U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
2981 Summersville Lake Road
Phone: (304) 872-3412
Noted for its spectacular cliffs and white water
on the Gauley River. Near Carnifex Ferry Battlefield
State Park, a Civil War battlefield. On WV 129 at
Mt. Nebo, 3 mi W of US 19.
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
A picnic shelter is located at the Dam Site
Picnic Area. The shelter is available on a first
come - first served basis except when reserved in
advance (a fee is required for reserving a shelter).
Picnic shelters may be reserved by calling toll free
1-877-444-6777. Shelters reservations can be made a
year in advance. There are also picnic tables at all
recreation areas on the Summersville Lake project.
Recreation Area with Picnic Area
Salmon Run $