With 80% of the state made up of forest land and 32,000 miles of river, West Virginia offers a veritable smorgasbord of outdoor recreation and adventure. Whatever activities you desire, this state’s got it. From ziplining to spelunking, fishing to golfing, and swimming to skiing, there is something year-round for thrill-seekers and nature enthusiasts of all ages. Read on for just a few of the many “rides” you can experience in this natural amusement park.
The Newest National Park
In January 2021, New River Gorge became the Nation’s 63rd National Park. The iconic single steel arch bridge, the longest and third highest in America, spans the New River, which has carved the deepest formations in the Appalachians that are perfect for rock climbing. Hiking trails will take you to spectacular overlooks. River rats can raft on Class IV and V rapids, and if you don’t have a fear of heights, you can brave the catwalk 851 feet above the river among the beams on BridgeWalk. A unique belay system keeps you harnessed at all times.
A Day of Multisport Adventure
Spend the day in the West Virginia Panhandle at the junction of Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland where the Shanandoah meets the Potomac. Here you can do flat water or white water tubing, guided white water rafting, ziplining, and challenging ropes courses. If that’s not enough adrenaline for one day, top it off with the Mega Zip or free fall from the Quick Jump.
The Sky’s the Limit
A birds-eye view is one of the best ways to appreciate West Virginia’s majesty. Take to the clouds on a WWII era Stearman in Fayettville and fly over the New River Gorge. Get your heart racing with aerial acrobatics or opt for a level sightseeing tour and check this one off your bucket list.
Get Off-Road on the Hatfield-McCoy Trails
These trails are considered one of the best off-highway systems in the world. There are 10 trails, each with its own features and skill level. The trails are a popular way of visiting some of the feud sites, like McCoy’s home, gravesites, and Hog Trial Cabin, where Randolph McCoy brought charges against Floyd Hatfield for stealing his hog.
Picturesque Swimming Holes that Belong On a Postcard
From sparkling waterfalls to emerald creeks, West Virginia has an abundance of natural swim spots. There’s something magical about wading in remote waters that harkens back to simpler times. Shupe’s Chute in Holly River State Park and Glade Creek near New River Gorge are quintessential waterfall/swimming hole combos. A great way to cool off after a day of hiking.
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