3 Flatwater Paddling Getaways Perfect for Summer

While beloved for its roaring rapids and whitewater runs, West Virginia is home to its fair share of mountain lakes and gentle rivers. Whether on kayak, canoe, SUP board or anything in-between, the calm waters of West Virginia’s lakes and rivers create the perfect scene for serene adventure.

So what is flatwater paddling?

Flatwater paddling takes place on a body of water that is sheltered from waves, excessive wind and current. With far fewer obstacles and challenges, flatwater paddling is a great fit for beginners or those seeking out more tranquil waters.

Visit Summersville Lake

Play: Known for its bright blue waters, Summersville Lake is a premier flatwater destination for paddlers. This mountain lake has everything from sandy beaches and rocky cliffs to scuba diving and fishing. Don’t have your own boat? No worries! Rent your boat of choice, either kayak or canoe, at Sarge’s Dive Shop and get ready to hit the waters.

Dine: Cap off your day by heading into the heart of Summerville for a delicious dinner at The Vault on Main. This restaurant and wine bar serves up fine dining options—perfect for the post-adventure nightcap.

Stay: Celebrate a successful day on the lake with a relaxing stay at one of Country Road Cabin’s deluxe rentals. With options ranging from luxurious log cabins to treehouses to safari tents, you are guaranteed to find the perfect place to rest your head.

Experience The Coal River

Play: Home to the largest flatwater kayaking event in the nation, the Coal River is certainly a fan favorite. Every year, thousands of eager paddlers hit the water on the same day for a 12-mile float atop kayaks, paddleboards, rafts and more during the Tour de Coal. This special event lands on June 18th in 2022 and is worth the trip. Not fond of crowds? Stop by the Coal River any other day this summer to enjoy true serene fun.

Dine: Plan your float to end near St. Albans (and be sure to arrange for transportation at the takeout point) to enjoy a local slice. The Mountain Pie Company is a must-visit for Coal River riders. This riverfront spot serves up delicious pizza as well as beautiful views.

Stay: Make the quick drive into Charleston for a night’s stay at the cozy and elegant Brass Pineapple Inn. This Bed & Breakfast has everything you need, including a full breakfast and afternoon tea.

Explore Stonewall Resort State Park

Play: For those looking to add a paddling experience to a longer getaway, Stonewall Resort State Park is the perfect destination. The Stonewall Jackson Lake provides 26 miles of beautiful shoreline and truly scenic waters to be enjoyed via kayak, canoe, paddleboard and more. Top off your adventure with some swimming or take a pontoon boat out for a spin.

Dine: Stay on-site to enjoy a special dining experience at Stillwater’s Restaurant. Serving locally sourced goods and regional flavors, with a fine-dining spin, this spot is a true bucket list item. Dine outside by the boardwalk for a true lakeside adventure.

Stay: Lodging is a no-brainer here, with Stonewall Resort State Park offering lodging options from lakeside cottages to lodge suites.

Plan More Watersports Fun

This post was last updated on May 17, 2023