Three WV Lakes - Three Unique Attractions
Visit any of these three West Virginia lakes, and you're just a short drive from unique sightseeing opportunities - Cranberry Glades, Cass Scenic Railroad, and Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park.
If you're into backpacking or primitive camping, you'll appreciate Summit Lake. Located ten miles outside Richwood, West Virginia, Summit Lake is right next to Summit Lake Campground. The campground offers 33 semi-primitive campsites on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Whether you fish during the day or at night, at Summit Lake you're practically guaranteed a fine catch of pan fish suitable for cooking up over the campfire. Once in January, twice in February, and every week from March through May, the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources stocks the 43-acre lake with spring trout. Fall trout are stocked twice during October. The lake also contains a fair number of bluegill and largemouth bass.
When you're not fishing or relaxing on the water, take a short drive into Pocahontas County, West Virginia. There, you'll find Cranberry Glades Botanical Area. It's one of the most unique ecosystems in the nation, with plant life that closely resembles that found in the Arctic Tundra.
Cranberry Glades is home to numerous unique plants and animals, including wild orchids, pitcher plants, and grass pink orchids as well as flying squirrels, red-tailed hawks, and American bald eagles. Because the area is protected, visitors must keep to a wooden walkway as they tour the wetlands.
For trophy-size largemouth bass, spend a weekend fishing Sherwood Lake. The lake, which also contains bluegill, tiger musky, and channel catfish, has several boat launches as well as a foot trail that provides lake access.
At 165 acres, Lake Sherwood is the largest lake in Monongahela National Forest. Its recreation area includes a large campground, beaches, a picnic area, horseshoe pits, and hiking trails.
The Lake Sherwood Campground has 94 family units, one that's large enough to accommodate 16. In the summer, bathrooms with hot showers and flush toilets are available. In winter, only vault toilets and hand-pump wells are open to the public. Trailers are permitted; however, there are no hook-ups.
Like Summit Lake, Sherwood is just a short drive from Cranberry Glades. It's also not too far south of Cass Scenic Railroad, which is part of Cass Scenic Railroad State Park. There, you can tour the historic town of Cass and take a ride on a steam locomotive through wilderness that is breathtakingly beautiful.
Few places are as relaxing or as out of the way as Watoga Lake. Just south of the little town of Seebert, West Virginia, Watoga Lake offers 11 peaceful acres perfect for trout fishing. There’s no swimming here, no boat launch ramps or gas-powered engines—just rowboats, paddleboats, and fishermen. Nearby, three campgrounds offer accommodations for tents as well as trailers.
From Watoga Lake, it's just a quick trip over winding roads to historic Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park, where West Virginia's last significant Civil War battle occurred. There, visitors may walk the battlefield, climb Lookout Tower, and tour the museum. Each October during even numbered years, Civil War buffs reenact the Battle of Droop Mountain on the very ground where it occurred.