Since 2016, Meghan Fisher has been inspiring and educating individuals on how to have an active, outdoor lifestyle through stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) with her business, Mountain Surf Paddle Sports. SUP, Meghan says, is best described as a mix of other water activities. The paddle stroke is similar to canoeing and the board, although bigger, is similar in shape to a surfboard. It is a type of recreation that people of all skill, fitness and adventure levels can enjoy with some instruction and practice. Personally, Meghan enjoys the versatility that SUP offers. “You can stand up, sit, lie, or kneel. It can be as relaxing or adventurous as you want it to be.”
Here are some of Meghan’s favorite spots to SUP.
Kanawha Falls, the largest waterfall in the state, can be found alongside U.S. 60 in Fayette County where the New and Gauley Rivers converge to form the Kanawha River. Often less crowded than Summersville Lake — another popular place to SUP — Kanawha Falls has flat water that makes it a good place for a beginner to learn the basics and also enjoy the area’s natural beauty.
Plum Orchard Lake
Located about 5 miles north of Pax, Plum Orchard Lake spans 202 acres in the Plum Orchard Lake Wildlife Management Area. It is known for being an excellent spot to catch largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie, and channel catfish and as well as its abundance of lily pads and other plant life. For SUPers, Plum Orchard Lake is a calm location good for relaxing SUP yoga classes.
Stone Cliff can be found about 1.5 miles upstream from Thurmond. There is access to the New River for fishing and boating, and Meghan offers a signature “Intro to Whitewater Paddle Boarding” class here for those wanting to learn how to handle currents.
Southside Junction Tap House
After a day on the water, Meghan recommends hanging out at this local hotspot. Owned by mother-daughter team Wendy and Cassidy Bayes (the ladies behind Cathedral Cafe and Raw & Juicy Juice Bar), Southside Junction Tap House is located in downtown Fayetteville. It has a cool vibe, 12 rotating beers on tap, live music and good food (including their signature pork nachos, which are Meghan’s favorite).