Charleston, West Virginia has a wealth of resources for recreational activities. From golfing, camping, horseback riding, racing, swimming, snow skiing, tennis and white water rafting, Charleston has all these within comfortable driving distance from the center of town. Within the city, there are a number of public parks that residents and visitors can enjoy. There are tracks for jogging and walking, facilities for picnics, and benches for resting.
Cato Park, a large municipal park in the West side of Charleston boast of having an executive par 3 golf course, an Olympic-size swimming pool, and picnic areas. There is also tennis courts, children’s playground, the Garrison Nature Trail and a soccer field.
Over at the other end of the city is the Daniel Boone Roadside Park, a historic area along Kanawha Boulevard. Within the park is the Ruffner Log Cabin, and across it, the Craik-Patton House, two of the most historical landmarks of Charleston. The Daniel Boone Park has a gorgeous picnic area, with a scenic view of the river. There is also a boat ramp for those who want to paddle down the river.
In downtown Charleston, there’s the Haddad Riverfront Park. Opened in 1995, the park features an 2,500-seater amphitheater, which is the venue of a number of symphony concerts and plays. Park goers can enjoy the beautiful view of the Kanawha River, as they bike, run, sunbathe and boat around the park.
Up the river, where the Elk and Kanawha join is Magic Island. This little island is a favorite place for exercising or just for soaking up the sun. There is a walking track and a volleyball court, making it a popular choice for the active set.
The sporting set goes to Laidley Field, where there is a football, soccer and track facility. The stadium can seat up to 18,000 spectators, and is the venue for a lot of events in Charleston like outdoor concerts, the Ribfest and a number of high school events. It is located in the East End, near the Capitol Complex.
Baseball aficionados makes the Appalachian Power Park in 601 Morris Street their first stop. This is the home of Little league, Senior League and the Big Leagues of Charleston. The park can accommodate up to 4,500 people, and is also sometimes used for concerts and festivals.