Trout Pond

Trout Pond during dry weather appears as a sandy glade in the upper right of this Google Maps image.

Trout Pond, located near Wardensville, West Virginia, in Hardy County, is West Virginia’s only natural lake. Also formerly known as “Old Pond, the pond is situated in the Trout Pond Recreation Area of the George Washington & Jefferson National Forests.

Trout Pond, which fills a blocked sink hole, may be disappearing. It has fluctuated in surface area between two and three acres over the last several hundred years but has recently dwindled, likely due to structural changes beneath the floor of the pond.

Much of the region drains through limestone that has slowly eroded, opening funnel-like holes to open in the ground, such as at Trout Pond, which may have been blocked and filled with water. In July 2002, Forest Service officials announced that a shift in the limestone cavern beneath the sinkhole had caused the water level to drop. Within a month, it had drained almost dry but has filled several times since during wet weather.

Visitor facilities in the Trout Pond Recreation Area opened in the late 1970s. The National Forest includes a designated swimming area at a man-made pond as well as easy lakeside trails, a children’s playground, and 50 campsites. Its campground normally operate May through the end of October. Trout Pond was long been stocked with trout, though the practice was discontinued to deter erosion along the lake bank.