of shoreline and 2,700 acres of water, there are tons of recreation opportunities for boating, fishing, hunting, camping, and just hanging out on the water.
The Dam was built in 1966 as a flood control structure. It is the second largest rock-fill dam in the eastern US, consisting of 12 million cubic yards of earth and rock. It is a pretty amazing sight. And it holds back the water of the Gauley River, which leads us to the next reason why you should visit Summersville.
The Gauley River
Recently voted as one of the 10 best rafting trips in the world, the Gauley River puts an exclamation point on the whitewater season in WV. Rafting outfitters do offer trips at lower flows on the Gauley in the summer, but the 22 days they run the Gauley in the fall is when this river is at its best. We’re talking class V+ rapids.
The Gauley River also offers some great trout fishing in the spring and fall. Because Summersville Lake is so deep at the dam, the water coming off the bottom that feeds this section of the Gauley is 50+ degrees, even in the summer. This allows the trout to survive and grow large in that particular stretch of river.
This winery, located just 3 miles north of Summersville, has been producing wines from grapes grown on-site for over 20 years. They offer tours and tastings and have an annual Grape Stomping Festival that takes place the third weekend in September. Kirkwood produces over 30 varieties of wines from grapes, vegetables, and other fruits.
The Isaiah Morgan Distillery is also located on the same property. It’s been producing small batches of corn whiskey since 2002. They offer tours, and their corn whiskey is produced very much like it was in this state so many years ago.
Hardman’s Hardware is located in downtown Summersville and has been doing business the same way since 1907. This store is a throwback to days gone by when the local hardware store was a place to find almost anything you needed to survive. From rocking chairs to beekeeper supplies, Hardman’s Hardware is stocked with many items you will find nowhere else. They even have an annual festival, Country Hardware Days, that takes place October 6th 2012, that celebrates the way things were done ‘back in the day’.
Summersville is a wonderful little West Virginia town with lots of character. With lakes, rivers. and plenty of outdoor recreation near town, it’s the perfect place to visit. There are many more events that happen here throughout the year including a Potato festival, Music in the Mountains, and much more.
Next time you’re in southern WV, take the time to check out Summersville.