Plan a family fishing adventure at WV state parks

There’s no better way to connect with the kids than taking them fishing. Teaching them how to cast a line and reel in that big one while you enjoy some precious family time in Almost Heaven is a lifelong memory.  West Virginia state parks and forests are the ideal places for family fishing getaways. Pack your gear and plan an overnight stay so you can also enjoy a wide range of activities while you soak in the beautiful mountain scenery.

Best known for its spectacular waterfalls, Blackwater Falls State Park also makes a great fishing destination. The 8-acre Pendleton Lake is ideal for families with children just learning how to fish. The lake is easy to access and has plenty of parking. Cast a line and you might reel in bass, bluegill, catfish, or trout. The nearby Blackwater River also is regularly stocked with trout in the spring and summer. 

Home of the iconic Grist Mill, Babcock State Park offers fishing on Glade Creek and at Boley Lake. The creek may require some climbing and maneuvering, while the 19-acre mountaintop lake has an easily accessible shoreline and permits only non-motorized boats on its waters. Anglers here have an excellent opportunity to catch largemouth bass, bluegill, trout, and channel catfish.  

At the tip of the Northern Panhandle, Tomlinson Run State Park offers fishing opportunities in the namesake stream that runs through the park and on the 23-acre Tomlinson Run Lake. Campers and anglers here can cast a line for bass, catfish, bluegill, and trout.

Just minutes from the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve, Little Beaver State Park is a perennial family favorite, having earned the distinction of one of the Top 10 Mom-Approved Places to Fish and Boat in the U.S. Non-motorized boats are permitted on the 18-acre lake, where anglers can fish year-round for largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, trout, and channel catfish. The park also hosts an Annual Kids’ Fishing Derby in June.

A favorite destination for bicyclists due to its proximity to the North Bend Rail Trail, North Bend State Park also is a prime spot to fish for bass, crappie, musky, and catfish. The park’s 305-acre lake has a handicap-accessible fishing pier and other fishing access points. Fishing also is available on the North Fork of the Hughes River.

Plan your Almost Heaven fishing getaway

Before you head out, purchase a current West Virginia fishing license, available at www.wvfish.com. Visit the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources for current fishing regulations and trout stocking schedules for West Virginia state parks and other public waters.

Once you’ve decided upon a fishing destination, plan to stay a few nights to enjoy additional park activities, from hiking and biking to boating, horseback riding, and more. Reserve your state park lodge room, cabin, or campsite online today!

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