Get to know West of the US - Summerville Lake , Lake sherwood , and Stonewall jackson Lake

 Join MountainRail Adventures in eastern West Virginia for seasonal train rides through some of the state’s most beautiful and remote areas. With three destinations across Randolph and Pocahontas counties, the MountainRail portfolio includes halfday trips for small children and full-day o erings with on-board lunches, live entertainment and beautiful views. For couples, friends and families looking for a di erent type of adventure, there are overnight packages available that include layovers in Cass and Elkins or remote getaways in the beautiful Appalachians in a restored caboose. 

While the regular train season includes excursions from April through the end of October, there are a plethora of special events throughout the season to enhance your experience. From Easter-themed trains and Father’s Day cookouts to Bluegrass bashes, Wild West-themed train robberies and murder mysteries, there’s a unique experience for everyone. Don’t forget the Polar Express and Elf Limited Christmas trains! In Elkins, hop on board the railroad’s New Tygart Flyer for a journey to the High Falls and return, or spend a full-day touring the West Virginia highlands on board the Cheat Mountain Salamander. For a more romantic experience, 

be a part of one of the special Mountain Explorer Dinner Trains or Murder Mysteries with an evening train ride from Elkins. Looking for something a bit di erent? Step back in time on the Cass Scenic Railroad in Pocahontas County to visit the world’s largest collection of geared Shay steam locomotives. You’ll trace the remnants of a former logging community as you climb through mountainous valleys, switchbacks and eventually to the top of the mountain at Bald Knob. Know a child who loves trains? They will adore seeing the historic rail equipment aboard the Durbin Rocket in Durbin. Regardless of your interests, let MountainRail Adventures be your next destination. Special pricing and overnight packages for families and friends are available

SUMMERSVILLE LAKE West Virginia’s largest body of water is a playground for SCUBA divers. Gear up at Sarge’s Dive Shop in Summersville to explore the lake’s clean, clear depths and dramatic sandstone cliffs. Non-divers love Summersville Lake, too—after all, it’s an easy paddle to score a stunning selfie with those signature cliffs. 

Make Summersville Lake Retreat in Mount Nebo your home base, where you can rent anything from a paddleboard to a pontoon boat, tour a lighthouse capped with an open-air panorama of the lake, and then retire to a cabin built of native hemlock. Or, take advantage of lakefront campsites, a private beach and hiking trails at Summersville’s Mountain Lake Campground & Cabins. Pack a picnic and prep for the photo op if you hike Long Point. 

The trail ends at its namesake peninsula with a totally-worthit view of the lake. LAKE SHERWOOD Amid the mountain ridges, azalea blossoms and hardwood timbers of Monongahela National Forest, keep an eye out for sun-spangled Lake Sherwood. Though Sherwood is the forest’s largest lake,

 it’s actually a reservoir, making it just right for small watercraft, swimming and fishing. Launch your exploration from Lake Sherwood Recreation Area in White Sulphur Springs, where you can rent a boat or canoe from the concessionaire. You’ll find company in anglers who’ve come here for the bluegill and catfish, as well as groups of friends piling into canoes. Later, take your pick of two swim beaches—one located on an island. (Cross the photo-worthy footbridge to find it.) With a picnic, set off on a hike along the Lake Sherwood Trail; you can peek at the water through rhododendron thickets and rock gardens. At night, pitch a tent along the shoreline, where moonlight filters through the trees.

STONEWALL JACKSON LAKE A pretty, tree-lined shore, gently rising mountains and sparkling waters create the classic picture of Stonewall Jackson Lake. But navigate to its inlets and backwaters— by boat, canoe or even on foot—to discover the lake’s hidden character. Tucked into its 82 miles of shoreline and designated as minimum-wake zones, these out-of-theway areas might make you feel like you have the place to yourself. Paddle the pristine waters and fish undisturbed; Stonewall Jackson Lake is one of the surest spots in West Virginia for catching bass and crappie.

 You can access the lake at several points, but Stonewall Jackson Lake State Park in Roanoke puts everything you need in one place: an Adirondack-style lodge, lakefront cottages, campsites and watercraft rentals (we’re talking aqua cycles, miniature powerboats, fishing boats and more). For a guided tour of the lake, hop on the Little Sorrel. BLUESTONE LAKE In Hinton, there’s a place where limestone outcrops glint so blue-gray, we call the national scenic river flowing through them Bluestone. Bluestone Lake, naturally, is the centerpiece of Bluestone State Park. Thousands of forested acres, rugged mountains and everpresent wildlife give this landscape an enchantingly wild feel. 

In other words, you won’t be the only one who comes away feeling as though you’ve uncovered a hidden gem, though locals are happy to share it. Rent a canoe or fishing boat and swap tales with fellow anglers. Drive to the top of Bluestone Dam for an unparalleled view of the lake and its surroundings. Hike to discover those stunning limestone outcrops or the Bluestone National Scenic River itself. By night, idle into a boat-in campsite—what else?!—at the park’s primitive East Shore Campground. 

(For the less adventurous, don’t worry: fully furnished cabins are available nearby.) SUTTON LAKE You could cruise Sutton Lake on a pedal boat or jet ski, even board a pontoon boat for a guided tour. But why not go all out…on a houseboat? In Sutton, Sutton Lake Marina can hook you up with any or all of the above. The “deluxe houseboat,” as it’s called, accommodates as many as 10 people. Swim, fish or slip-and-slide right off the boat (seriously—a water slide swoops down from the upper deck). Wave to fellow boaters enjoying a day of fishing or pulling the kids on a tube.

 Regardless, it’s easy to truly escape here—more than 10,000 acres of undeveloped land and sheltering mountains envelop the lake. Stow a smaller vessel on your houseboat, maybe a kayak or stand-up paddleboard, to explore the quiet coastline and its coves. Come evening time, dock anywhere and start all over again the next morning.

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