I recently visited the New River Gorge area in West Virginia. Some friends and I visited the ACE Adventure Resort, which is near Thurmond, WV. This resort has everything! You can go white water rafting on the Gauley or the New River, kayaking, horseback riding, hiking, biking, mountain climbing, mud obstacle course, and climbing tower. We’ve been here a couple times and we always have a blast.
When I visited this time, I was determined to go hiking. When I had been in the past for white water rafting, all I did was party at the cabin when we weren’t rafting or playing the lake. So I got a trail map from the staff at Ace and it looked like an easy trail to the New River that would connect to the national park trail that ran along side the river.
The beginning of the trail started out nicely. One of the first things you do is cross this cute little brook flowing over the path. The trail continues down hill along the side of the mountain. As we continued to walk down hill we got closer and closer to a creek running parallel at the bottom of the hillside we were on. There were lots of spider webs across the path, making me think this wasn’t a high traffic trail. The trail was not blazed very well either, but it was obvious to keep going straight.
Getting close to the creek was a highlight. The creek had one waterfall after another, making beautiful sounds and presenting great photo opportunities. However, we had been walking for what felt like an hour and it didn’t seem clear that we were getting close to the New River. I was also not excited about walking uphill the entire way back from where we just came. So my friend and I decided to turn back before even reaching the New River. I know! Big disappointment, but my companion was not an enthusiast for hiking, so I figured I would torture her no longer.
Back up the mountain we were able to go back to playing in the activity lake, which can keep me occupied for hours! I probably went down that slide 10 times. Notice in the picture there’s a girl hanging from the zip line in the center towards the right. Warning for the zip line: when you hit the water it will drag your bottom off if you’re wearing a two piece!
By the way, the visitor center for the New River Gorge National Park is a beautiful facility and worth stopping at. The rangers are also very helpful and easy to talk to. You can tell they love their jobs!
For more information about the New River: http://www.nps.gov/neri