Wild days ‘n wild nights: your guide to New River Gorge adventure & nightlife
The New River Gorge in West Virginia is the East’s outdoor adventure central, but the excitement doesn’t stop when the sun goes down.
Here the are best daytime and nighttime adventures that the Gorge has to offer:
Adventure by day
1. Splash around Gauley Fest
If you have a soft spot in your heart for the adrenaline rush that comes from whitewater boating, Gauley Fest is about as good as it gets. Imagine hundreds of paddlers all in one place traversing some of the best rapids in the world during 3 activity-packed days, and you’ve got the gist of Gauley Fest. Toss in some live entertainment, boat raffles, a silent auction and more, and you’re starting to get the full picture.
2. Rent Some wheels at Arrowhead Bike Farm
There are an insane variety of biking trails in and around the New River Gorge. Choose your own adventure at Arrowhead Trails, a 13-mile stacked-loop system. Whichever trail you’ve got in mind, Arrowhead Bike Farm has knowledgeable bikers on staff who can give you all the advice you need if you aren’t sure where to start.
3. Zip down the Gorge
You’ve probably seen it on a reality show before: people strapping themselves into a harness and zooming across landscapes. Try it yourself at Gravity Zip Lines in Lansing. Guided by the pros, soar across 1.5 miles of Mountain State beauty at 200 feet above the ground.
If you’re nervous, don’t be. They start small with 500-foot warm up runs, so get your bearings straight before you tackle the longer tracks and increase speed to around 60 miles per hour. The cherry on top is AdrenaLine, the longest zipline on the East Coast.
4. Rip through some rapids with Cantrell Ultimate Rafting
This family-owned and operated gem is the go-to for a taste of the world-class rapids in West Virginia. They know the terrain like the back of their hands and are the only family gig in the region, so keep it local with Cantrell. They’ve grown just enough to accommodate demand, but stayed small enough to give that warm, personal attention you’d expect from a local outfitter.
Excitement by night
1. Kick back at Rendezvous Lodge
Described as beach-bar and mountain-lodge hybrid, Rendezvous Lodge is casual but festive, with a wide selection of beer to put an end to the thirst you’ve worked up in the outdoors all day. If you’re the type who likes to dive into local culture when you’re on the road, this place is a known hotspot for local and regional bands.
2. Enjoy a pint at Maggie’s Pub
Maggie’s is a local favorite, plus there’s plenty of parking, and it’s not expensive. If it’s football season and a game is on when you’re in town, this is the place you’ve got to go. Maggie’s has the best football specials around town (which usually includes free chili dogs), and the cozy decor will keep you feeling warm even when temperatures start to drop.
3. Catch some local tunes at The Grove
If you like your tunes alongside some art, then head on over to The Grove. This spot has been described by reviewers as “warm, welcoming, and super delish,” while others note that it’s got a “great atmosphere, great beer, [and] great people”— what more could you want?
This post was last updated on March 1, 2022