Ultimate Outdoor Throwdown Bracket

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Help crown West Virginia’s top adventure— and you might w​in an awesome adventure prize package!

Biking trails, climbing spots, stargazing skies, ATV parks and more are competing for the honor. We know you have favorite outdoor adventures and escapes, so vote in the Ultimate Outdoor Throwdown Bracket.​

Who’s going to emerge victorious? You decide. 16 bouts with 32 competing adventures. You know these spots best, which is why y​our decision matters.​

Vote for popular attractions a​nd ​hidden gems like these:

●  Best hiking trail: ​Ohio River Islands NWR vs. Hanging Rock Observatory. Sure, you can see lots of waterfowl and owls on Middle Island, but Hanging Rock lets you see eagles glide right at eye level.

●  Best climbing spot: N​ew River Gorge vs. Seneca Rocks. Whether you dig rope, bouldering or sport, the New’s sandstone has it all. But Seneca Rocks presents unique challenges of its own— and it’s the East Coast’s only true peak.

●  Best extreme walk: V​ia Ferrata vs. Bridge Walk. Clamber from one mountain crag to another at Via Ferrata and take in stunning views of tree canopies. Or, tread a narrow catwalk 851 feet off the ground during Bridge Walk’s New River Gorge Bridge tour. Decisions, decisions.

●  Best stargazing location: C​alhoun County Park vs. Spruce Knob. East Coast astronomy can’t be beat in West Virginia, where you can view rare, pristine nighttime sights of the Milky Way, constellations and planets. Grantsville’s Calhoun County Park is a local secret and has some of the best skies in the state. But Spruce Knob’s high altitude and award-­winning scenery are definitely a bonus.

●  Best biking trail: ​Arrowhead Trails vs. Mountwood Park. The New River Gorge’s Arrowhead Trails have some of the best single­tracks in America. You can also bike further and harder each year, since the park is expanding. Mountwood Park definitely delivers lots of fun, though, with its exciting switchbacks and bridges.


●  Best rafting river: G​auley Rivers. CheatRiver. In autumn,the Gauley seethes with “Big 5” rapids and waves. The “Beast of the East” demands your respect. But the Cheat River in spring has personality, too: the Narrows are suspenseful from start to finish, while the Canyon packs in Class ­IV obstacles and thrills.

●  Best lake:​SUP at Stonewall Jackson Lake vs. SCUBA at Summersville Lake.Fora placid weekend escape, nothing beats stand­up paddling on the tranquil Stonewall Jackson. But Summersville Lake’s crisp, clear water and tree ­crowned ledges are exotic. Not for nothing do fans hail the “Little Bahamas of the East.”

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●  And much, much more…

  • It will all boil down to j​ust 1 winner . ​PrizesRemember, 4 outdoor prize packages are up for grabs! These aren’t kiddie grab bags, either. Check these out:


    ●  Camping and Hiking:​brand­ name swag like a Marmot tent,a Primus cooks stove,2 Eno Single Nest Superlight hammocks with bags, and lots more.

    ●  Canoeing,Kayaking or SUP Paddling:​brand ­name gear like a kayak or canoe,a paddleboard, paddles and more.

    ●  MountainBiking:​either a Cannondale or 2 Diamondback bikes,helmets,panniers and more.

    ●  Fly Fishing:​brand­ name loot like a Sage rod, reel, Yeti cooler and more. Excited? Voting lasts until May 20.

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