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Located in northeastern Monongalia County, W.Va., Cheat Lake was formed in 1925 by damming the Cheat River to serve the needs of a hydroelectric generating facility, the 52-megawatt Lake Lynn Power Station, now owned and operated by Allegheny Energy Supply. Originally named Lake Lynn, the Board on Geographic Names officially decided upon Cheat Lake as the reservoir's name in 1976.
The area was documented for development by a young George Washington, who envisioned a canal and portage system involving the Cheat River and the Lake Lynn area. Actual planning and development of the hydro plant began in 1910, but was stalled around the time of World War I. Construction was resumed in 1925, and the first water flowed over the 125-foot dam on Dec. 23, 1925.
At a ceremony in 1927, a bronze tablet, embedded in a great rock near the power station, dedicates the lake and the generating facility to the public 'In lasting beauty for recreation and the supplying of essential service.' The 13-mile lake has been a popular recreation spot ever since.
In June 2000, Allegheny Energy added a 20-acre park and 4.5-mile hiking and biking trail on the banks of Cheat Lake for the enjoyment of the general public. Located adjacent to its Lake Lynn Power Station and overlooking the picturesque Cheat Lake, Cheat Lake Park and Trail is a first-class facility that can be enjoyed by families from across the region.
In the 1920s, this 20-acre site was known as West Penn Beach, and employees were able to rent company-owned vacation cottages overlooking the lake. Today, visitors to the facility are welcome to bike or enjoy a nature walk along the 4.5-mile trail. The 12-foot-wide, handicapped accessible trail follows the Cheat Lake shoreline along an abandoned railroad right-of-way leading to a nature viewing area at the southern tip and a fishing platform near the station at the northern tip. Other attractions at Cheat Lake Park and Trail include a children's play area, picnic sites, boat docking facilities, and a free motor boat launch at the Sunset Marina.
[The above information above is Copyright (C) Allegheny Energy; used with permission. Shoreline miles shown below are estimated by Lakelubbers.]
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