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Paddle Your Way Through Wild West Virginia: These 5 SUP Spots Are a Must-See!

February 7, 2023

In this article, we uncover 5 great places to paddle board in West Virginia!

West Virginia is a place that is often ignored by those who have never experienced the beauty it holds. Sure, everyone knows about West Virginia because of the song, “Country Roads.” But beyond that, I bet you wouldn’t be able to name a place to visit while there.

Are we right in that assumption? Of course, this only includes those who don’t currently live in the state.

But for those who only know as much about the state as what’s included in the famous John Denver tune, we’re going to uncover 5 fantastic spots for SUP that you need to visit as soon as possible.

That way, you’ll see firsthand just how beautiful the state of West Virginia is…

And why Mr. Denver decided to write a song about it to begin with! Ready to dive in? Let’s go!

Summit Lake in Monongahela National Forest

Our first stop takes us to Summit Lake in the Monongahela National Forest. One of the best features of West Virginia is its mountains. The rolling mass of land flows up and down as you traverse its scenic roads where visitors will often gaze at the beauty. Mos of the time it’s a pleasure just to drive in West Virginia. But it gets even better when you find one of the many hidden lakes sitting quietly along the peaks.

One such place is Summit Lake in Monongahela National Forest. This beautiful location sits pristine among the rolling mountains. Its calm shores are perfect for beginners. And even better for people who love to camp. Situated alongside the shores is a full campsite for you to enjoy.

It’s described on their site, “A 33-unit semi-primitive, wooded campground with paved access roads and parking spurs, located approximately 10 miles from Richwood, WV, adjacent to a popular 43-acre cold water fishing lake.” A great spot for an outdoor lover to enjoy.

To get to Summit Lake, check out the directions here.

New River Gorge

The New River Gorge is an iconic river in WV and is a popular spot for kayaking, rafting, and paddle boarding. Plus, it’s the latest National Park in the United States!

It’s described on the National Parks website, “A rugged, whitewater river flowing northward through deep canyons, the New River is among the oldest rivers on the continent. The park encompasses over 70,000 acres of land along the New River, is rich in cultural and natural history, and offers an abundance of scenic and recreational opportunities.”

If you’re an adventurer type this is the park for you. Not only is the area wild but so is the river that runs through it.

To get to the New River Gorge park, head here. And to learn about the accommodations while staying at the park, check out the national parks website.

Tygart Lake State Park

The next spot for places to paddle board in West Virginia lands us this time in a state park – Tygart Lake.

Instead of trying to sell this location to you ourselves, we’ll let the state park’s website do it for us…

“Located in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains in scenic north-central West Virginia, Tygart Lake State Park provides guests with a quiet vacation spot and breathtaking views. Just four miles south of Grafton, Tygart Lake State Park is known for its 10-mile-long, 1,750-acre lake, which offers water activities like boating, water skiing, scuba diving, swimming, kayaking, canoeing, and fishing. The park is surrounded by beautiful mountain views and provides lakeside lodging perfect for relaxation and unwinding after a full day of play.”

That’s a whole lot of real estate to get lost in. And even better to do it on your paddle board.

For more information about your stay at Tygart check out the state parks website here. For information on directions to get there, click here.

Kanawha River

Warning: This location for places to paddle board in West Virginia is for experienced paddlers (mostly). The Kanawha River is a great place to paddle board if you are looking for a challenge. What makes it that way? The current. And some boat traffic. But mostly the current.

Sections of the Kanawha move swiftly. Which is a serious challenge for the beginner paddler. For experienced paddlers, it’s a fantastic place to test yourself in a moving current and have fun while doing it.

The best place to drop in with ease would be at the Haddad Riverfront Park. There you’ll be able to walk along the dock, drop in, and paddle around. Just be mindful of which way the current is flowing and go into the current on the way out so that when you’re tired and ready to return…

The current can do most of the work for you!

To get to the Haddad Riverfront Park click here for directions.

Stonewall Jackson Lake

Stonewall Jackson Lake is a hidden gem, tucked away in the mountains of West Virginia.

The park offers a range of accommodation options, including lakeside cabins and full-service campgrounds, but its crown jewel is the impressive lodge. With two restaurants, a spacious marina (complete with a cruise boat!), and a breathtaking indoor/outdoor pool and patio area, the lodge has everything you need for a comfortable and memorable stay.

In addition to its top-notch lodgings, the state park is also renowned for its world-class fishing. With one of the best fisheries in the state and unbeatable lake access, it’s the perfect place for anglers of all levels. And if you’re looking for more than just fishing, you won’t be disappointed. The area is teeming with wildlife, including deer, herons, wild turkeys, foxes, and ospreys. Other outdoor activities include an 18-hole Arnold Palmer Signature golf course, scenic lakeside walking and hiking paths, and bike and kayak rentals. Not bad!

If you’re more of a flatwater paddler, enjoy SUP fishing, or want to head to a place not many other people may know about, this is the location for you.

For more information about the area, click here. And for directions, check out Google maps here.


That concludes our list of five great places to paddle board in West Virginia. This is a state that not many people consider for a visit. But as you can now see, there is plenty to do in the state! Plus with amazing views of the mountains, a choice between quiet lakes or fun rivers, and plenty of nature to enjoy in between paddles, you’re guaranteed to have a great time!

Questions? Comments? Drop us a message, our inbox is always open. And until next time, remember to adventure on!

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