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Wild & Willowful: Exploring Lake Sherwood.

One exciting upside of this past year has been all the extra time I’ve had to explore and cultivate new interests. I have used this time to remember and reconnect with some of West Virginia’s most beautiful places.  And you guys, this state is brimming with scenic and natural beauty. Photo credit: @toby.devore

Just this past year the New River Gorge became our country’s newest National Park.

Just this past year the New River Gorge became our country’s newest National Park, making it the 63rd. Although I haven’t made it there to celebrate yet, I did just recently spend a day at Lake Sherwood, another one of West Virginia’s most spectacular spots.

It is my “perfect beach”, with its grassy spots in the shade…

Located in the Monongahela National Forest and just 27 miles north of White Sulphur Springs, Lake Sherwood has a unique appeal, as it gives off “beachy” vibes, while still being close to home.  It is my “perfect beach”, with its grassy spots in the shade, cool (but not too cool), calm water, silky sand to sink your feet into (which is really the only place I like sand touching me), and private, or group, campsites. My mother, who is mostly a mermaid and a complete beach lover, was wary of the lake at first, but quickly became a fan. The sandy bottom and sunshine definitely made the day.

While strolling around, I was pleasantly surprised to see a ferret swimming, which is as adorable as you might imagine.

Perhaps the best part about this superlative mountain spot is that all of the camping areas and parts of the lake are pet-friendly, so when I say this lake is family-friendly, I mean the WHOLE family, even your furry friends (leashed, of course.)  While strolling around, I was pleasantly surprised to see a ferret swimming, which is as adorable as you might imagine. Her name was Tarot and having just survived a near-miss with a cat, the water was her physical therapy.  In a modified cup holder made into a  Rodentia-sized inner tube, she seemed to be having a ball and well on the road to recovery.

With autumn quickly approaching, there are plenty of great hiking trails in this 165-acre mountain oasis.

Not only can you take a dip in the refreshing water glistening with the sun-beams from above, or lounge by the lakeside and listen to the breeze whisper through the trees, but you can also play volleyball, rent kayaks and paddle boards, or rent a cabin. With autumn quickly approaching, there are plenty of great hiking trails in this 165-acre mountain oasis. They include the Lake Sherwood Trail, Upper Meadow Trail, Meadow Mountain Trail, and Meadow Creek. You can also fish for largemouth bass, tiger muskie, bullhead, bluegill, or channel some catfish. Trust me, with all the outdoor recreation this spot has to offer, there will always be something to do come rain or shine, warm temps or cool.

If you plan to explore our beautiful state, be sure to add Lake Sherwood to your list.  It has something for everyone and it’s worth the trip and the dip

– Willow Ferguson, HashtagWV #135 September 2021. Find this column at christinae6.sg-host.com and read more of Willow’s writing at willowgraceferguson.com

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