Most outdoor lovers know the best places for outdoor action where they live. If you’re in Lynchburg, you probably spend time on the Blackwater Creek Bikeway, in the Blue Ridge Mountains, on the Appalachian Trail or at a Lynchburg Hillcats game.
How can you find the best of outdoor life when you’re on the road? The internet provides a lot of opportunities to find new places for adventure when you travel. Runners and marathoners can check Running in the USA’s website to find an event where they will be visiting this summer.
Each state’s tourist website offers additional opportunities. While on the road, I’ve been checking out the action in each state along the way to find fun things to do. Here are some things I’ve found in West Virginia, just next door to Virginia.
West Virginia is only two hours away from Lynchburg and offers a ton of outdoor opportunities. One of the state’s favorite outdoor places is the New River Gorge Bridge, located about 20 miles off I-64 near Beckley. The bridge took three years to build and was completed in 1977. New River Gorge Bridge is 3.030 feet long and rises 876 feet above the New River.
Bridge Walk is a great way to experience the New River Gorge Bridge and see the spectacular view from just below the bridge. The catwalk is located just below the bridge and you can walk across. The adventure takes 2-3 hours and is available daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Visit the website for more information or to schedule a catwalk tour.
Those looking for high adventure may also want to check into Bridge Day, held on the third Saturday in October each year. About 400 BASE jumpers participate each year in a group jump off the bridge.
Another great activity in West Virginia is whitewater rafting. West Virginia offers rapids from Class I up to Class V on the New River, with a 240 foot drop over 14 miles. The Gauley River is another favorite whitewater rafting location. Also known as “Beast of the East,” the Gauley offers more Class IV and Class V rapids than any other river in the east.
Caving and rock climbing are also popular sports in West Virginia. Organ Cave was discovered over 300 years ago and is on the National Historic Landmark listing. Organ Cave is the second largest commercial cave on the east coast and offers 16 tours ranging from 2-18 hours.
At ACE Adventure Resort, you can experience a little bit of everything that West Virginia has to offer the outdoor lover. ACE is North America’s largest adventure resort and is located on 1500 acres in the New River Gorge.
At ACE, you can go whitewater rafting or paddleboarding. Also available are ATV tours, horseback riding, kayaking, mountain biking, paintball, rock climbing, and a mud obstacle course.
Skiing and snowboarding, fishing, zip lines, camping, whitewater rafting, caving and rock climbing, cycling, running and more can all be found in West Virginia and it’s all right next door. So check your calendar and look for a weekend to spend in wild and wonderful West Virginia soon.