Find Your Stride: Outdoor Adventures Across West Virginia
Here, in Almost Heaven, it’s effortless to find your stride. Whether you want to keep your feet on the ground or desire to reach new heights, here in West Virginia, there’s an adventure in every step. Hike, ride, soar and climb your way through some of the Mountain State’s most scenic spots. No matter your pace, there’s sure to be an outdoor experience made just for you.
New River Gorge National Park & Preserve
Single-pitch sport and trad climbing beckon at “The New,” one of the country’s top climbing areas. More than 1,400 established rock climbs ranging from 30 to 120 vertical feet await you on the Gorge’s very hard and featured sandstone cliffs.
Cooper’s Rock State Forest
With its stiff grades and gritstone, Coopers Rock State Forest in Preston County offers some of the best bouldering in West Virginia. Hundreds of boulders challenge skill levels of all kinds, from basic scrambling to challenging V12s.
One of the world’s most legendary hiking trails, the 2,200-mile Appalachian Trail weaves through West Virginia in two spots, including a history-rich section through Harpers Ferry. Start this route in Lower Town at the confluence of the Shenandoah and Potomac rivers. Highlights include Jefferson Rock Overlook, Harper Cemetery, Lockwood House, Storer College campus, and numerous mountain and river views. Difficulty: 3/5 Distance: 2-3 miles
Blackwater Falls State Park
Lindy Point Trail is the epitome of short but sweet. This fairly flat route leads to a spectacular payoff: a magical view of Blackwater Canyon from the Lindy Point Overlook. At almost 2,700 feet above the virtually endless canyon, it’s one of the state’s most photogenic vistas. Stand on the wooden viewing platform to get a little higher or find a perch on the rocks. In winter, you can even cross-country ski to the overlook. Difficulty: 2/5 Distance: 0.8 miles
Kanawha State Forest
Thick trees, mossy rocks, wildflowers and bubbling streams are some of the highlights on Overlook Rock Trail. This challenging mountain trail is just a quick drive from downtown Charleston. It’s rated a moderate to difficult hike, due to a steep first half, but feels totally worth it when you emerge from the forest to the overlook rock’s wide-open views into the hills and hollows that surround West Virginia’s largest city. Difficulty: 4/5 Distance: 1.5 miles
Take a relaxing guided trail ride through the woods at Oglebay Resort, a 2,000-acre luxury property located in Wheeling. Indoor arena riding is an option, as well. Need help improving your riding skills? Oglebay offers private lessons for riders of all ages.
Cacapon Resort State Park
Let experienced guides and gentle horses lead you through the beauty of Cacapon Resort State Park. Go for a one-hour ride on a loop trail that climbs Warm Springs Ridge. Or enjoy a 1.5-hour moonlit ride under the stars and see for yourself some of the country’s darkest skies.
Canaan Valley Resort State Park
Ride the scenic horse trails at Canaan Valley Resort State Park, home to abundant wildlife such as white-tailed deer and black bears. You’ll journey through forests and mountain meadows to vantage points near Bald Knob. The stables here specialize in first-time riders as well as family group tours.
ACE Adventure Resort
Soar among the treetops and experience distracted ziplining at ACE Adventure Resort with the only course providing gorge views — New River Gorge Zipline Tours. This Oak Hill course is thrilling enough by day; but try it at night for some extra fun, where your path is only lit by a helmet headlamp.
Zip lining can also be found at Pipestem Resort State Park where the guided tour takes participants above the treetops for breathtaking West Virginia views. The tour begins at the top of the Canyon Rim Center and eventually works its way down to the bottom of Bluestone Gorge as you zip from one treetop platform to the next.
Grand Vue Park
Dare to ascend the 65-foot-tall Grand Tower for a drone’s-eye view of the Ohio River Valley with the first of five zip lines at Grand Vue Adventures located in Moundsville. The longest zip line stretches out a whopping 2,100 feet. It’s a dual zipline, too, which means you can race against a friend or family member.
Discover the multitude of other adventures to be had in West Virginia – featuring a wide collection of aerial excursions across the state.explore more aerial adventures
This post was last updated on July 12, 2022