All roads of adventure will eventually land you in the Mountain State. For those who seek to push life a little harder, a little faster and experience the here and now, will find opportunities of all kinds in West Virginia. Home to some of the world’s best whitewater, rock climbing, hiking, along with a location for a Spartan Beast Trifecta event this summer, high adventure seekers won’t be left wanting when visiting.
Southern West Virginia is home to the New and Gauley rivers. Here, you’ll find some of the best whitewater rafting on the East Coast (but we bet you already knew that). Plus, this year marks the 50th anniversary of West Virginia’s commercial rafting industry! Get your thrills with a whitewater rafting trip, or if you’re already an experienced paddler, bring your boat with you!
In summer, the Lower New is prime rafting territory. Class III-V rapids await along this stretch of water, as the New River narrows and makes its steep descent into the Gorge. A trip down the Lower New River is perfect for everyone – a great adventure for a first-time rafter and exciting enough to thrill a seasoned whitewater enthusiast!
Looking for more heart-pounding thrills? A summer Gauley trip may be right up your alley! This trip will take you out of your comfort zone and into new rafting territory. Expect technical lines, huge boulders and churning waves on this challenging class V river. If you’ve never rafted before, you may want to try the Lower New before attempting the Gauley – this trip is not for first-timers!
Rock climbing is one of the most challenging sports – physically and mentally. But the good news is, you don’t have to be an expert to go rock climbing here! A guided rock climbing trip with expert instructors is perfect for beginners. You’ll learn the basics of top rope climbing and rappelling on world-class climbing routes in the New River Gorge. See Southern West Virginia from new heights when you climb massive sandstone cliffs on a rock climbing trip!
Need a break from all the adventure? Explore Southern West Virginia on a leisurely hike! Wherever you stay in Southern West Virginia, remember that the New River Gorge National River is right in your backyard. For scenic views, hike Endless Wall Trail, chosen as the Best National Park Hike by USA Today in 2015, or Long Point Trail, featuring a stunning view of the New River Gorge Bridge at the end. Or, stroll to the overlook at Grandview at the New River Gorge National River for a sweeping view of a famous horseshoe bend in the New River.
For a look into the rich coal history of our region, check out the old Nuttal coal mine on the Headhouse Trail! The Kaymoor Trail passes through the Kaymoor historic coal mine site. Take the stairs (821 to be exact!) on the Kaymoor Miners Trail to go even deeper into the Gorge and see more historic buildings from the Kaymoor coal mine.
Adventure comes in all kinds and over the course of two days this August, West Virginia will play host to one of the most grueling events: Spartan Trifecta. Racers will have two days to earn the trifecta achievement: a three-mile sprint (20-23 obstacles); super endurance event, 8 to 10 miles of running and obstacles; and, the Beast, 12 to 14 miles with over 30 obstacles, a “true test of mental and physical endurance.” The demanding and physical event is set to showcase some of the wildest aspects of the Mountain State.
After a day of conquering new feats, you’ll be ready for a good meal—refuel at one of these Southern West Virginia staples, or browse all our casual dining options!
Southern West Virginia is home to so many adventures, you’re going to need a few extra days to take it all in. So, stay a little longer for an action-packed vacation to remember! Start planning today at visitwv.com.