Saturday, March 18, 2006

Adventure Travel in West Virginia's New River Gorge

budget adventure travel, family adventure vacation

You are hanging onto a sheer rock face, hundreds of feet above the ground. You grope for your next handhold or foothold as you slowly make your way to the top. Suddenly, a little voice speaks to you: “are you absolutely out of that little bitty thing you call a mind?”

The answer of course is yes in a way. You have bitten by the adventure travel bug and there is no cure. All you can hope to do is keep feeding the bug until you are too old and gray (hey wait a minute, I am getting old and gray myself) to keep it up.

But at least you will have plenty of stories to tell your kids – unless you let go of this rock face.

I am thinking these thoughts because I just read an article called Adrenaline Nation in the April 2006 Outside magazine about the little town of Fayettville, West Virginia. It seems to me that this little town has more opportunities for adventure vacations than any other area of the U.S. (I welcome any disagreement to this point as your feedback will probably give me other places to check out).

For example:

  • Whitewater. There are several Class III and IV rapids open all Spring and Summer in the area. And in September and October, the Summerville Dam opens to create Class V+ rapids for those of you with stomachs of steel.

  • You can also take Kayaking classes offered by North American River Runners on the New River. Beginners can learn on tamer sections of the river, while advanced kayakers canget wet (really wet) in currents and the Class III rapids. Check out their website at if you dare.

  • Mountain Biking for those of you who prefer to stay dry (but don’t mind getting muddy, cut and scraped) The Fayettville Trail stretches 2.8 miles from town, while another trail called the Cunard-Kaymoor Trail is 7 miles and takes you around the Summerville Lake.

  • Rockclimbing. For the seriously brain damaged among you, the locals call it simply, “the Discombobulated.” I can’t help but think that is what happens to you if you fall off this 511 foot sheer sandstone wall that rises above the New River Gorge. I hear the view is awesome if you ever make it to the top. You can check it out at

  • But when the day is done, you will want to eat. Outside magazine recommends Smokey’s On the Gorge, a place known for its gormet buffet with wild boar ribs and a spectacular view of the New River Gorge.

If I still haven’t convinced you to steer clear of Fayettville, you might want to check out these other websites. Perhaps sanity will prevail:

COPYRIGHT © 2006, Charles Brown. All rights reserved.

budget adventure travel, family adventure vacation

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