Officials in the West Virginia state park system are encouraging visitors to celebrate National Canoe Day June 26 by taking a canoe or kayak out for a paddle at a state park or forest lake.
Gift shops at state parks and forests that offer canoe or kayak rentals are offering a discount of 20 percent on T-shirt purchases June 26, and Beech Fork State Park is celebrating by offering a group paddle on Beech Fork Creek.
Parks and forests with canoe rentals include Babcock, Beech Fork, Blackwater Falls, Bluestone, North Bend, Pipestem Resort, and Watoga state parks and Seneca State Forest.
Parks and forests with kayak rentals include Bluestone, Moncove Lake, Pipestem Resort, and Tygart Lake state parks and Seneca State Forest.
“West Virginia’s state parks and forests are a great place to enjoy a day out on the water,” says Dillard Price, superintendent at Beech Fork State Park.
“We have guests who bring their own boats, but many of our parks have an affordable selection of kayaks, canoes and other paddle boats available to rent if you don’t have one of your own.”
The Beech Fork Creek group paddle will start at 4:30 p.m., Price said, and participants should meet at the Beech Fork State Park boat launch by 4 p.m. to catch a shuttle to the start site.
The Beech Fork trip is approximately three miles and will last about two hours. Wildlife and special habitats will be observed along the way.
Paddlers should wear comfortable, weather-appropriate clothing and sun screen. Guests may bring a canoe and kayak of their own or rent one at the park.
Pre-registration for the Beech Fork event is recommended to assure room on the shuttle. Participants should sign up at Beech Fork State Park headquarters by calling 304-528-5794 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
For more information about boating at state parks, visit WVStateParks.com.