As the temperatures warm up, we know spending time on the water is an ideal way to cool off and enjoy the longer days. Whether you prefer paddling for pleasure, enjoy a more strenuous experience for exercise, or want to motor around baiting bass, we’ve rounded up Putnam County’s public water access points with some insider tips to guide you to the best spot for your preferences.
- Winfield Boat Ramp – The recently expanded launch area has ample parking for boats small and large, a wide concrete launch ramp, dock, and an older paddle launch area for those crowded days when the main ramp is bustling. This central point is just upstream from the Winfield Locks & Dam. The water here is often glass smooth and feels more like a serene lake than a wide river. Paddle enthusiasts should note, however, that because of its proximity to the lock and dam system, those looking for a longer float should put in upriver at Raymond City or downriver at Buffalo. The neighboring picnic shelter and bathroom facilities are appreciated amenities.
- Raymond City Boat Ramp – Our next largest river access point is upstream from Winfield on the Kanawha River at Raymond City. This location also offers plenty of parking, a small elevated pier, and a concrete ramp. This location, a favorite of river anglers, offers a small picnic shelter and is a seven-mile float to the Winfield Boat Ramp. A mural depicting how the area looked a century ago is a nice touch for those interested in regional history.
- Buffalo Boat Ramp – This concrete ramp just downriver of the Winfield Lock and Dam provides access to the northernmost section of the Kanawha River. A nearby picnic shelter is a welcome feature. This ramp provides access to the confluence of the Kanawha River into the Ohio River at Point Pleasant, 24 miles downstream for those wanting a full day on the water.
For additional water and fishing access points, including those in surrounding communities, visit the WV DNR Interactive fishing map. And remember anglers will need their WV Fishing license before getting a line wet.