Content Produced in Partnership with Wild, Wonderful West Virginia
Country roads can do more than take you home. In West Virginia, they can also lead you to a dizzying array of heart pumping and eye opening adventures. We like to call it the West Virginia State of Mind. When the tree-covered mountains are calling and the white waters wake your spirit, the challenges coupled with the beauty will stir your soul again and again. If you're yearning to plan your next outdoor adventure to the Mountain State, here are fives ways to take in the state's natural splendor.
Practice Your Catwalk
Definitely not an afternoon stroll in the park, the New River Gorge Bridge Walk Tour near Fayetteville takes visitors across a 3,000-foot-sculpture suspended 850 feet in the air. The breathtaking walkway is just a 24-inch-wide catwalk that sits below a highway, once only open to authorized personnel. Strapped to a safety harness and led by an experienced guide, the tour takes about two hours which will give you plenty of time to take in the dizzying views of the canyons below.
Embrace the Snow
The highest mountain valley east of the Rockies can be found nestled in West Virginia’s snow belt at none other than Canaan Valley Resort State Park. Once the mercury drops, snowboarders and skiers head to the Tucker County Park for skiing, snowboarding, and winter sports with a view. Canaan Valley also boasts snow tubing with multiple 1,200-foot lanes for the ride of your life. You'll want to warm up with a hot chocolate by the fire afterwards -- it's practically required.
Have Fun After Dark
The light of the silvery full moon illuminates the way for climbers looking to tackle the via ferrata at Nelson Rocks in Circleville. A breathtaking journey in the dark of night, you'll cross a 150-foot-high suspension bridge, gain more than a thousand feet in elevation, and reach exposed heights of nearly 300 feet. The popular full moon climbs fill up quickly, but that's just one of the offerings at this privately owned rock formation. In fact, you'll want to put your time in as participants are required to have completed the via ferrata in the daylight prior to partaking in the nighttime festivities.
Run the River
It’s called a West Virginia baptism. In fact, being flung into the rapids is just a way of life on the wild Gauley River, considered some of the best Class V whitewater in the country. A host of adrenaline-fueled trips can take you down the raging river, which includes multi-day options to camp along the shore. The coveted Gauley season for extreme thrill seekers begins Labor Day and runs for about six weeks in the fall.
From walking through the dark crevices of Lost World Caverns in Lewisburg to exploring the underground world of the old mines at Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine, West Virginia adventures go well below the surface. Wherever you stand in the state, chances are there is a cave, cavern, or majestic rock formation somewhere nearby -- and likely right underfoot.