Kayaking numbers increase in Mercer County

BLUEFIELD, WV (WOAY)- Mercer County has seen a spike in the kayak business over the course of the pandemic.

During a period of time where several businesses have had to adjust to the conditions presented by COVID-19, outdoor activities have proved beneficial for the Mercer County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“It’s a great activity,” said Bureau Director Jamie Null. “It’s a great exercise too. We have seen a lot of kayaks at all of our waterways. Our lakes. The Dan Hale Hale Reservoir. Also, the Bluestone River, which often feeds into Camp Creek.”

With travel limited in regards to typical summertime vacation places, the increase in kayak numbers has been evident, particularly on the weekends.

“It’s been really interesting on the weekends, when you’re driving through, to see kayaks tied to cars,” Null said. “It’s something that I didn’t really see a lot of in previous years. It’s a growing trend, and I think that the pandemic just really pushed it to the next level here.”

Kayaking is a great outlet for those who have been stuck indoors for several months. It can also be a reminder of all that this region has to offer.

“It’s a great way to explore Southern West Virginia,” Null said. “Sometimes we forget what’s in our own backyard. If anything, this has been the summer of reckoning to see exactly what we have to offer, and what is so great about our area that we’ve kind of forgotten about over the years.”

The Bureau as a whole is appreciative and excited to have been able to create a new hobby for many Southern West Virginians.