Emily Rice Published

Summersville Lake Becomes 36th State Park

In a forest, a group of people stand and pose as Governor Jim Justice signs a bill into law.
Gov. Jim Justice signs House Bill 124 into law, making Summersville Lake West Virginia's 36th state park.
W.Va. Governor's Office

Summersville Lake is now a state park, opening the possibility of new recreational activities like hiking and biking trails to the community of Nicholas County and tourists alike.

Gov. Jim Justice signed House Bill 124 into law on-site at Summersville Lake Friday.

“This opens another gateway for West Virginia. I mean, it’s 177 acres, a mile of lake frontage, and climbing beyond belief and all those things,” Justice said. “And now, we’re going to expand splash parks and zip lines and all that’s unbelievable. Every dollar we spend on tourism, there’s a multiplier effect, it could be as many as 14 plus times. It is amazing what happens when you really invest in yourself and that’s what we’re doing.”

The new park is located on the northern shore of the state’s largest lake, located in Nicholas County.

A large sign outside.
The 177-acre property on the northern shore of Summersville Lake will be transformed into outdoor adventure parks.

Credit: W.Va. Governor’s Office

Chelsea Ruby, the secretary of Tourism, said she and others have been working to make Summersville Lake a state park for a couple of years.

“They made it official and today the governor signed the bill, making it really official, so it is,” Ruby said. “This site is now available to folks who are looking to climb, who are looking to hike, to ride their bikes, to come and have a picnic just to enjoy West Virginia and enjoy the lake.”

With the state park designation comes state resources, allowing for amenities such as hiking, biking, climbing and even scuba diving

Have you ever wondered what’s beneath the surface of Summersville Lake?

For adventurers like Access Fund Climb Steward Nina Sions, a state park designation is exciting news.

“The parking lot and the trails have always been on private property,” Sions said. “So for the climbing community, I think the big win for us is to have a legitimate parking lot and the trails under the state park. That means better maintenance and just a lot better secure access for us.” 

Summersville Lake State Park is open to the public for recreational activities.