Boatless doesn’t have to mean floatless in Morgantown.

There’s no better way to spend a summer day than on the water. Even if you don’t have your own boat, here are five ways you can get on the water in and around Morgantown all summer long.

If you’re affiliated with the university, no gear is no problem—students, faculty, and staff can rent from WVU’s Student Rec Center with a WVU ID. Rentals are based on daily or weekly rates. You can rent canoes, kayaks, and stand-up paddleboards. The rec center also offers accessories like boat carriers, dry bags, wet suits, and splash tops so you can get your paddle party started.

Don’t paddle alone—join Morgantown Area Paddlers for a community vibe. The group fosters a communal kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding environment, and is usually able to find an idle boat for a newcomer. Check its Facebook group for scheduled events and locations.

If you like big boats and you cannot lie, fear naut—all your boating needs are covered at  Sunset Beach Marina. Pontoons are available to rent at this Cheat Lake marina, as are canoes, kayaks, and stand-up paddleboards. Be sure to pack your sunscreen for a day of flatwater fun.

For a family-friendly environment, check out Padlz Canoe and Kayak Rentals in Bruceton Mills (30 minutes). Padlz offers canoes, single and double kayaks, and stand-up paddleboards. It boasts a mild family-friendly and pet-friendly flatwater experience, so the whole family is sure to have a floating good time.

Is whitewater more your style? For an iconic West Virginia experience near town, check out Cheat River Outfitters, in Albright (45 minutes) and if you haven’t tried rafting, a guided experience is your best bet. You can run the Class II-III Cheat Narrows, or the Class III-V Cheat Canyon when water is high.

So water you waiting for? Have fun keeping it reel at the lake or on the river this summer. Happy paddling!


photo by Carla Witt Ford

Please follow and like us:
Savannah Carr
Written by Savannah Carr
Savannah Carr joined New South Media in 2019 as Web and Social Media Manager. She is a Mabie, West Virginia, native, that came to Morgantown for college but is staying for the culture and connections she built. When she’s not busy writing or sharing West Virginia’s best stories she can be found kayaking or camping with her aussiedoodle Dixie and newfie Boone.