West Virginia is best known as a coal mining state. But it’s also home to some of the best lakes in the country. If you love being outdoors and want to escape from city life, West Virginia has plenty of options for your family vacation. The lakes in West Virginia are perfect for swimming, boating, fishing, hiking, camping and other outdoor activities all year round.
West Virginia has endless beautiful scenery and is a popular destination for folks looking to enjoy nature through the state’s incredible hiking trails as well as the state’s famous white water rafting. However, don’t overlook the state’s many beautiful lakes. We’ve put together the internet’s most comprehensive list of lakes to help you plan your next West Virginia lake vacation. Our listings can help you locate:
- The perfect romantic weekend getaway. Find a crystal clear secluded lake, a waterfront vacation rental and head out for a weekend with that special someone.
- A spot for fun in the sun. Find a spot that has a sandy beach as you peruse the many West Virginia lakes for swimming and spending a day relaxing on the beach.
- An ideal fishing spot. With family or friends, West Virginia has an almost endless number of fishing opportunities on its lakes.
- The best lakes for boating in West Virginia. Drop in your pontoon, jet ski, or ski boat and enjoy an active vacation full of your favorite watersports.
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There are too many excellent lakes to enjoy in West Virginia to go into detail on each of them. However, here are some details on a few of our favorites. You’ll have options to enjoy everything from water skiing to scuba diving to just enjoying a cold one on the beach!
The best lakes to visit in West Virginia
Canaan Valley Lake
This stunning lake is surrounded by mountains on three sides and offers great opportunities for fishing with its many deep spots near the dam where fish congregate because they can find food more easily there. You can also take a boat tour of the lake, and there are hiking trails for those who want to explore the area on foot. The lakes in West Virginia offer so much more than just swimming and fishing!
It’s worth noting that Canaan Valley Lake Park offers free tubing which is perfect for families with young kids or people looking to do something relaxing and fun without breaking their budget. There’s even a waterpark for those who want to play around after swimming all day – it features slides, splash pads and other water elements as well as picnic tables and grills. And if you like camping, there are 209 campsites (including six RV sites) where you can stay close to the park all weekend long. This West Virginia lake is definitely one of the best places to go on a family vacation — it’s got so much to offer!
Upper Falls Lake
Upper Falls Lake is best known for its crystal clear water, which makes it perfect for swimming. Upper Falls is also great for fishing, boating and paddle boarding, though, with calm waters that are easy to navigate. You can even rent boats at many marinas along Upper Falls Lake which makes it fun whether you want to spend your money on food or water sports equipment. If you love hiking, there are several trails around the lake as well – some lead right up the surrounding mountains while others take visitors through forests or down by streams. With all of these great activity options, Upper Falls Lake Park is one of the best lakes in West Virginia that you won’t want to miss!
Bluestone Lake is known for its stunning natural beauty and activities like swimming, boating and fishing. There are also plenty of hiking trails and campgrounds around the lake. And the best part? It’s surrounded by thousands of acres of protected lands where visitors can explore nature without harming it at all! Bluestone is definitely one of the best places to go if you love spending time outdoors. You get the best of both worlds here – quaint small town communities with shopping and dining opportunities while still being able to enjoy plenty of West Virginia beauty to make your vacation memorable.
West Fork Lake
West Fork Lake is one of West Virginia’s most popular lakes because it offers so many different activities for visitors to enjoy. West Fork is great for swimming but you can also go fishing, canoeing and kayaking, kiteboarding or just rent a boat at the marina. There are hiking trails around West Fork that lead into the nearby forests which allow you to explore West Virginia wilderness without leaving your beautiful lake behind altogether. West Fork Lake Park even has an amusement park with rides for kids who want to have fun after spending the day swimming in the lake! It really does have something for everyone when it comes to West Virginian lakes!
West Fork Lake is among West Virginia’s best lakes for fun!
Carnifex Ferry Lake
Carnifex Ferry Lake is West Virginia’s largest man-made lake and it’s known as West Virginia’s Best Kept Secret. West Virginians love to come here for swimming, boating and fishing all year round–people especially enjoy coming here in the autumn when the weather starts getting colder but you can still swim in Carnifex Lake well into October without needing a wetsuit. This West Virginia lake also has over 250 campsites and 18 different boat ramps so there are plenty of opportunities to get out on the water or just hang out around the lake. There’s an adventure park that can be rented as well as a skating rink, play areas for kids and plenty of other West Virginia fun to enjoy throughout the year. Carnifex Lake is among West Virginia’s best lakes for enjoying fall weather even after you’ve run out of things to do in West Virginia!
Davis Creek Lake
Davis Creek is a perfect West Virginia lake for those who love being outdoors – it’s great for swimming, boating and fishing all year round. There are plenty of hiking trails around Davis Creek which allow visitors to explore West Virginian wilderness. West Virginia is known for its beautiful lakes and Davis Creek is no exception!
Cheat Lake is West Virginia’s largest artificial lake and it offers some of West Virginia’s best water recreation. Cheat Lake is perfect for swimming, boating, skiing or tubing in the warmer months but West Virginians also come here to ice skate in the winter when temperatures are cold enough. It’s easy to find West Virginia fun year round at Cheat Lake which makes it one of West Virginia’s best lakes for getting out on the water!
Brownlee Reservoir is West Virginia’s largest reservoir so it’s no surprise that people love coming here to go swimming, boating, fishing and even mud bogging! West Virginians love exploring West Virginia lakes throughout different seasons so Brownlee Reservoir is perfect for West Virginia activities like skiing in the winter or just floating around the lake to catch some West Virginia sun during the summertime.
Beech Fork Lake
Beech Fork Lake is West Virignia’s most popular lakes. It’s great for swimming, boating, fishing and West Virginia fun in general with plenty of West Virginian events happening here throughout the year! West Virginians love to come to Beech Fork Lake where you can enjoy West Virginian sunshine or West Virginia snow when winter comes! There are also plenty of West Virginian shopping opportunities nearby so you can easily combine your West Virginia vacation with getting some souvenirs to take home.
West Fork Lake Park, Carnifex Ferry Lake and Davis Creek are some favorite destinations among West Virginians as they offer a variety of fun summertime activities such as swimming in the water or fishing on the shores. There really is something for everyone when it comes to West Virginia lakes!