Cool Down This Summer with West Virginia Water Sports

With summer temperatures approaching, water sports are a perfect way to stay cool while spending time outdoors. West Virginia has water sports for beginners, pros and everyone in between. Pack a life jacket and sunscreen and dive in.


Kayaking is a great way to relax or find new adventure. Try it out on still water at one of West Virginia’s many lakes to perfect your paddle. When you’re ready to hit the river, visit the scenic Elk River and paddle up to 10 miles of the river. Rent your gear from the Elk River Get-A-Way and spend the day taking in the views.


If you’re looking for fast-paced fun, look no further than whitewater rafting on the New River Gorge National River. Many local outfitters provide rafting trips for families and professionals. Try out Ace Adventure Resort or Adventures on the Gorge to guide you through your trip down the rapids.

For a more relaxed experience, take a float trip down the Upper New River with River Expeditions or one of many other outdoor outfitters in the region who can guide people of all ages through rapids. Bring the family to hear local stories on this laid back adventure.

Stand-Up Paddleboard

The Potomac River is just the place to cool down this summer and learn how to stand-up paddleboard, known as SUP. This sport requires balance and core strength, so get a workout in while you float along the Potomac. River Riders in Harpers Ferry provides a two hour pass for SUP, kayak and canoe rentals.

Scuba Dive

Get to know Summersville Lake with a scuba diving or snorkeling charter through Sarge’s Dive Shop. Explore the lake’s beautiful waters and coves with a guided group. If you’re looking to adventure solo or with friends, Sarge’s rents out scuba equipment for individuals. To take your skills to the next level, get scuba-certified through a course at Sarge’s.

Aqua Cycle

Try something different this summer on aqua cycles at Stonewall Resort State Park. These large tricycles stay afloat while you paddle around Stonewall Jackson Lake. Make sure to bring a friend, these water bikes seat two people.

Wakeboard, Tube or Water Ski

At Cheat Lake in Morgantown, you can rent a powerboat or ski boat and spend the day on the water. The lake has more than 1,000 acres to explore, and is perfect for water sports like skiing, tubing and wakeboarding. Rent your boat and equipment at Sunset Beach Marina at Cheat Lake. Don’t forget, a boater education card is required.

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This post was last updated on March 2, 2022