Scenic USA - West Virginia

Plum Orchard Lake WMA

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Plum Orchard Lake Wildlife Management Area - Packs, West Virginia

Photos by Monnie Ryan
Monnie Ryan Photography

   Within easy reach from the city of Beckley, Plum Orchard Lake Wildlife Management Area has become a popular sportsman's paradise. Plum Orchard Lake - Plum Orchard Lake Wildlife Management Area, Packs, West Virginia Created in the 1960s from a strip mining zone, Temporary Employment Program workers began by damming up Plum Orchard Creek in 1962. Today the 200 acre lake is known as one of the best bluegill lakes in the east. The lake also provides habitat for sunfish, largemouth bass, channel cats and crappie. Opened during West Virginia's Centennial Year, the wildlife area also includes two rustic campgrounds, a rifle range, picnic areas and hiking trails.
   Its 3000 acres of forests are loaded with acorn bearing oaks, attracting whitetail deer, turkeys and squirrel. Limited hunting seasons help to establish a growing population of deer and turkey. The lake is also a migratory point for waterfowl, coaxing in more duck hunters during the fall.
   Even though the management area is geared toward the sports minded person, the lake and Plum Orchard Lake Boat- Plum Orchard Lake Wildlife Management Area, Packs, West Virginiasurrounding hardwood forest is not lost to the hiker and photographer. Stands of hickory, beech, red, white and chestnut oaks cover the mountainsides, beckoning hikers into the Haystack hills and forests. Plum Orchard Lake, tucked amomg the smooth-topped Packs and Haystack mountains, is becoming known for its over abundance of fragrant water lilies. Creating a tranquil still-life scene, the colorful blossoms and darting dragonflies are part of the magic here. Minutes from I-77 and surrounded by dozens of attractions and recreation sites, add one more stop to your West Virginia travel plans.

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