Click here to read reports from Day 1 and Day 2 of the tour.
“Sunshine at Last”
First stop – Cheat Lake, West Virginia
We left Deep Creek under mostly cloudy skies and a temperature of 57, the weather forecast was promising as we headed southwest into West Virginia. By the time we reached our first stop of the day Cheat Lake, the sunshine had returned and the temperature was a warm 74 degrees, much better than the previous two days of rain and cool temperatures. We launched at Sunset Beach public boat launch and headed out of the cove into the main body of Cheat Lake, the water was cool around 67 degrees and rather cloudy with debris from the recent two days of storms, it was a fun paddle and easy access off of I – 68 and only minutes from Morgantown. The Cheat Lake is great place to learn to paddle board especially since it is so close to WVU and Morgantown area. We had a good paddle, we checked out the new bridge construction and a few lakefront houses and headed back to the launch to head to our next site Stonewall Jackson Resort and State Park. Along the way we checked out the Mon river and Tygart rivers, due to all the rain the previous two days we skipped the paddle in downtown Morgantown on the Mon river and the stop at Tygart Lake. As the new name “Epic Stand Up Paddleboard Tour” headed south on I – 79 to Stonewall Jackson Lake, we dialed up another friend, Jim Haas from our days at Snowshoe that works at a office along I-79 now near Bridgeport, West Virginia to look out the window as the paddleboard tour headed south.
Cheat Lake Area information:
Launch site: Sunset Beach public boat launch, free
Paddleboard rental nearby or Bring Your Own Board: Sunset Beach Marina & Watersports
Nearby lodging: Lakeview Resort, lots of lodging options in nearby Morgantown
Dining options: Archie’s Lakehouse (on the water, casual dining) Cheat Lake Pizza (pizza & pasta)
Other nearby area activities: Coopers Rock (climbing, mountain biking and hiking) Cheat River (kayaking and rafting)
Second stop – Stonewall Jackson Lake
This is now one of my favorite paddleboard sites; I had been to the lake before for other activities in the past, but today’s visit was truly epic, we headed out from the launch near the lakefront cottages,(theses cottage are the perfect place to stay for a weekend paddleboard adventure with some friends, they are waterfront at the northern end of the park) the lake was calm, the skies were sunny and the water was a warm 74 degrees, almost as warm as the 76 degree air. We headed up the lake toward the Stonewall Resort lodge, we noticed a tunnel under the road leading to a cove which had some dead trees still standing from the days when the lake was built, the tunnel was a unique experience as was the gladed paddleboard trail through the old trees, on our return trip to the launch we saw a Osprey dive down and catch a fish about 25 yards away, we followed the shoreline around the other side of the lake back to launch which had many areas where you could stop and check out the beautiful scenery of the park. We returned to the launch to let Rasta and Bahama, my two 4 month old golden retriever puppies enjoy the water and do a little paddleboarding, this complete a great visit to Stonewall Jackson Lake. Once we convinced Rasta and Bahama to get off the boards and out of the water we loaded up and headed about 15 minutes down I – 79 to a new lake on the tour, that Jeff’s sister “Samme” had suggested since we missed Tygart Lake earlier due to the rain storms the previous two days, this new stop was Burnsville Lake.