SUMMERSVILLE LAKE Mount Nebo, WV
7 minutes / 4 miles from Summersville Lake Retreat & Lighthouse to the public beach, boat launch, and kayak dock at Battle Run Recreation area
7 minutes / 4.1 miles from Summersville Lake Retreat & Lighthouse to the Pirates Cove parking area
10 minutes / 6.1 miles from Summersville Lake Retreat & Lighthouse to the Salmon Run boat launch
11 minutes / 5.7 miles from Summersville Lake Retreat & Lighthouse to the Long Point Trailhead
12 minutes / 7.4 miles from Summersville Lake Retreat & Lighthouse to the Summersville Marina
Summersville Lake is the largest lake in West Virginia formed as a result of building Summersville Dam in 1968 on the Gauley River. It has 2,700 acres of clean and clear water with more than 60 miles of shoreline and is over 300 feet deep at full summer water level. It serves as a recreation area for fishing, boating, rock climbing, snorkeling and scuba diving. Summersville Lake is the cleanest, clearest freshwater lake east of the Mississippi River according to "Skin Diver Magazine!" It is known as, "The Little Bahamas of the East" because of its water clarity and great diving.
Battle Run Recreation area is the closest place to get into the water from our location and has a public boat launch, kayak boat launch, a public swim beach and lots of parking. They charge $5 for daily parking. Salmon Run boat launch is closer to the town of Summersville and offers an alternative place to launch your boat. They also charge $5 for parking for the day. Pirates Cove is a popular place to hang out on the water. While it is easy to access by boat or kayak from Salmon Run you can also park and hike back to the site. It does require a little scrambling and use of some ropes or cliff jumping to get to the water.
The Long Point Trailhead is a popular hike to one of the most scenic areas of the lake.
We can help you get on the water and find the good spots! We are equipped to help you rent one of our 10 person Pontoon boats, solo or tandem kayaks, canoes, or stand up paddleboards!
CARNIFAX FERRY BATTLEFIELD STATE PARK Summersville, WV
9 minutes / 5.7 miles from Summersville Lake Retreat & Lighthouse
Set on the rim of the Gauley River Canyon, the 156-acre Carnifex Ferry Battlefield State Park is an important Civil War battle site. It is part of the Civil War Discovery Trail, which links more than 300 historical sites in 16 states, and commemorates the 1861 Battle of Carnifex Ferry, a major Union victory that led to the eventual Confederate withdrawal from western Virginia. Carnifex Ferry is one of the oldest state parks in the United States and is a popular site for Civil War reenactments. We love how well kept the grounds are, the great trail system, and the views of the Gauley River.
NEW RIVER GORGE NATIONAL PARK Glen Jean, WV
15 minutes / 15 miles from Summersville Lake Retreat & Lighthouse
Probably one of the top bucket list items for adventurers, photographers, RV travelers, and campers when visiting this area is the New River Gorge National Park. We were so excited to see her mountains, rivers, and valleys getting the recognition she deserves by becoming the newest US National Park at the end of 2020. In spite of its name, the New river that winds through the park is ancient and the mountains that make up the area are some of the oldest in the world.
There is some incredible geology and unusual plants and animals that you don’t get to see anywhere else. The designation as the 63rd national park created a 7,021-acre area around the heart of the gorge, which is already developed with trailheads and a visitor center, while the remaining 65,165 acres remain designated as a national preserve to allow for backcountry hiking and hunting.
There are boatloads of things to do here for thrill-seekers: the New River Gorge has been a rafters dream with 53 miles of free-flowing whitewater, highlighted by the “Lower New,” a popular 13-mile stretch packed with Class IV to V rapids. The cliffs of the gorge are a thousand feet high in parts, with walls of Nuttall sandstone that provide climbers with more than 1,500 routes. The site even has a popular system of 12.8 miles of mountain-bike trails and is climbing the ranks as one of the best places to bike in the country. If you like heights take a guided tour under the New River Gorge bridge, yes, under the bridge! At 875 feet the bridge is almost 3 times the height of the Statue of Liberty. Prefer something more casual, stop into the Canyon Rim visitor center, pick up a map and CD and take the winding 8 mile self-guided driving tour on Fayette Station Road under the bridge and across the New River.
If you like heights take a guided tour under the New River Gorge bridge, yes, under the bridge! At 875 feet the bridge is almost 3 times the height of the Statue of Liberty. Prefer something more casual, stop into the Canyon Rim visitor center, pick up a map and CD and take the winding 8 mile self-guided driving tour on Fayette Station Road under the bridge and across the New River.
HAWKS NEST STATE PARK Ansted, WV
22 minutes / 18.1 miles from Summersville Lake Retreat & Lighthouse
Nestled in the heart of whitewater rafting country, Hawks Nest State Park is a 270-acre recreational area with a nature museum, aerial tramway, jetboat rides, hiking trails and one of the most challenging whitewater boating waterways in the nation. Its 31-room lodge offers luxurious rooms, dining and spacious conference and meeting facilities. Located just 10 miles north of the New River Gorge Bridge, Hawks Nest is known for its scenic overlook, which provides a bird’s eye view of the rugged New River Gorge National Park and Preserve below.
BABCOCK STATE PARK Clifton, WV
25 minutes / 19.9 miles from Summersville Lake Retreat & Lighthouse
One of West Virginia’s most iconic locations, Babcock State Park has 4,127 acres of stunning scenery. Located 20 miles southeast of the New River Gorge Bridge, the park is most known for the Glade Creek Grist Mill, a fully functional replica of the original Cooper’s Mill, which once stood on the grounds. Other attractions include recreational activities like hiking, fishing and mountain biking, as well as whitewater rafting nearby in the New River Gorge. The Glade Creek Grist Mill at Babcock State Park is a popular destination for nature and landscape photographers and artists capturing the beauty of this iconic setting.
CATHEDRAL FALLS Gauley Bridge, WV
33 minutes / 24.7 miles from Summersville Lake Retreat & Lighthouse
Cathedral Falls is easily accessible for anyone as it is right on the side of the road just outside the town of Gauley Bridge. It features a beautiful 60+ foot waterfall flowing down a narrow canyon right beside US Route 60. This creek begins on Gauley Mountain and makes a short but exciting trip to the New River. It drops nearly 100 feet over a series of Upper Nuttall sandstone ledges, but the final 60 feet of drops are the ones you can see from the roadside park. Well worth the trip this is a great place to stop for photos, enjoy a picnic lunch, and have easy access to beautiful WV nature.