VISIT SOUTHERN WEST VIRGINIA

The Summersville Lake

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.

Stop 2 – Gauley Pottery

This shop offers handcrafted pottery made for everyday use in modern kitchens that is striking enough to display in any home.

Stop 3 – Summersville

Summersville is the county seat of Nicholas County and offers some unique shopping destinations.

Stop 4 – Summersville Lake

Created by the Summersville Dam on the Gauley River, this lake has over 60 miles of shoreline. Its massive sandstone cliffs and amazingly clean water give the lake the name ‘The Little Bahamas of the East’.

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