Be sure to strictly adhere to the speed limit in Summersville (50 mph), particularly if you're travelling along US-19 through town; as locals can tell you, the area is notorious for speed traps.
Summersville Music Park, 304-872-3145. Hosts the four-day "Music in the Mountains" bluegrass festival in June. Tickets $45/day, $105 - $125 for the entire festival.
Carnifex Ferry Battlefield State Park, 1194 Carnifex Ferry Road, 304-872-0825, . The site of a Civil War battle between Union Brigadier General William S. Rosecrans and Confederate Brigadier General John B. Floyd on September 10, 1861. The Union troops forced the Confederates to withdraw, which kept them from gaining a foothold in the area and helped to secure West Virginia statehood. The park features three overlooks of the Gauley River, hiking trails, softball and volleyball areas, horseshoe pits and picnic facilities. There's also the Patterson House Museum, which displays relics of the battle.
Gauley River Recreation Area, route 129 at Mount Nebo, . 25 miles of the Gauley River and 6 miles of the Meadow River. Boating, whitewater rafting, 18 primitive camping sites.
Summersville Lake, WV-129 off US-19. West Virginia's largest lake, sometimes called "The Little Bahamas of the East Coast", with over 2,800 acres of water, 60 miles of shoreline and 100-foot cliffs. Visitors can go swimming, bass fishing, hunting, boating, scuba diving, snorkeling, water skiing, knee boarding, hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, rappelling, bouldering and cliff jumping. Boat rentals available. 117 camp sites, with a pier and A-frame chalets.
Summersville Lake Festival, 304-872-3722. Held during three days in late July. Includes a boat parade, "Anything That Floats" competition, water sports, triathalon, concerts, beauty pageant, arts and crafts, fireworks, and more.
Civil War Weekend, Carnifex Ferry Battlefield State Park, 304-872-0825. Held during two days in September. Living history demonstrations, Civil War crafts and reproductions, and a re-enactment of the Battle of Carnifex Ferry.
Nicholas County Potato Festival, 411 Old Main Drive, 304-872-1211. Held the first full week in September. Parades, entertainment, food, volleyball tournament, arts and crafts show, 5K run/walk, bed races, and potato judging and auctions.
Gauley River Festival, Nicholas County Veterans Memorial Park, 304-872-3722, . Held during three days in late September. The largest river festival in the world, with food, a whitewater marketplace, live entertainment, a silent auction, and activities for whitewater paddlesports enthusiasts as well as the general public. Admission $10.
Gauley River Rustics, route 129 W off US-19 in Mt Nebo. Handcrafted candles, decorative artwork, West Virginia foods, and more displayed in a rustic atmosphere of primitive antiques.
Caledonia Cafe, 304-872-8266, . Open 11 am to 3 pm on Tuesday, 11 am to 9:30 pm Wednesday and Thursday, 11 am to 10 pm Friday and Saturday, and a limited pub menu starting at 6:30 pm for Monday football; closed Sundays. A coffee and teahouse by day, and pub by night, with a menu reflecting Celtic, Appalachian and New American influences. Try their moonshine pulled pork barbecue.
The Feed Box Grill & Saloon, Groves Road in Canvas, 877-595-5448, . Open 5 to 9 pm Wednesday and Thursday, 4 to 10 pm Friday and Saturday, and 12 pm to 6 pm on Sunday; closed Mondays and Tuesdays; hours vary by season. Beef, ribs, chicken and shrimp. $13 - $17.
Up the Creek Roadhouse Cafe, 6194 Webster Road, 304-872-7335, . Open 11 am to 9 pm Monday, Tuesday and Thursday; 11 am to 8 pm on Wednesday; 11 am to 10 pm Friday and Saturday; and 12 pm to 6 pm on Sunday. Steak, ribs, chicken and desserts.
Kirkwood Winery and Isaiah Morgan Distillery, Phillips Run Road, 888-498-9463, . The first vineyard in the region, established in 1984, now producing more than 30 different varieties of French Hybrid American varietal, mead, vegetable and other fruit wines. Specialty wines are made from apple, blackberry, raspberry, blueberry, elderberry, peach, plum, pear, red currant, swiss chard rhubarb and ramps. The distillery offers rye whiskey, sorghum rum, Southern Moon corn liquor and grappa brandy. Sales, tasting and tours available throughout the week.
Best Western Summersville Lake Lodge, 1203 S Broad Street, 304-872-6900. 59 rooms. Complimentary continental breakfast. $45 - $65.
Wildwood Inn and Antiques, 100 Wildwood Inn Drive, 304-872-4944, . 3 rooms. Library with gas fireplace, two gazebos, full or continental breakfast served in dining room. $60 - $80.
The Good Evening Ranch, Groves Road in Canvas, 877-595-5448, . 10 cabins, each sleeping 2 to 18 people. 1,000-acre ranch with wooded countryside. All cabins equipped with kitchen, linens, private deck, outdoor grill, hot tub and more. On-site nine-hole par-three golf course, petting zoo, gift shop, and restaurant called The Feed Box. $165 - $950.
Laurel Ridge Cabins, 64 Laurel Cabin Drive in Mt Nebo, 304-872-1602 or 888-412-2246, . 6 cabins. Regular and hot-tub cabins, all with fully-equipped kitchens and spacious decks. Large playground, butterfly garden. Adjacent to over 120 acres of land for hiking or hunting. $95 - $150 peak season, $75 - $125 off-season.
Summersville Creekside Cabin Rentals, 401 Hamilton Street Unit 1, . One-, two- and three-bedroom cabins nestled in the quiet surroundings of the Muddlety Creek and its woodlands. Cabins include fireplace, hot tub and equipped kitchens.
Vista Gold Inn, Summersville Dam Road, 304-872-2807 or 800-662-3239.
Wilderness Lake Chalets, route 129 off US-19, 304-872-2426 or 800-741-1689, . 12 chalets, 2 houses. Standard and hot-tub chalets available. Equipped with fireplace, refrigerator and stove. Picnic areas, playground, horseshoe pits. Standard chalets $139, hot tub chalets $159 - $199, houses $349.
Mountain Lake Campground, 1898 Airport Road, 304-872-6222 or 877-686-6222, . 183 campsites, lakefront cabins also available.
Summersville Lake Retreat, 278 Summersville Lake Road in Mt Nebo, 304-872-5975 or 888-872-5580, . Campsites, RV hookup sites and A-frame chalets (some with jacuzzis). Jungle gym, horseshoe pits, volleyball; restrooms and hot showers. Rentals available for pontoons, kayaks and fishing boats. Tents $8/person, RVs $20, chalets $145.
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