Depending on the light and the color of the sky, Mountain Lake Club's deep lake can turn blue as sapphires in surroundings best described as spectacular creations of man and nature ~ the embodiment of the state slogan, "Wild and Wonderful." A unique combination of topography and geography make this beautiful lake and its environs the unabashed "Jewel of the Eastern Panhandle."
MLC's 55-acre lake and 14-acres of land are cradled in the foothills of the original mountain in the prehistoric Blue Ridge chain. This is "The Blue Ridge Mountain" itself, the first and only to bear that iconic name and the northern peak of the majestic range rising above WV's Eastern Panhandle, separating it from Virginia.
Along the top of the mountain runs the world-famous Appalachian Trail, a short drive or long hike up the mountain from the Lake.
At the base of the mountain is the storied Shenandoah River, that wide brown body of treacherous waters. Blue Ridge Mountain's streams tumble into Lake Shannondale, and the overflow drains into the Shenandoah. MLC also owns another eight acres boasting a gently-sloping shoreline down to the Shenandoah.
Down by the river sprawls the state-owned 1,361-acre Shannondale Springs Wildlife Management Area, where hunting and trapping are allowed. An entrance is barely a mile west of Mountain Lake Club's gorgeous lake. Inside the Wildlife Area but in a rugged spot are the ruins of Shannondale Springs, a historic spa consisting of three "curative" springs discovered by George Washington, a surveyor in his youth. It's said thirteen U.S. Presidents visited the spa. James Monroe called it his Summer White House.
Indeed. The Jewel of the Panhandle is only 60 miles, more or less, from the nation's capital.
Even the earthen dam that holds this big lake and the outfall pipe are considered superior to most privately owned man-made lakes across the nation.
Above ~ MLC's huge dam spillway under the Lakeside Drive Bridge. Lake overflow spills into a famous stream called Furnace Run, and then into the Shenandoah River.
Mountain Lake Club offers annual family memberships at $399 for 24/7 fresh-water sport fishing. All fishing is catch and release.
On land, 14 acres boast the newly renovated Lake House, the historic Ruins of the original Adirondack-style log Lodge, the only sand beach in the region, children's playground, tiny Pool House for small weddings & parties, private boat launch, canoes and paddle boats for rent ~ and stunning sites for weddings and other private events.
All this is barely 15 minutes from Charles Town Races and its stunning Hollywood Casino, described by The Washington Post as "worthy of the Las Vegas Strip."
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