The 5,974-acre Summersville Lake Wildlife Management Area (WMA) ranges across tableland forests and towering cliffs that famously overlook Summersville Lake — at 2,790 acres, the largest lake in West Virginia. Game traditionally hunted in the management area includes bear, deer, grouse, squirrel, and turkey, though the lake is its principal attraction. Equipped with a marina, four boat ramps, and wheelchair-accessible facilities, the lake is a principal destination for swimming, boating, and scuba diving, as well as fishing. Trout, bass, bluegill, crappie, walleye, and catfish are the principal fish species taken in the lake. The tailwaters on Gauley River below Bluestone Dam are stocked with trout from February until May and during the week of Columbus Day. More than 350 tent and trailer campsites have been developed on the property as have hiking trails and picnic areas.
Directions: Summersville Lake Wildlife Management Area is located in southern Nicholas County south, west, and east, of Summersville, WV. To reach the upstream area from Summersville, follow WV-39 east for six miles to a left turn onto Ward Road (CR-3/4) at Canvas, WV. Continue onto CR-34/1 for two miles. To reach the downstream reaches of the management area from Summersville, follow the US-19 expressway 5.5 miles south to a right turn onto Summersville Lake Road (WV-129) at Mount Nebo, WV. Proceed four miles to Summersville Dam and the Battle Run Campground Area. The management area is approximately 18 miles northeast of Fayetteville, WV, in northern Fayette County.
The Summersville Lake WMA is managed by the W.Va. Division of Natural Resources in cooperation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The management area was formerly known as the Summersville Lake Public Hunting & Fishing Area. The Gauley River National Recreation Area extends downstream from the lake at Summersville Dam. Cliffs in the Gauley River and Summersville Lake areas attraction rock climbers throughout the year. The Gauley River below Summersville Lake is a popular whitewater stream, particularly in fall when the lake is drained to a winter pool to accommodate snowmelt.
Hotels near Summersville Lake WMA
Further information on lodging, dining, and recreation near the Summersville Lake Wildlife Management Area may be found in our guide to travel in the New River Gorge Region in southern West Virginia, in which the management area is located.