Our family loves to travel and we enjoy participating in outdoor activities. Fayetteville, West Virginia, is a great place to take the whole family while visiting Adventures on the Gorge, the country’s first resort inspired by and dedicated to outdoor adventures.
Situated on the rim of southern West Virginia’s New River Gorge in the shadow of the New River Gorge Bridge – the most photographed place in the state – Adventures on the Gorge was constructed by a group of whitewater rafting outfitters who’d found inspiration in the waters of the New River and the commanding beauty of the gorge and set out to the beauty of a wild and undeveloped region and at the same time save a whitewater rafting industry in decline.
In 2008 the owner of a whitewater outfitter called Class VI – teamed up with owners of competing outfitters called Mountain River Tours, the Rivermen and Songer Whitewater. The group merged their operations, named the new entity Adventures on the Gorge and embarked upon aggressive expansion plans. Over the next years, the resort expanded to include campgrounds, cabins, foodservice facilities, zip lines, an aerial adventure course and more.
Here’s what is new and notable at Adventures on the Gorge in 2017:
· AOTG’s new conference center, The Lookout Post, was built last year and is now running at full speed. The conference center is located on the rim of the New River Gorge adjacent to Smokey’s on the Gorge restaurant. The Lookout Post features up to five meeting rooms with flexible design to accommodate a maximum of 200 people theater style. Separately or when combined with Smokey’s and varied outdoor patios and decks, the facility is an extraordinary special events venue.
· Speaking of Smokey’s, the restaurant is shifting to a “menu-driven” approach instead of strictly buffet meals. While breakfast buffets will still be the norm to serve the “pre-rafting rush,” new director of food and beverage Steven Halliday will drive the shift to a la carte dinner items. As we have evolved from whitewater outfitters to a full-service adventure resort with meeting space, it is time for our guests to have a better selection of fine dining menu items and table service,” said Arnold. “We are very much looking forward to meeting those expectations.”
· AOTG has consistently expanded its accommodations over the years, and 2017 will see 13 new cabins – seven duplexes and six suites for a total of 20 units – located between the upscale “Sunnyside” suites and the TreeTops Zip Line Canopy Tour on the Mill Creek Campus. Built in the controlled conditions at the factory by Deer Run Cabins of Campbellsville, Kentucky, the cabins will be placed on foundations this spring and will house guests shortly thereafter.
· “The Big Summer Sale” features rafting on the Upper and Lower New River, family rafting on the Lower New River, Gravity Zip Lines, TreeTops Canopy Tours and Timber Trek Adventure Park. Rates per person are $99 for rafting, $89 for Gravity Zip Lines, $79 for TreeTops Zip Lines and $49 for Timber Trek Adventure Park. These rates are valid on trips June 16 through Sept. 3, 2017. Some blackout dates apply.
· The finale of the 2017 Spartan U.S. Championship Series and the first-ever Spartan Age Group Championship will be held at the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve on August 26 and 27, 2017. An internationally renowned adventure destination located in Glen Jean, W. Va. just 15 miles from AOTG, The Summit is a training, Scouting and adventure center for the millions of youth and adults involved in the Boy Scouts of America and anyone who loves the outdoors. The Summit Bechtel Reserve is one of four “high-adventure” facilities owned and operated by the Boy Scouts of America. The site, which is spread across more than 14,000 acres of reclaimed mining land adjacent to the New River Gorge National River in the mountains of West Virginia, uses world-class outdoor facilities and programs to focus on leadership, adventure, service and sustainability.
Spartan Race is the world’s leading obstacle race company and the first of its kind to feature timing and global rankings. With more than 200 events in 30+ countries planned for 2017, Spartan Race has more than 1 million global participants and offers open heats for all fitness levels as well as competitive and elite heats.
· It will be a big summer at The Summit as BSA’s National Jamboree, which attracts more than 30,000 youth and adult members every four years to the organization’s premiere celebration of Scouting, will be held July 19 to July 28, 2017. The Summit is now the permanent home of the Jamboree.
· Gauley Season gets underway Sept. 8 when the Army Corps of Engineers open the flood gates at West Virginia’s Summersville Dam on six weekends in September and October. A successful campaign in the 1980s resulted in a law guaranteeing that dam releases would occur during the day on designated weekends to support the rafting industry. Today rafters will put in the Gauley River at the Summersville Dam knowing that they will be experiencing the best whitewater in the world as the torrential flow will result in some 100 fast and intense rapids, more than half of them rated Class III and above. Gauley Season concludes Sunday, Oct. 22, the day after the hugely popular Bridge Day celebration featuring BASE jumpers diving, catapulting and hurling themselves from the 876-foot New River Gorge Bridge.
· Almost Seven (rhymes with Almost Heaven) is back. Through Labor Day six-year olds raft for free on the Upper New River with a paying adult. Even better, other kids (ages seven-12) can participate at half the adult rate.
· This year also marks 40 years since the famed New River Gorge Bridge opened. Completed Oct. 22, 1977, the bridge turned a 45-minute drive into less than one minute. The bridge is the longest steel span in the western hemisphere and the third highest in the United States. In 2013, the National Park Service listed the New River Gorge Bridge in the National Register of Historic Places as a significant historic resource.