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Trout Pond

Trout Pond, the only natural lake in West Virginia, is located in Hardy County 13 miles southwest of Wardensville and six miles east of Lost River. It is part of the Trout Pond Recreation Area in the George Washington National Forest. This two-acre body of water was created by springs that feed into one of the sinkholes that are common in the irregular limestone strata found in that part of the state. Water flows in on the uphill side of Trout Pond, and seeps out through the bottom of the pond. There is generally a good balance of water coming in and going out, although in dry conditions the pond becomes quite low. This has been the case in recent years.

Trout Pond, formerly called ‘‘Old Pond,’’ was once stocked with trout, hence its name. It is no longer stocked because of bank erosion caused by fishermen, and also because of low water in periods of dry weather. A rustic rail fence encloses the pond, and a hiking trail circles it. Trout Pond Recreation Area and its nearby companion, Rockcliff Recreation Area, are popular for camping, picnicking, swimming, hiking, fishing, and boating. Rockcliff is located on Trout Pond Run about a quarter of a mile away from Trout Pond. Rockcliff Lake, unlike Trout Pond, is man-made.

Written by Skip Johnson