Swimming at WV State Parks is the cool way to beat summer heat

From indoor and outdoor pools to rivers and lakes, state parks and forests offer some fun options for swimming!

It’s hot outside and you need to cool off. What to do? Nothing beats the summer heat like a dip in the pool. Too bad everyone else is thinking the same thing. Skip the crowds and head to a West Virginia state park for a swim. Here’s a few swimming options you and your family are sure to enjoy!

Nature-made swimming spots

audra swimming

While everyone else is swimming at a crowded public pool, take a dip in a lake or stream for a unique West Virginia state park experience.

Hikers at Audra State Park can cool off with a refreshing dip in a pool carved from Mother Nature. The boulder-strewn Middle Fork River winds through the park, where a swimming hole is accessible by a concrete ramp.

Visitors to Cass Scenic Railroad and the Greenbrier River Trail will find the wide, shallow waters of the Greenbrier River ideal for swimming. It’s also great for wading and tubing! The river is a short drive from Seneca State Forest. (Local outfitters provide inner-tube rentals and shuttle service on both the Middle Fork and Greenbrier rivers.)

You don’t have to drive all the way to the ocean to lay out on a sandy beach. Just head to Tygart Lake State Park or Cacapon Resort State Park. Each park has designated swimming areas on the lake with wide beaches of soft white sand, perfect for sunbathing.

Historic connections

The Civilian Conservation Corps built the outdoor swimming pool at Lost River State Park during President Franklin Roosevelt’s tenure. It has undergone renovations over the years but retains its historic charm. The pool is one of many CCC-built structures, which include the park’s iconic Cranny Crow overlook.

Native Americans and colonial settlers were bathing in the restorative mineral waters of Berkeley Springs long before it became a state park. Today the public swimming pool at Berkeley Springs State Park is fed with natural spring water.

Giant water slides

tomlinson run swimming

Most of our parks that offer overnight accommodations also have swimming pools. But, the outdoor pools at Chief Logan State Park and Tomlinson Run State Park are set apart by a unique feature. Each pool is equipped with a towering, twisting water slide the kids will love (and most adults, too).

Unique swimming pools

Some of our resort parks have both indoor and outdoor pools, but Stonewall Resort is the only park one with a pool that is both indoors and out. This unique layout means part of the pool lies beneath a shaded canopy while the other half is outdoors, surrounded by a sun deck overlooking the lake. Glass sliding doors open to allow swimmers to pass from one part to another with ease.

Many of our resort parks also have hot tubs, saunas and fitness centers. For more information about amenities offered at each park, contact that park’s office.

Find a park and beat the summer heat with a cooling swim today!