Marion on the Mon

male with life jacket on a wave runner

Summertime is finally here and with it comes the sun and good times! A stellar way to enjoy the great summer weather is by spending a day on the river. Luckily, Marion County is home to one of the finest rivers in the state, the Monongahela River. 

The Monongahela River spans 130-miles and starts at the confluence of the west and east forks right here in Marion County. Joining the West Fork River and the Tygart River, this gently flowing river on the Allegheny Plateau flows all the way to Pittsburgh Pennsylvania where it connects with the Allegheny River. 

Did you know that the Monongahela River is one of only 245 rivers in the world that flow north?

As a result of its slow-moving and gentle current, the Monongahela, or Mon as referred to by many locals, is a great destination for boat lovers of all shapes and sizes. Whether you enjoy fishing out of a bass boat or flaring your paddles in a kayak, the Mon River has something for everyone! 

Know Before You Go

hand holding an iced coffee drink in a mason jar in front of the restaurant

Spending a day on the water is a great way to enjoy the summer, but it can be made even more enjoyable with a little preparation. While on the river, you will no doubt become peckish for a snack, and Country Club Bakery offers the perfect boating treat: Pepperoni Rolls! These delicious Marion County snacks are great for a day on the Mon because they don’t need refrigerated! 

Another necessity before hitting the water is sunscreen. Health Naturally in Fairmont is a great place to stock up on sunscreen and other healthy elements to keep you and your family safe while on the water. 

And of course, no trip is complete without the perfect drinks. Stop by The Joe, conveniently located in downtown Fairmont to pick up a few iced drinks for the river. 

If you are out to make a fashion statement, a stop at Savvy Consignment or Britain & Brooks is a must before you launch. Think floppy hat and sunglasses. 

Boat Launches

people in a red canoe getting into the river using a kayak/canoe launch

In Marion County, the Monongahela River has three key boat launches. The first is in downtown Fairmont at Palatine Park. Located on Water Street, Palatine Park has not one, but two large boat launches equipped to set sail in any sized boat. Also located at Palatine Park are kayak launches which make it easy to get your feet wet if you’ve never tried the sport before. With plenty of parking available, Palatine Park is the premier boat launch for the Mon River. While launching from the park, you might be lucky enough to catch a Saturday night concert from the river! 

A few miles upstream, water lovers can find another boat launch in Rivesville. Albeit small, this quaint boat launch is a great place to put in (or take out) to enjoy a relaxing day on the river!

Finally, the last boat launch is located at Prickett’s Fort State Park in the northeast corner of the county. Similar to Palatine Park, Prickett’s Fort State Park offers a large concrete boat ramp that makes it easy to put in and take out your watercraft. While at the park, be sure to take a guided tour of the reconstructed fort! 

Boat Rentals

woman on a stand up paddle board

Located on the shore of the Tygart river near White Hall, Woods Boat House is a great place to rent a non-motorized watercraft of your choice for the day. They have everything you need from kayaks to paddleboards and even accessories to ensure you have a safe and fun trip! So if you don’t have a boat or kayak, no worries, Woods Boat House has got you covered!

Personally, I highly recommend the float from Palatine Park in downtown Fairmont to Prickett’s Fort State Park. This seven-mile stretch of water offers a secluded view like no other and with the help from the current, it is an easy paddle. 

So what are you waiting for? Find a boat and hit the water to soak up all the water has to offer this summer! 

What’s your favorite way to enjoy the water?

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