Play in the water at these West Virginia state parks

West Virginia state parks offer a variety of water activities for all ages. Boating, swimming and fishing are all great ways to get out and enjoy nature while also practicing a little social distancing. Here’s a few ways you can combat summer’s scorching heat with a cool dip in the water.

Lake adventures

Whether you’re looking for a paddling workout or just want to relax and let the motor do the work, you’ll find a wide selection of boats available for rent at many state parks, from kayaks and canoes to fishing boats and pontoons. Check with the park’s marina to see what’s available or bring your own watercraft.

Start your adventure at one of these lake parks. Bluestone State Park offers a quiet getaway in the mountains and 2,040 acres of water for you to explore. Pack a picnic lunch or drop a line and do some fishing. The 1,750-acre lake that forms the centerpiece of Tygart Lake State Park is a favorite destination for boating, fishing, water skiing and even scuba diving. And just a short drive from downtown Huntington, Beech Fork State Park has a 20-acre lake and 31 miles of shoreline where you can cast a line and catch some of West Virginia’s most popular sport fish.

Swimming holes

Growing up, did you used to play in the river or creek? Or maybe you’ve heard your grandparents fondly reminiscing about the ol’ swimming hole. At Audra State Park, that memory is reality. A section of the Middle Fork River has been sectioned off for swimmers to splash around in or float on inner tubes in the boulder-strewn mountain stream.

Tygart Lake and Beech Fork state parks also have designated swimming areas on their lakes.

Wet ‘n’ wild playground

The kids will love bouncing around on the inflatables or running through shooting streams of water at Pipestem Resort State Park’s new Splash Park and Adventure Lake. The splash park has 15 different spraying, dumping, and playing water installations perfect to entertain the little ones for hours. The adventure lake features twelve giant inflatables and a sandy beach area with lounge chairs.

The park also offers kayaking and stand-up paddle board tours, tubing and whitewater rafting on the Bluestone River.

Plan your visit

Please help keep our parks wild and wonderful! Maintain a distance of at least 6 feet

from others, wear a mask if social distancing is not possible, and pack out your trash. Start planning your Almost Heaven getaway now! West Virginia residents receive a 30 percent discount on lodging booked before August 31.

Book Now

Find a Park

  • Activity
  • Region
  • Lodging