West Virginia is home to some of the most beautiful nature in the United States, and its many lakes are no exception. They can be found scattered all throughout the state, and they offer the chance to enjoy almost any water-related recreational activity you can imagine, including fishing, boating, water skiing, and even scuba diving. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Some restaurants are currently offering pickup only. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Beech Fork Lake
5.East Lynn Lake
6.Jennings Randolph Lake
8.North Bend Lake
9.Spruce Knob Lake
11.Stonewall Jackson Lake
14 Best West Virginia Lakes
- Beech Fork Lake, Photo: Courtesy of art_rich - Fotolia.com
- Bluestone Lake, Photo: Courtesy of johnsroad7 - Fotolia.com
- Burnsville Lake, Photo: Courtesy of KnowBeingInTime - Fotolia.com
- Cheat Lake, Photo: Courtesy of steheap - Fotolia.com
- East Lynn Lake, Photo: Courtesy of nopporn - Fotolia.com
- Jennings Randolph Lake, Photo: Courtesy of Kunstzeug - Fotolia.com
- Lake Sherwood, Photo: Courtesy of lexpixelart - Fotolia.com
- North Bend Lake, Photo: Courtesy of nopporn - Fotolia.com
- Spruce Knob Lake, Photo: Courtesy of jonbilous - Fotolia.com
- Stonecoal Reservoir, Photo: Courtesy of Baronb - Fotolia.com
- Stonewall Jackson Lake, Photo: Courtesy of Al - Fotolia.com
- Summersville Lake, Photo: Courtesy of Matthew Carroll - Fotolia.com
- Summit Lake, Photo: Courtesy of Fotolia.com
- Tygart Lake, Photo: Courtesy of Alberto - Fotolia.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of Matthew Carroll - Fotolia.com
More Ideas in WV: West Virginia Botanic Garden
The West Virginia Botanic Garden (WVBG) in Morgantown is a unique 85-acre botanical garden that features plants that are endemic to the Appalachian region. Developed on the site of the Tibbs Run Reservoir, which once provided water to the residents of Morgantown in the early to mid-1900s, the West Virginia Botanic Garden includes old growth forest, small designed gardens, hiking trails, and a boardwalk meandering through a pristine wetland area.
Founded in 1983 by a group of volunteers, the Garden did have a site until 1999 so was established on the rented site of the Tibbs Run Reservoir property where it was developed over the following years. The 15-acre reservoir basin was drained in 1980 with small pools of water forming during periods of heavy rain, which helped contribute towards the growth and development of the garden. Today, the old water basin has been transformed into two smaller pools with several small islands and a range of diverse aquatic plant displays, but the old water works are still present and stand as a link to the past.
By the Master Plan as set out when the garden was established, the WVBG features a variety of native meadows, woodlands, and wetlands, as well as an Eclectic Garden, a Butterfly Garden, and a Shade Garden. The gardens are crisscrossed with several walking and hiking trails through the old forest and woodlands, which are free and open to the public daily, from dawn to dusk.
There are five, slightly less than mile-long marked trails and a boardwalk through the wetland, all of which are looped and connect to other trails, including the Reservoir Loop Trail which is a 3/4-mile, universally accessible gravel path. The Reservoir Loop connects to several other smaller trails, while the Hillside trail begins at the upper parking lot down behind the Welcome Center and connects with trails to the Rhododendron and Shade Gardens. Noah’s Trail, which is on the far side of Tibbs Run is a popular walking and running track, and all trails are marked with new maps and guides.
The West Virginia Botanic Garden offers several educational programs, ranging from summer camps, school programs, monthly family walks, and group tours. Five Summer Nature Camps are run throughout the year that focuses on learning about and exploring nature and cover topics such as nature conservation, trees and flowers, insects and birds, and mammals. Campers learn about leadership, stewardship, and teamwork. The Garden also offers school programs for students in grades pre-K through fourth grade that are designed to provide fun, engaging, and meaningful outdoor experiences. Social and recreational Monthly Family Walks are held the second Friday of each month and include nature education and exploration opportunities for children and their families.
The West Virginia Botanic Garden is located at 1061 Tyrone Road in Morgantown and is open to the public daily and year-round. Admission is free, and parking is available on Fridays from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm and on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm.
Bicycles, motorized vehicles, horses, fishing, hunting, and camping are not allowed in the garden, and there are signposts throughout the arboretum that detail the fauna and flora that reside within the park. Group tours of the garden are available for an additional fee and focus on different topics such as the gardens, wildflowers, insects, trees, amphibians, pollination and nature in general.
1061 Tyrone Road, Morgantown, WV 26508, Phone: 304-322-2093
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More Ideas in WV: Snowshoe Mountain
Snowshoe Mountain is the leading destination for fun and adventures in West Virginia. The mountain resort, with its location at 4,848 feet above sea level, operates by the mountain rules. This sometimes means visitors getting a bit of snow on their faces or possibly fist-bumping total strangers. It always means, however, answering clear and loud whenever the Mountain calls.
There is so much more to the winter season than snowboarding and skiing at Snowshoe Mountain. Among the numerous activities available are snowmobile tours, split rock pools, tube park, adventure dining, the big top, and much more. Yoga classes and the Spa at Snowshoe offer opportunities for relaxing and rejuvenating. Visitors can seclude themselves from everything during an adventure dining experience in the Backcountry Hut. There's plenty for children to do as well, from pools and climbing walls to the resort's Teen Center.
Guests can experience the thrill of snow tubing at Snowshoe Mountain without having to walk all the way back up to the top. The Coca-Cola Tube Park features eight lanes on its six-story tubing hill. For those seeking a more adventurous winter experience, snowmobile tours just may be the answer. The resort's adventure guides lead guests on a memorable journey through a dream for anyone who loves snow.
Visitors to Snowshoe Mountain can jump into a Polaris RZR for more fun. Guests can experience driving the ultimate machine in off-roading during an Off-road Adventure Tour, featuring some of the best areas of the mountain's backcountry. With an array of interesting terrain and scenery, the laid-back RZR tour starts with a ride along the Cheat Mountain Ridge Trail which serpentines its way to a gradual decent down Fire Tower Trail. The ride features some spectacular mountain views, especially from the top of Snowshoe Fire Tower, if guests are up to the climb.
The Split Rock Pools at Snowshoe Mountain Resort offer fun for both children and adults alike. The outdoor/indoor heated swimming area features heated pools, a slide, a hot tub, a sauna, and stunning views of the surrounding scenery. Another option for relaxation is the Spa at Snowshoe, offering a variety of packages and treatments.
Situated within the heart of Snowshoe Mountain's Village, the Hare Racer Zipline features a side-by-side design that offers guests with an opportunity to race against their family and friends, or simply zip down the line on their own. It's an excellent way to view the Village from an entirely new perspective. Visitors can also climb aboard the Ballhooter Lift to enjoy a scenic ride to Shaver's Lake, Snowshoe Mountain's best kept secret.
When the snow from the winter season has melted, the beach of Shaver's Lake welcomes guests with opportunities for swimming, soaking up the sun, and lounging under umbrellas. Visitors can also enjoy the lake during a relaxing evening near the shore. The Boathouse offers bites and brews, where guests can enjoy a pint or a meal while taking in the mountain breeze and view of the lake.
10 Snowshoe Drive, Snowshoe, West Virginia, Phone: 877-441-4386
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More Ideas in WV: Mountain Rail Adventures
Mountain Rail Adventures of Durbin and Greenbrier Valley Railroad is fun for both young and old alike. The journey offers an often much needed escape from the hustle of everyday life, providing guests with an opportunity to sit back and relax by doing nothing by taking in the view of the area's natural beauty. There are a variety of rail adventure options, designed to fit all kinds of itineraries and budgets, and offering something for anyone. The train ride is just the first stop during a weekend of discover and exploration that combines adventure with relaxation, stunning WV scenery with cultures, and contemporary arts with history.
A choice of nine different trains is available from the month of April until December with Mountain Rail Adventures. Guests are easily able to customize their rail journey through a mix and match of train rides, creating the idea vacation in West Virginia, particularly for extended or overnight vacations. For those who can't seem to choose just one trip, customizable overnight packages in Cass and Elkins are available that offer a combination of two rail journeys with one ticket.
Families both small and large will enjoy the Cass Scenic Railroad journey, starting at the historic logging town of Cass. The two-hour train ride aboard the wonderfully restored twentieth century Shay locomotive is Mountain Rail Adventures' most popular option. The picturesque and historic trains transport guests through the dynamic countryside of West Virginia to Whittaker Station, an example of the logging industry in Appalachian featuring an unmatched view of the Cass Scenic Railroad State Park. Guests can choose to add on an additional two hours to travel further to Bald Knob's peak, high in the Allegheny Mountains.
The New Tygart Flyer offers spectacular views of mountains, dense forests, and curving tunnels in a relaxing, climate-controlled environment. After leaving Elkins, the train crosses over the Cheat River and bridges before stopping at Cheat's High Falls so passengers can take in the sounds and sights of the 150 feet tall waterfall within the hills of West Virginia. The Cheat Mountain Salamander transports guests to Spruce, a historic town only accessible by train, while the Durbin Rocket features the one of only three working Climax locomotives in the world. There is also The Polar Express™, a dinner train, and others.
Guests may wonder where exactly they should start their journey with Mountain Rail Adventures. It's easier to decide where to start a rail adventures if visitors know what they would like to do and see. Elkins, a gem of West Virginia, is one of the most popular choices.
This mountain town if one of the state's most vibrant communities. Once a town focused around the rail industry, Elkins is now an important arts center of the state. The town is also home to music, museums, dining, and heritage crafts among much more. An overnight stay at one of the top-rated accommodations in Elkins can be the perfect end to a full day of adventure. Mountain Rail Adventures is able to create customized packages to meet location preferences and mobility needs.
315 Railroad Avenue, Elkins, West Virginia, Phone: 304-636-9477
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