Welcome to Summersville Lake, the largest lake in West Virginia. This lake and the surrounding area are a recreational haven. Here you can swim, dive, or test your skills at water sports. The rugged landscape and spectacular cliffs surrounding the lake are great for hiking and climbing.
The release of water from the Summersville Lake dam into the Gauley River every year on the weekend after Labor Day creates some of the best whitewater in the world.
On top of the outstanding outdoor adventure, there is fascinating Civil War history at Carnifex Ferry Battlefield State Park and the local culture that can be explored at a variety of small businesses such as Kirkwood Winery or Gauley River Pottery. Combine all this and you have a unique location guaranteed to fascinate and thrill you for a day or however long you stay.
Stop 1 – Carnifex Ferry
This park was the location of an important Civil War battle: Carnifex Ferry. On September 10, 1861, Union troops pushed the Confederates from their entrenched position on the Patterson Family Farm to the other side of the Gauley River. Confederate troops then failed to regain control of the Kanawha Valley and the move for West Virginia statehood continued without serious threat from the South. The state park has picnic shelters, a museum at the Patterson House, three overlooks of the Gauley River, a playground, and hiking trails.
Includes 25 miles of the Gauley River and 5 miles of its tributary, the Meadow River. These swift, w...