Carnifex Ferry Battlefield State Park
Nestled on the rim of the Gauley River Canyon near Summersville, West Virginia, Carnifex Ferry Battlefield State Park is an important Civil War battle site. On September 10, 1861 Union troops led by Brigadier General William S. Rosecrans engaged the Confederates and forced them to evacuate an entrenched position on the Henry Patterson Farm which overlooked Carnifex Ferry. The Confederate commander, Brigadier General John B. Floyd retreated across the ferry to the south side of the Gauley River and on eastward to Meadow Bluff near Lewisburg. This Civil War battle represented the failure of a Confederate drive to regain control of the Kanawha Valley. As a result, the movement for West Virginia statehood proceeded without serious threat from the Confederates.
New River Gorge National River
A rugged, white water river, flowing northward through deep canyons, the New River is among the oldest rivers on the continent.
Located in southern West Virginia, New River Gorge National River was established in 1978 to conserve and protect 53 miles of the New River as a free-flowing waterway.
This unit of the National Park System encompasses over 70,000 acres of land along the New River between the towns of Hinton and Fayetteville. The park and surrounding area are rich in cultural and natural history, with an abundance of scenic and recreational opportunities.
For a great mountain biking opportunity in the nearby area, check out New River Gorge's .
The Summersville Lake Project was built under the supervision of the Army Corps of Engineers between 1960 and 1966 at a cost of nearly $48 million. By the end of 1974 it had paid for itself by prevented flood damages in the Gauley and Kanawha River areas estimated at almost $67 million. The dam is on Gauley River near the town of Summersville in Nicholas County, West Virginia, and controls a drainage area of 803 square miles. It is one of the Corps most scenic dams. A rock-fill type, Summersville is the second largest dam of this type in the eastern United States and required 12 million cubic yards of earth and rock. The dam is 390 feet high (about as tall as a 40-story building) and 2,280 feet long. During summer, the lake is raised to elevation 1,652 feet above sea level which provides 2,790 surface acres of water for recreation. During late fall and winter it is lowered to elevation 1,575 to provide maximum space for storage of floodwaters. Water is released from the lake through 1,555-foot long long, 29-foot diameter tunnel controlled at the lower end by three 9-foot diameter valves.