Kayaking, canoeing, or floating? Spinning or fly fishing? Hardy County, WV offers flatwater floats or seasonally rapid rivers, as well as lakes and mountain runs waiting to be fished. 

Tributaries wind down the mountain slopes feeding Hardy County’s five rivers to offer some of the best fishing and seasonal paddling in West Virginia’ Potomac Watershed. Fed by the North and South Forks, the South Branch of the Potomac River is a favorite fishing and floating the river. The Trough, a historic six-mile canyon, features towering rock walls accessed only by water or train. Known for its great bass and trout fishing, you can also watch bald eagles soar overhead. 

Hanging Rock is a favored casting spot on the 30-mile Lost River. Disappearing underground at Lost River Sinks, the river emerges as the Cacapon River flowing to the Potomac River. From its headwaters at 3000, the North River joins the other tributaries of the Cacapon, all known for their brook trout habitats. 

Upper Cove, Kimsey Run,and Parker Hollow Lakes are well known fishing spots with Parker Hollow’s submerged, standing trees creating great fish habitat. Warden Lake offers easily accessible fishing. The longest grass carp on record (53.1”) was landed at Warden Lake a couple of years ago.

Things to Do in Hardy County

The 17-acre Rock Cliff Lake at Trout Pond Recreation Area offers a tranquil setting for canoeing, a beach area for swimming, and incredible fishing from the river’s tree-lined shore or by boat for channel catfish, largemouth bass, and trout. Nearby is Trout Pond, while diminutive, it is West Virginia’s only natural lake.

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Check out Breezewood Adventures to rent kayaks and canoes for paddling or fishing the South Branch. They also offer river trips with shuttle service and host private riverside camping trips. 

So, come for the day but plan to stay the night. You can find a complete list of accommodations, restaurants, and shopping, plus river access points and trail maps at www.visithardywv.com.  

Breezewood Adventures: https://www.breezewoodadventures.com

Trout Pond Recreation Area: https://www.recreation.gov/camping/campgrounds/232162