Whitewater Rivers attract more than 250,000 visitors to West Virginia each year and the vast majority stays two to five days. Not surprising when you consider there are river trips for just about any age and walk of life- from leisurely float trips the whole family can enjoy to world-renowned whitewater descents that challenge even the most seasoned paddlers. But why stay so long? What people are discovering is that West Virginia is closer than they think with more outdoor adventure and attractions than ever imagined.
There are more than 25 River Outfitters in West Virginia, most operating on the New and Gauley Rivers with packages to suit everyone in the family – whatever the skill level with trips for folks as young as six. Many combine rafting with popular outdoor sports like rock climbing and rappelling, mountain biking, horseback riding, hiking, fishing and kayaking to create adventure vacations from half a day to five days or more. Accommodations range from old-fashioned camping under the stars to the charming ambiance of bed and breakfasts and the luxury of fine inns and hotels.
With so many options, it’s easy to create a personalized experience. Challenge the mighty rapids in the New and Gauley Rivers, scale the mountain walls that tower over them or mountain bike the trails surrounding them. Drink in the graceful elegance of Blue Herons gliding over the mild waters of the Upper New. Study the variety of unique flora and fauna on a nature hike. Sleep under a starlit sky and revel in the memories of your youth. Explore the mountains on horseback as the early pioneers. Discover an abandoned coal mining settlement. Bask in the rich glow of a West Virginia sunset. Outdoor dramas, fairs and festivals. Art, crafts and antique shopping. Gourmet cuisine and golf. State Parks and historical tours. West Virginia has something for everyone.
Summersville Lake is one of the most picturesque lakes in the country with sheer cliff walls jutting up from calm clear waters. The lake offers a beach, marina, pontoon boat and jet ski rentals, and scuba diving to an underwater town. It’s a perfect compliment to your rafting vacation. For children and seniors, summer vacations and college reunions, adrenaline seekers and nature lovers alike, a multi-day adventure vacation in West Virginia can make the most of your valuable time together. From extreme sports to peaceful reflections and everything in between, West Virginia is closer than you think with more activities than you can imagine.
One of West Virginia’s greatest strengths is its natural resources. Much of which is safeguarded through our National and State Parks system. Our primary regions natural resources span four counties, Raleigh, Fayette, Summers, and Nicholas, and include the following resources:
- New River Gorge National River
- Gauley River National Recreation Area
- Bluestone National Scenic River
- Summersville Lake
- Bluestone State Park
- Little Beaver State Park
- Babcock State Park
- Hawks Nest State Park
- Pipestem Resort State Park
- Attractive “Gateway” communities
- Unprecedented Historical and Appalachian Cultural Resources