Photo Credit: Jason Means

It should be no surprise that the mountains are the source of most of the activities in West Virginia, which sits in its entirety in the Appalachian Mountain range. Fayetteville is one of the most popular places to enjoy a variety of activities, including whitewater rafting, horseback riding, and mountain climbing, although these activities are also offered in other parts of the state. The Potomac Highlands are fantastic for winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding, while in summer explorations can be taken in the many underground caverns.

Hikers, on the other hand, come here for the Appalachian Trail and the Shakespeare and Ohio Canal Trail, which are accessible via Harpers Ferry. The town lies at the confluence of the North Fork Shenandoah River and the Potomac River, and offers a wealth of other outdoor activities such as kayaking, canoeing, tubing, and fishing. West Virginia also has many scenic routes that can be explored by car or bicycle.

Joey’s Bike Shop in Elkins rents and sells mountain bikes for cycling tours along the Allegheny Highlands Trail. This famous bike trail runs from Elkins to Thomas, following the route of the West Virginia Central and Pittsburgh Railway that was built here in 1884. Bikes can be rented for one day or multiple days, and the shop has trail maps onsite.

Visitors who would prefer to explore West Virginia on foot can arrange a guided hiking trip through Adventures on the Gorge, which offers tours along the New River Gorge National River. Visitors can choose between two-hour and half-day explorations of this stunning area. Some great hikes can also be done along the 500 miles of trails in the Monongahela National Forest.

As the name suggests, River Expeditions offers white water rafting trips along the New River. Packages can be arranged for everyone, from beginners, all the way up to the most advanced rafters. Expeditions can be done in a single day or on an overnight excursion. Similar activities are also offered by North American River Runners, which runs trips along the more difficult Gauley River.

Those that prefer more sedate water activities can take guided kayaking trips through West Virginia with River Riders along the much calmer Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers. The company offers these guided trips by canoe or stand up paddle boat, but those that wish to get out on their own can arrange to rent a kayak or canoe.

Ammeter climbers can enjoy mountain climbing with Hard Rock Climbing Services, a company that has over 25 years of experience. More experienced climbers can look to them for classic climbing routes, while beginners can take a course, followed by a guided climb.

Winter mountaineers can enjoy skiing and snowboarding at the Winterplace Ski Resort, where lessons are provided for beginners. The large Timberline Four Seasons Resort is also a great place to ski and snowboard in West Virginia, having 36 different slopes and trails. For real powder hounds, though, there's no substitute for Snowshoe. A winter wonderland that lives up to it's name.

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