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Spend time kayaking or camping at Little Beaver State Park in West Virginia! It’s just a short drive from New River Gorge National Park.
The southern part of West Virginia is rich in state parks.
(It’s also home to one of the newest national parks! We love New River Gorge and its trails, like Grandview Rim, Long Point, and Endless Wall.)
If you’re adventuring anywhere between Charleston (West Virginia) and the Virginia state border, a lot of these parks make for easy day trips.
Little Beaver State Park is one such destination, great for a day on the lake or a camping trip.
Getting to Little Beaver
Little Beaver State Park is near the southern end of New River Gorge National Park in West Virginia.
It’s about 15 minutes east of Beckley. If you’re looking for a closer place to grab supplies or food, the community of Beaver has restaurants and groceries.
Interested in more outdoorsy stuff in West Virginia? Check out Pipestem Resort State Park, Pinnacle Rock State Park, or the Gray Flats South Trail!
One of the first things you’ll probably notice when you arrive at Little Beaver is the sandstone-covered dam.
This dam was built in the 1940’s to create the lake, and it’s now considered a historic site.
The water falling down the spillway creates a beautiful effect.
Recreation on Little Beaver Lake
The 18-acre lake is a great spot to learn how to kayak or paddle board, since there are few or no waves.
The day we went it was windy, and the water definitely had a current, but it never got wave-like at all.
You can rent kayaks, paddle boards, canoes and paddle boats on the weekends here (seasonally).
As of summer 2022, it was $5 per half-hour on a paddle boat, and $10 per hour on kayaks, canoes, and paddle boards.
It takes about 15 minutes or less to kayak from one side of the lake to the other.
We went on a Friday in June, and even though there were quite a few people fishing from the shore, the marina area wasn’t busy.
We rented kayaks for two hours and had the lake to ourselves for the first hour. After that, there were a few paddle boats and paddle boarders that joined us.
Need suggestions for kayaking gear for beginners? I recommend waterproof dry bags, water shoes, and possibly a shorty wetsuit if it’s cold.
Hiking, Camping + Picnicking at Little Beaver State Park
There are 17 trails, including some for bikes.
The trails are mostly rather short, though a few of them are moderate to difficult because of steepness. (A trekking pole is a must!)
Check the park website for a description of each trail and a map.
We did the Lake Front trail, and it was a nice easy stroll. (Actually, it was a good way to dry off after kayaking!)
The Lake Front trail is a loop of just over a mile long. It’s easy to access from the lake parking lot.
I like to stop and notice what flowers are in bloom, and if there are any animals or birds hanging out along the trail. The Lake Front trail did not disappoint.
We saw mountain laurel, wild roses, and mushrooms. (Keep in mind that it was June, a fantastic time for blossoms!)
There are covered shelters that overlook the lake, picnic tables scattered through the park, and a couple of playgrounds. We also saw a disc golf area.
At the relatively new 46-spot campground, 30 sites have both electricity and water, and 16 have only water hookups.
You can reserve a spot at the campground online or in person. It’s open from spring through fall.
There’s also a cute little cabin for rent. It has electricity, but not plumbing. (The bath house is a short distance away.)
The park has both a camp store and a gift shop, and, as mentioned above, groceries are down the road a few minutes at Beaver.
This state park is a relaxing forest getaway in the heart of West Virginia. Have you visited yet? Let us know!
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