Southern Agenda

Climbing Paradise

West Virginia’s outdoors cred is scaling new heights with the unveiling of the first state park to be added in more than thirty years. The 177-acre Summersville Lake park along U.S. Route 19 preserves revered rock-climbing routes, a one-mile shoreline, and hiking and mountain biking trails. “Guests can venture out here in any direction for outdoor adventure,” says Jesse D. Anderson, the district park manager. The Pirates Cove Trail leads to a waterfall, and boulderers can turn onto the Climbers Trail to access some of the best rock face in West Virginia. Billed as America’s first climbing-focused state park, the spread has plans to include a zip line, new cabins, and camping sites. Not big on heights? The famously deep and crystal-clear lake entices scuba divers with a surprising underwater view of Appalachia.