There’s no better place to spend your time in the mountains than on the water. West Virginia has beautiful lakes and rivers the whole family will enjoy. Boating is a great way to get all your family and friends to discover Almost Heaven. Pair your boating experience with water skiing, wakeboarding, or tubing. If fishing is your passion explore secluded streams by boat.

Featured Boating Destinations

Summersville Lake

Clear day at Summersville Lake, West Virginia

Travel across more than 28,000 acres of water at West Virginia’s biggest lake. Take your time and enjoy the 60 miles of shoreline. Take in the wonderful miles of cliffs that rise 70 feet above the lake. If you are up for a little bit of exploration, go check out the lighthouse at Summersville Lake Retreat.

Beech Fork Lake

Located 12 miles from Huntington, Beach Fork Lake makes the perfect weekend getaway. Stop by the Beech Fork Lake Marina, where you can rent pontoon boats, bass boats, fishing boats, canoes, and kayaks. Spend all day on the water traveling the 720-acre reservoir along the 31 miles of shoreline. If you want some time off the water, discover both Beech Fork State Park and Beech Fork Wildlife Management Area that surrounds the lake.

Bluestone Lake

Take your time and enjoy nature at the Mountain States’ third-largest body of water. Spend all day on the 2252-acre lake then go check out Bluestone State Park nearby. Enjoy camping by the water or take in the stunning view of the lake from cabins at Bluestone State Park.

Stonewall Jackson Lake

Enjoy one of West Virginia’s newest state parks by boat. Spend time on the 2650-acre lake surrounded by about 20 thousand acres of public land. Get on the water using one of the five public boat ramps around the lake.  Extend your stay by lodging at the Stonewall Resort which is a perfect place to relax or have an adventure.

How to Start

Enjoy one of West Virginia’s newest state parks by boat. Spend time on the 2650-acre lake surrounded by about 20 thousand acres of public land. Get on the water using one of the five public boat ramps around the lake.  Extend your stay by lodging at the Stonewall Resort which is a perfect place to relax or have an adventure.

What to Bring

Your gear list is always going to vary on the weather, time of year, and Almost Heaven destination. If you are traveling with friends or a local guide, it is always best to consult them on specific gear needs. However, if you’re just looking for the basics, here’s a helpful list that outlines the gear almost every adventurer needs.

  • Swimsuit
  • Towel
  • Appropriate footwear
  • Sunscreen
  • A water bottle with extra water
  • Extra change of clothes
  • Sunglasses with retention strap
  • A small waterproof bag


Most people prefer to be on the water during the summer. If you are looking to escape the crowds, try boating during the late spring or early fall. No matter when you decided to go boating is always great to pair with swimming, fishing, and other watersports

Rentals and Tours


Why rent a house when you can rent a houseboat? Explore Sutton Lake’s 1,440 acres on a boat roomy enough to comfortably sleep the whole family.

Sutton Lake Marina houseboats feature private cabins, a full kitchen and baths, upper deck lounge, a propane grill and even a water slide for the kids.

Boat traffic is low, so it’s a perfect opportunity for water skiing, wake boarding, jet skiing and tubing. If fishing is your love, bass and crappie are plentiful. Sutton Lake’s 44 miles of shoreline form hundreds of quiet coves where you can spend the day or night in seclusion.

Airboat tour, West Virginia

Airboat Tours

The airboat tour of the Tug River begins at the historic Matewan Depot. Enjoy an exhilarating ride on the river as you bask in the natural beauty of the area and its diverse ecosystem. The tour guide will entertain you with stories about the region’s colorful history of coal mining, feuding and moonshining.

The Sewell Mountain Sailing Association believes all people should be able to experience the joy of sailing, regardless of whether they have a boat of their own. They offer free sailing lessons, so beginners can learn the basics to get out onto the water and enjoy the blissful sensation of being adrift in the wind.

The group leads sailing events on Summersville Lake, which, with its 2,700 acres and more than 60 miles of shoreline, leaves plenty of room for exploration!

Pontoons and Aqua Cycling

Picture riding a big tricycle on the water. That’s the Aqua Cycling experience.

These fun and quirky water vessels seat 2 people and operate like a paddle boat. Simply turn the handlebar to steer. At Stonewall Jackson Lake, you can rent Aqua Cycles and pontoon boats– both of which are perfect for a leisurely outing on the water.

Bring the whole family out on a pontoon, and don’t forget to pack a picnic lunch and a tackle box!

Wakeboarding and Waterskiing

If you’re partial to the kind of lake experience that leaves your heart pounding and your blood rushing, strap on a wakeboard or a pair of skis and zip along where the speedboat tows you.

Sunset Beach Marina rents skis, wakeboards and ski boats on Cheat Lake, a 13-mile-long reservoir on the Cheat River. Cheat Lake, just north of Morgantown, also is also a popular hangout for students from nearby West Virginia University.

jet boat tour


At Hawks Nest State ParkNew River Jetboats zips you through the rapids to just below the base of the majestic 876-foot-high New River Gorge Bridge.

The trip to board the boat is almost as fun as the ride itself. From the lodge at the canyon rim, you’ll take the aerial tram down to the river. It’s a unique chance to experience the beauty of the gorge from both the top and bottom— all in the same day.

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