Also known as the West Fork of the Monongahela River, the West Fork River rises in western Upshur County near Frenchton, WV, and flows northward through central Lewis County and central Harrison County to join the Tygart Valley River at Fairmont, WV, in eastern Marion County. The two rivers form the Monongahela River.
West Fork History
The West Fork was declared a navigable public highway in 1800 and under the leadership of the family of General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, the Monongahela Navigation Company began to build a navigation system on the West Fork that included dams, chutes, and locks. When the system was almost completed in 1824, a flood damaged all progress, and the project was abandoned.
General Jackson was raised on the banks of the West Fork River at Jackson’s Mill. Some sources believe that his dying words were, “Let us cross over the river and rest under the shade of the trees,” refering to the shady banks of stream near his boyhood home.
West Fork Communities
From source to mouth, the following select cities, towns, and villages are located on or near the West Fork River.
Parks & Recreation
Near its source, the West Fork River is impounded to form Stonewall Jackson Lake, the centerpiece of Stonewall Jackson Lake State Park and the Stonewall Jackson Lake Wildlife Management Area. The historical Jacksons Mill State 4-H Camp is located along the river at Jacksons Mill, WV, and the Watters Smith Memorial State Park and Stonecoal Lake Wildlife Management Area are located on small tributaries near the river.
Muddy River, West Branch, West Fork, West Fork Monongahela River, West Fork of Monongahela River, West River
Information on lodging, dining, and recreation on and near the lower West Fork River may be found in our guide to travel in the Monongahela Valley Region.