Cheat Lake State Park?

12 images Created 25 Feb 2024

Cheat Lake Park near Morgantown, W.Va., on the border with Pennsylvania, and neighbor to the Lake Lynn Hydroelectric Powerhouse and Dam, is being considered as West Virginia's next state park.

Cheat Lake, a 1,730-acre man-made reservoir originally named Lake Lynn is a popular boating area with three nearby marinas ( Edgewater Marina, Cheat Lake Marina, and Sunset Beach Marina) toward the Cheat River side of the reservoir.

Mont Chateau, home to the West Virginia Geological & Economic Survey, is neighbor to Edgewater Marina, both of which are accessed on Mont Chateau Road at the intersection of Cheat Road and Ices Ferry Bridge.

With Coopers Rock State Forest nearby off of I-68, and its trail system within hiking distance of Mont Chateau, the possibilities of connecting a Cheat Lake State Park to Mont Chateau and Coopers Rock are interesting to contemplate.

And so I will use this framework to offer my thoughts since hearing about the West Virginia State Legislature's proposed study of a possible Cheat Lake State Park.

First off, I believe Cheat Lake Park should consist of Cheat Lake Community Park, Cheat Lake Reservoir, and the former Mont Chateau State Park.

Cheat Lake Park is accessed by the narrow Morgans Run Road. I envision a docking area and fishing cabins along Cheat Lake Trail near the Cheat Haven Wildlife Habitat and Nature Viewing Area. This could become a fisherman's sanctuary, but also an option for visitors to the park who arrive via a ferry service from Mont Chateau.

Yes, Mont Chateau. This location is the key to a successful Cheat Lake State Park. A new Mont Chateau Lodge, maybe six floors with dog-friendly rooms and a rooftop restaurant overlooking the Cheat River, would be the central location in connecting Cheat Lake State Park to Coopers Rock State Forest.

A ferry service for visitors that don't own boats could be built below Mont Chateau or be accessed at Edgewater Marina. Visitors could take their dogs to Cheat Lake Park to walk Cheat Lake Trail, relax at Millstone Point Beach, and maybe enjoy a picnic lunch prepared by lodge employees.

The trail system to Coopers Rock State Forest from Mont Chateau would also need to be improved for hikers and rock climbers. And a shuttle service might be considered to the Coopers Rock overlook.

Yes, there are possibilities! Now all it will take is an investment in vision.
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