It's hardly surprising Sutton Lake is attracting attention among bigfoot hunters. Amid one of the most forested regions in West Virginia, the rumor of sightings has been making the rounds on the Internet wherever bigfoot hunters gather.
Now the owners of the lake's marina say they're open to guiding bigfoot tours into the lake's remote reaches and are even printing bigfoot t-shirts.
"I have to admit sometimes I feel like there's something watching me," says Ron Cvetican, the owners of Sutton Lake Marina, who was drawn to the lake's remarkably pristine shores.
Ron and his wife, Rella, are now selling bigfoot t-shirts at the marina shop and are requesting that anyone with an interested in securing a tour contact the marina.
"With all the forest around here, I'd certainly say there's enough space for a bigfoot," Cvetican said.
"I think bigfoot exists. I'm not saying there's one here, but people are renting boats to go out looking, and there's a lot of forest out there."
Andrew Smith, director of the Braxton County Convention and Visitors Bureau, says there's been an uptick in requests for information about bigfoot recently and agrees the county's many square miles of forest might make for good bigfoot habitat.
Coincidentally, bigfoot isn't the only monster Smith deals with. Braxton County is famously known as the Flatwoods Monster, or Braxton County Green Monster, legends of which have kept people coming back to the region since the 1950s.
Smith attributes the county’s wealth of monstrous encounters in part to its dark skies and deep forests, though near the very center of West Virginia and easily accessible from Interstate 79 and the U.S. 19 expressway.
“I’d actually say the reason for so many strange sightings is multi-fold. Braxton County is a pretty large geographic area, but only a small portion is populated and developed, so there’s a lot of empty space, and there’s a lot of area that hasn’t been seen by humans lately, apart from hunters, and, then, not all the time.”
In North American folklore, Bigfoot or "Sasquatch" are said to be hairy, upright-walking, ape-like creatures that dwell in the wilderness and are often portrayed as a missing links between humans and other great apes.
Though sightings were long associated with the Pacific Northwest, Smith says Pennsylvania has now become the third most popular state for sightings, and West Virginia, more densely wooded and just to the south, is enjoying its fair share of reported encounters.
Surrounded by more than 18,000 acres of forest—to say nothing of many square miles of woodland beyond—Sutton Lake might seem an ideal habitat for a bigfoot, and more visitors are boating the lake in hopes of catching a glimpse of such a beast, he said.
Contact the marina office for more information on the lake and bigfoot tours.