Across the state, river groups have been forming to clean up rivers and encourage residents to enjoy them recreationally. There is a growing energy around paddle sports in the state, and a particular focus on getting beginners to give it a try.
In recent years West Virginia State Parks has begun offering kayak, canoe, and stand-up paddle (SUP) board rentals for visitors to take advantage of. This offers a great opportunity for beginners and families to try it out and have some fun without committing to buy their own craft before they know they enjoy the sport or that it is feasible for them to participate.
We’ve taken an inventory of West Virginia state parks who offer these type of boat rentals and specifically what crafts they offer:
Beech Fork State Park – Kayak & Canoe
Cacapon Resort State Park – Kayak
North Bend State Park – Kayak & Canoe
Babcock State Park – Canoe
Blackwater Falls State Park – Kayak, Canoe, & SUP
Moncave Lake State Park – Kayak
Bluestone Lake State Park – Kayak & Canoe
Watoga State Park – Canoe
Pipestem Resort State Park – Kayak & Canoe
Stonewall Resort State Park – Kayak, Canoe, & SUP
For contact information & other paddle opportunities check out our Boating & SUP Directory.
July 30, 2016: Kevin’s Lazy River Adventure
September 16-18, 2016: Gauley Fest
September 17, 2016: 3rd Annual Parkersburg Paddlefest
September 18, 2016: New River Gorge SUP Race
Some interesting reads on West Virginia paddle opportunities:
Now, flock to your nearest state park or river trail and see what all the hype is about. Water sports are low impact, good stress relievers, improve strength, endurance and cardiovascular fitness, and most importantly can be fun for everyone from the beginner to the expert. Be safe. Wear a pfd, watch weather conditions, and go with others.
And don’t forget when you go out to paddle to snap a picture and enter the “West Virginia, What Moves You?” Photo Contest.