How do you spend a long weekend in West Virginia?

How do you spend a long weekend in West Virginia?

How do you spend a long weekend in West Virginia?

The Mountain State, shaped like a jumping frog, is one of the most underrated family-friendly destinations in America. Not only can you take part in a myriad of adventures – white-water rafting, fishing, rock climbing, mountain biking, hiking – but you can also find peace and solitude amid the flora and fauna that the West claims makes up nearly 80% of the state of Virginia Department of Tourism. , is covered with forests.

Located in the Appalachian Mountains, a trip here will be one your family won’t soon forget. Keep reading to learn more about how to spend a long weekend in this radiant state.

New River Gorge . National Park

Our nation’s newest national park, New River Gorge National Park and Preserve, is located in southern West Virginia. The New River, which is actually one of the oldest rivers in the world, formed before the mountains, has been protected since 1978. One of the most interesting facts about this river is that it flows north, cutting through deep gorges as it moves along. The park is home to over 70,000 acres of land along this whitewater river, which offers an abundance of outdoor activities. Be sure to visit the Canyon Rim Visitor Center, Sandstone Visitor Center, Grandview Visitor Center and the seasonally open Thurmond Depot.

Not that you can miss it, but be sure to explore the New River Gorge Bridge from all angles. Completed in 1977, this artwork is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is the longest steel span bridge in the Western Hemisphere and the third tallest in America. If you come on the third Saturday in October, you can take part in Bridge Day, an annual pedestrian-friendly one-day celebration filled with food, music, BASE jumpers and rappelling.

Hiking at New River Gorge

Marked and well-maintained hiking trails of varying lengths and levels of difficulty abound in the national park. Explore the trails of Lansing, Fayetteville, and Nuttallburg on the north side of the park; Cunard, Thurmond, and Stone Cliff trails downtown; and Grandview, Glade Creek, Brooks, and Sandstone trails to the south.

A cool trail to explore is the Long Point Trail (Fayetteville), a 2.6-mile back-and-forth romp that leads to great views of the canyon and the park’s famous bridge.

Rent bikes at Arrowhead Bike Farm if you prefer to ride the Long Point Trail, hiking the last quarter mile to the edge. The on-site restaurant, The Handlebar + Kitchen, is a great place to celebrate with a beer and tacos afterwards. Don’t miss the goats – it is a farm after all.

White water rafting

A big draw for this neck of the woods is the white water rafting on the New River. You will find that ACE Adventure Resort works like a well-oiled machine. These trips are led by expert guides who will tell you all about West Virginia along the way.

Families with young children under 12 will enjoy the rafting experience in the Upper New River Gorge, where the water is calmer, and families with older children in tow will dig the Lower New River Gorge, the most popular and exciting route. For the latter, choose the full-day tour, including lunch, to get the whole experience. You’ll travel 8-13 miles, over 6-7 hours, paddling through whitewater, swimming in quieter spots, and even taking the time to jump off rocks.

Bridge walk

Consider the Bridge Walk for something almost everyone in your family can do. While not for those with a fear of heights, this safe tour leads groups across the New River Gorge Bridge via the catwalk, 25 feet below the bridge. As you make your way from one end to the other, walking the entire 3,030 feet, you can feel and hear the traffic flowing above you and your body trembling just a little bit. The walkway is 24” wide and of course there are handrails to keep you safe, in addition to a harness and safety cable system. Children eight years and older can participate. Visit during Bridge Day to see the BASE jumpers.

New River Gorge Scenic Drive

Another great activity that everyone in the family can do is the New River Gorge Scenic Drive. This three-hour journey travels over 83 miles and encircles the national park. Fayette Station Road gives you a close-up view of the bridge and driving the serpentine roads with switchbacks is an experience like no other. Of course, there are plenty of places to stop, hike, and explore the area’s coal mining history along the way.

You’ll really understand the meaning of John Denver’s words as he sang, “Almost Heaven, West Virginia. Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah River. Life is old there, older than the trees, younger than the mountains, growing like a breeze. Country roads, take me home, to the place where I belong. West Virginia, mountain mama, take me home, country lanes.’

Zip Lining and Canopy Tours

Ideal for ages 10 and up, the Adventures on the Gorge’s Treetop Zip-line Canopy Tour is a year-round adventure that should definitely be on your to-do list while in West Virginia. Travel past oak, maple, birch and hemlock trees on this leafy guided tour as you zip, rappel, hike and cross winding bridges.

The three-season Gravity Zip lines are ideal for ages 12 and up, with the track flying down six different lines that get longer and faster. At the end, ride the Adrena line, a 3,150-foot zipline, one of the longest and fastest zip lines in the country.

On the same large complex, enjoy snacks and appetizers at a variety of restaurants: Smokey’s on the Gorge, Chetty’s Pub, Sweet Java Falls, and Canyon Falls Snack Shack.

Dining: Other Areas to Explore

You will probably start your adventure in the state capital, Charleston. There are plenty of dining options to take advantage of, including: Black Sheep Burritos & Brews, Adelphia Sports Bar & Grille, Tudor’s Biscuit World, Ellen’s Homemade Ice Cream, and Pies & Pints.

In Fayetteville, check out Wood Iron Eatery, Wanderlust Creative Foods, Southside Junction Taphouse, The Take Out, The Stache, Firecreek BBQ & Steaks, and Cathedral Café.

Where to stay

Most of your trip in West Virginia will likely be adventurous and thrill-seeking. If you decide you’ve had enough and you need a siesta or a good night’s sleep, look no further than Country Road Cabins. You go from extreme to serene with a stay in a luxury glamping tent, hut, yurt or tree house. Each detached house is private, fully equipped, lovingly furnished and equipped with a terrace and hot tub. You have easy access to all that the New River Gorge area has to offer, while at the same time enjoying complete immersion in nature and solitude.