5 one-day adventures in WV

Almost everyone I talk to about Project: Time Off and why they are not using all their well-deserved vacation days typically has the same answer: “I just can’t take that much time off.”

What if we told you it only takes the better part of a day to conquer some of Wild, Wonderful West Virginia’s most amazing adventures? Surely that would make your decision to take your time a little easier. (Insert Airplane “Surely you can’t be serious” joke.)

All kidding aside, you don’t have to take all of your vacation days at once or even in a big chunk to make them beneficial to you, your family, and your career.

Lack of time is no longer an excuse, and to prove that, here are five one-day adventures to get you started:

1. Raft the Gauley River

When they named the Gauley the “Beast of the East,” they weren’t kidding. It’s not for the faint of heart, but if you think you’re ready, there is no better whitewater adventure in the world during Gauley Season. In just 24 miles, you’ll pound through more than 100 rapids in an all-day Gauley Marathon. The 2017 season runs from mid-September to mid-October.

When finished with a full day of paddling, head to “America’s Coolest Small Town” of Fayetteville for dining options as creative and unique as the town itself. Also, you are going to want to try some WV craft beer; you’ve earned it.

Bike riding along Greenbrier River Trail, West Virginia

2. How much biking can you pack into a day?

Ride along one of the nation’s most beautiful rail trails. The Greenbrier River Trail is perfect for a full day of riding, sightseeing, and even a swim.

The rail trail is a gem in the West Virginia State Parks system, with just a 1-percent grade and large portions of crusher run surface. The trail takes you through one of the most remote and beautiful parts of the Mountain State, running adjacent to the Monongahela National Forest, Watoga State Park, and Seneca State Forest.

Just under 80 miles makes for an epic one-day ride, or you can opt to overnight in Marlinton or nearby Siebert along the beautiful Greenbrier River to make a memorable weekend trip.

Skier with skies posing with the Traveling Gnome at White Grass, WV

3. Adventure is not limited to the warm months

When temperature drops and the snow falls, it’s the perfect time to spend a day cross-country skiing or snowshoeing at White Grass in Davis. With a smoother pace than downhill skiing, cross-country at White Grass is a wonderful way to experience nature in a serene winter setting.

With 48 trails across 60 kilometers, there is more than enough terrain to keep your legs moving and lungs burning. First timer? The White Grass Ski School has you covered with equipment and lessons. Your furry friend can even tag along on your day of adventure (on certain trails).

The place isn’t known only for its trails, though. Stop by the popular on-site organic cafe for a healthy and tasty meal.

4. Capital City

Want to try a race that will give you some serious bragging rights? How about America’s only 15-mile race. It is not as long as a traditional marathon but don’t let the shorter distance fool you: it is a true challenge physically and mentally. The Charleston Distance Run was born in 1977 and has been bringing racers from around the world for decades to try the unique course. If the solo trek of 15 miles seems a bit much you, there are other options like a 3-person relay or the very popular 5K run/walk.

Hiker crossing suspension bridge at via ferrata, West Virginia


For a truly wild, wonderful adventure, venture to NROCKS Outdoor Adventures just down the road from Seneca Rocks in Circleville. While you’re there, climb the Via Ferrata, a unique form of rock climbing perfect if you want something different and exciting— and you don’t need any climbing experience.

“Via Ferrata” is Italian for “by way of iron,”’ and the Via Ferrata at NROCKS is a mile-long guided climb with fixed anchors along double-fin rocks in the Appalachian mountains. Once you start, you are always clipped into a safety system. Just be ready for a short hike before taking on the first of several rock faces. If you have an action camera, you are going to want to bring it along for some very post worthy views.

Take a look at Meghan’s one-day adventure at NROCKS:

This post was last updated on March 16, 2022