Zipline tours are officially underway at Pipestem Resort State Park, and just in time for summer. West Virginia State Parks unveiled the state’s newest aerial adventure Thursday with the first trips on a series of ziplines that let riders soar for more than a mile above the breathtaking Bluestone National Scenic River.
“This is truly a great day for West Virginia State Parks,” Division of Natural Resource Director Stephen McDaniel said. “Since day one on the job, Governor Justice has charged me with finding ways to improve our parks, and he has been involved every step of the way in this project. Thanks to his leadership, we’re able to diversify our parks system and add out-of-this-world recreation opportunities for our park visitors and guests.”McDaniel participated in a ribbon cutting ceremony at Pipestem Resort in Summers County to mark the occasion.
Also on hand to celebrate were Tourism Commissioner Chelsea Ruby, State Parks Chief Sam England, Pipestem Park Superintendent Brett McMillion and Paul Buechler of Ace Adventure Resort, which operates the zipline.
The partnership with Ace, announced earlier this year, represents a new era in recreation at West Virginia State Parks focused on family-friendly activities to draw a new generation of visitors.
Ace has several other projects in the works at Pipestem, including an adventure lake and splash park similar to Ace’s lake in Oak Hill, rock climbing and rappelling instruction, kayaking and paddleboard tours, guided mountain bike excursions, and tubing and whitewater adventures. Guided fishing trips on the Bluestone River began earlier this spring.“The partnership project between West Virginia State Parks and Ace Adventure Resort demonstrates just how committed our partners are to growing and developing West Virginia’s tourism industry,” Tourism Commissioner Chelsea Ruby said.
“This world-class zipline will make this beloved park into an even more popular tourist destination, and I can’t wait to get more visitors to come and experience these almost heaven adventures.”The Pipestem Peaks canopy tour spans more than 1.5 miles of ziplines and crosses the Bluestone Gorge three times. The tour soars more than 300 feet above the river valley and can reach speeds up to 50 mph. At the end of the tour, riders can return from the gorge via the park’s iconic tram.
Overall, the adventure takes between 2 to 3.5 hours to complete, including the gear-up process, training, and transportation. This one-of-a-kind course was designed by Bonsai Design of Grand Junction, Colorado, a leading company in zip line construction. The zipline is just one part of an $11 million investment at Pipestem Resort State Park. Pipestem is also undergoing extensive improvements to its cabins, lodge, campgrounds, water treatment facility and tram, all designed to improve the visitor experience.
Guests can reserve their room, cabin, campsite and zipline tour on the recently launched online booking engine at wvstateparks.com.The zipline is set to officially open for public tours on Saturday, May 11. To celebrate the grand opening, customers can receive $15 off a zipline tour when they book online with the code ZIPLINE15.
For more details and to sign up to receive additional offers and promotions, visitwvstateparks.com.F