Bluestone Wildlife Management Area

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Bluestone Wildlife Management Area
West Virginia Wildlife Management Area
Bluestone Wildlife Management Area - Sign.jpg
Country United States
State West Virginia
Counties Mercer, Monroe, Summers
Elevation 1,732 ft (527.9 m) [1]
Coordinates 37°33′32″N 80°52′49″W / 37.55889°N 80.88028°W / 37.55889; -80.88028Coordinates: 37°33′32″N 80°52′49″W / 37.55889°N 80.88028°W / 37.55889; -80.88028 [1]
Area 18,019 acres (7,292.0 ha) [2]
Management West Virginia Division of Natural Resources
Owner U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Huntington District
Visitation 168,587 [3]
Nearest city Hinton, West Virginia
Location of Bluestone Wildlife Management Area in West Virginia
Wikimedia Commons: Bluestone Wildlife Management Area
Website: www.bluestonewma.com

Bluestone Wildlife Management Area[4] (also known as Bluestone Lake Wildlife Management Area[5]) is a wildlife management area (WMA) in southern West Virginia surrounding Bluestone Lake and the New River. The section of the lake from just upstream of the Bluestone River to Bluestone Dam is in Bluestone State Park; the rest of the lake in West Virginia basin comprises Bluestone WMA.[6] Altogether, the WMA comprises 18,019 acres (72.92 km2) of land and water.[2]

The wildlife management area is operated by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (WVDNR) to provide recreation opportunities to the public and to protect the natural resources of the land. The land is owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and leased to WVDNR. The WVDNR Parks and Recreation Section operates the on-site office and camping facilities, while the WVDNR Wildlife Resources Section is responsible for game management including the maintenance of food plots.

Recreation[edit]

With the exception of camping, there are no fees for using the Wildlife Management Area. Day-use recreational opportunities include:[7]

Free boat launches provide access to Indian Creek, the New River, and Bluestone Lake.

Camping[edit]

There are seven camping areas spread along 12 miles (19 km) of the New River and Bluestone Lake. Altogether, these sites provide 330 primitive campsites:[8]

  • Bertha – 55 lakefront sites
  • Bull Falls – 15 lakefront sites
  • Cedar Branch – 45 riverside sites
  • Indian Mills – 15 sites
  • Keatley – 15 sites
  • Mouth of Indian Creek – 94 riverside sites
  • Shanklin's Ferry – 91 riverside sites

Sherman Ballard Recreation Area[edit]

The Sherman Ballard Recreation Area has a cabin and barn which offers rustic accommodations. The cabin is an open air construction offering five bunk beds sets, a full kitchen, full enclosed bathroom, and covered porch.[7]

The barn is the only one in the West Virginia State Parks system allowing users to bring their own horses rather than renting horses from a concessionaire.[citation needed] At one time, WVDNR biologists tried to ban horses from the WMA but were rebutted by a public outcry.[citation needed]

References[edit]