Unleash Your Inner Explorer: Scenic Kayaking in Parkersburg, WV

June 28, 2024

Imagine this: a gentle breeze ruffles your hair, the sun warms your skin, and the rhythmic splash of your paddle breaks the silence. You’re surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty, gliding down the historic Ohio River with your family by your side. This dream adventure awaits in Parkersburg, WV! Here’s why it’s the perfect place for your next kayaking escapade:

Unwind on the Water with Wild River Kayak Co.

Wild River Kayak Co., conveniently located at Point Park on the Ann Street side of the Welcome Center, offers everything you need for a kayaking adventure. They’re open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. (last rental at 6 p.m., kayaks off the water by 8 p.m.). Rentals are affordable, with options for hourly, half-day, and full-day adventures.

If you rent a boat from Wild River, you can launch right from Point Park and paddle up the Little Kanawha or down the Ohio to Blennerhassett Island!

Explore a National Recreational Trail

Parkersburg sits right along the Ohio River, and the Ohio River Water Trail is a National Recreational Trail in the National Trail System and includes the section of the Ohio River that borders Wood County and the Little Kanawha River.

The Ohio is one of America’s great iconic rivers with more than 100 species of fish, 25 species of mammal and 40 freshwater mussels.

Explore the Ohio River Islands

Three of the islands on the Ohio River Water Trail are part of the Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge. Visitors are welcome to pull their kayaks up onto shore and explore the islands during the day. The refuge works to protect, conserve and restore the riparian forest habitats of the islands.

Safety First!

Before you embark on your kayaking adventure, remember to prioritize safety and be aware of your surroundings. Here are some key tips:

  • Weather: Check the forecast and avoid kayaking during storms, high winds, or high water conditions. High water can create stronger currents and debris in the river.
  • Wind and Waves: The Ohio River’s a large body of water, so wind direction can change quickly. Kayak directly into the wind for better control of your boat.
  • Boat Traffic: Yield the right of way to commercial vessels like barges and avoid paddling in their path. Strong underwater currents can follow commercial traffic, so maintain at least 1,000 feet of clearance behind towboats.

Additional Tips:

  • Always wear a properly fitted life jacket for everyone on board.
  • Pack sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses for sun protection.
  • Bring plenty of water to stay hydrated.

Ready to Hit the Water?

Grab your family, pack a picnic and get ready to create lasting memories on this scenic kayaking adventure in Parkersburg, WV!

For a more in depth look into kayaking the Ohio River, visit

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