Paddle Boarding West Virginia

Written by Melanie Seiler



Photos Courtesy Melanie Seiler


New River



320 Miles Length




JOIN WEST VIRGINIA GROUP all sup'ers welcome

Gauley River





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Summersville Lake



2,700 Acres SURFACE AREA


JOIN WEST VIRGINIA GROUP all sup'ers welcome

Hawks Nest Lake



JOIN WEST VIRGINIA GROUP all sup'ers welcome


FAYETTEVILLE, West Virginia – Folks have been cruising the ocean waves for years with a paddle in hand and it’s about time we bring this toy to the waters of West Virginia.  SUP, stand up paddle, is a great sport for rivers and lakes.

The best time of year for West Virginia is May through November (although I plan on hitting the lakes as the flakes fly this winter). Our hot spots are on two rivers and two lakes: New & Gauley Rivers and Summersville & Hawks Nest Lakes.

One of my favorite places, and a great place to take first timers, is Fayette Station access on the New River.  This road brings you right to the river’s edge underneath the sprawling New River Gorge Bridge where you can paddle up river to a baby surf wave, the Superman Wave.  If you are feeling daring, plunge yourself into the class 4 wave train, Fayette Station rapid, where you have easy road access to walk back up to the car.

We have a true gem in WV with Summersville Lake.  Untouched in development with cascading cliff walls wrapping around this emerald lake, you can make a day of this tour.  Many access points and rock climbers to cheer on along the way.  This lake is full every year by May 1st. This summer Hawks Nest Lake had its first residing Bald Eagle. It is home to a tram ride to the state park lodge & very little motor boat traffic. This would be a great place for a half day paddle and then some lunch at the lodge!

There are a handful of other access areas on the New River that would be great for first timers & 2 sections of class 2-3 whitewater for an all day trip. So many options on the horizon. There is a savy, growing crowd of SUPers in the area with only more and more discovering this new way to play. Based out of the town of Fayetteville (one of America’s coolest small towns), it is overflowing with outdoor enthusiasts as residents and vacationers. If you are planning a visit, coming through this area or want to make some SUP friends, check out my twitter page. I’ll keep you connected to West Virginia.  SUP it up!

Melanie Seiler


Read Dan Gavere's White Water SUP Safety


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Last modified onThursday, 22 January 2015 15:29

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