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Grant County an outdoorman’s paradise

December 31, 2012
The Inter-Mountain

Grant County officials say it's the gateway to the Potomac Highlands.

Smoke Hole Caverns, located along 55/28, between Petersburg and Seneca Rocks, is perhaps the largest and most visible tourist attraction in Grant County. Tours are offered daily at the caverns, and the site is open all year. The temperature is a comfortable 56 degrees inside the caverns.

Just 6 miles north of the caverns is the quaint town of Petersburg, which offers visitors a chance to to stop at the Southside Depot. There, visitors can find the best of West Virginia arts, crafts and other items, such as specialty foods.

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History buffs may want to stop at a variety of sites in Grant County, such as the Civil War sites Fort Mulligan, Greenland Gap, Johnson Run and Maple Hill. For those who enjoy more recent history, a stop at the Top Kicks Military Museum is a must. The museum, which opened in 1995, showcases military vehicles and equipment dating back to World War II.

Grant County is home to six parks - Petersburg City Park, Echo Park, Day Park, Turner Park and Vernon W. Welton Park All provide a "natural playground" for visitors. The 29-acre Vernon W. Welton Park, located about 2 miles northeast of Petersburgh os U.S. Route 220 and along the scenic South Branch of the Potomac River, is known for its "animal" rock formations - Fox Rocks and Ox Rocks.

For those who enjoy water activities, Grant County is home to two major water playgrounds - South Mill Creek Lake and Mount Storm Lake offers fishing, boating and a fishing pier for the handicapped. There is also a picnic area with grillling sites and a restroom. A walking trail has been constructed along the lake.

Mount Storm Lake, a 1,200-acre lake built to serve the Mount Storm power plant, is a popular spot for both fishermen and water skiiers during warmer months. Offerings for the angler include largemouth bass, catfish and sunfish.

In fact, Brook, brown, rainbow and golden rainbow trout are all produced in West Virginia hatcheries. Petersburg is known as the "Home of the Golden Trout," which is a color mutation of the regular rainbow and was developed using selective breeding at the Petersburg hatchery. There are two hatcheries located in Grant County, one in Petersburg, and the other in Dorcas, about 6 miles south of Petersburg.



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