Quirky Attraction: Cheat Summit Fort

cheat summit fort graves

Cheat Summit Fort
Location: Monongahela National Forest (West Virginia)
When to visit: Daylight hours
Cost: Free
Time needed to enjoy: 20-40 minutes
Website: byways.org/explore/byways/10351/places/62113 (unofficial)

Cheat Summit Fort is a former Union fort site from the Civil War. This is a quirky attraction that I had no idea existed – I stumbled upon it while driving and hiking through Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia.

monongahela national forest

From the top of the fort, soldiers could watch over the nearby valleys for approaching enemy troops. General Lee’s Confederate troops attempted an attack here in 1861, but they were driven back before they could reach the fort.

One of the most interesting things at this site is a marker showing the former location of Civil War graves. Union forces temporarily buried their dead in a shallow grave here. After the war, they were exhumed and transferred to a national cemetery.

There’s not a whole lot left here in terms of physical structures, but diagrams give visitors an idea of what the fort used to look like.

cheat summit fort cabin remains

The fort (also known as Fort Milroy) was abandoned by Union forces in the Spring of 1862 after a bitter winter there. Now it’s a place for us to go hiking and take in the historic features.

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    1. That’s a good idea! The site is a bit out of the way, though, so I’m not sure it would get many tourists even if they did spend money to re-create it.

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