Scenic USA - West Virginia

Summersville Lake and Lighthouse

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Summersville Lake - Mt. Nebo, West Virginia

Photos by Amanda Haddox
Amanda Haddox Photography

     Included in a dozen scenic stops along Summersville Lake Lighthouse - Mount Nebo, West Virginia West Virginia's U.S. Route 19 are the Gauley River National Recreation Area and one of the clearest and cleanest freshwater lakes east of the Mississippi. Created by damming up the Gauley River, Summersville Lake was created in the early 60s by the Army Corps of Engineers. Requiring 12 million tons of material, the rock filled dam is 390 feet tall and stretches across the dam site nearly a half mile. The second largest dam of its kind in the eastern United States, Summersville Dam provides flood control for the Gauley and Kanawha river basin. Now, one of the most popular recreation sites in West Virginia, the Gauley NRA entertains nearly 15 million visitors every year. Sixty miles of shoreline surround the lake, providing plenty of elbow room for anglers, swimmers and boaters.
     Spread out among West Virginia’s rippling hills and striking rock cliffs, Summersville Lake now has another grand attraction. Summersville Lake Lighthouse at Night - Mount Nebo, West Virginia Something that you'd imagine along a seaside drive, the inland lake now has its own 104 foot tall lighthouse. Thanks to dreams and struggles of the Kebleshes from Summersville Lake Retreat, there's another very good reason to stop along Corridor L. With the help of a countless number of volunteers, the lighthouse was completed and first lit on January 4th, 2013.
     Built from a damaged 72,000 pound wind turbine column, the Kebleshes went on to developed a working partnership with area schools, were school age teens helped to design and weld sections of the lighthouse project. Also, essential relationships were established with wind farm project members, engineering firms, rigging and crane support services and Federal authorities.
     Counting 122 steps to the top, an 18 inch wide widows walk circles the lantern room and provides an incredible 360 panorama of the Summersville Lake area and the Gauley NRA. An inauguration ceremony for the state’s first lighthouse will coincide with West Virginia's Sesquicentennial June 20, 2013.

      Area Map


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