The Ultimate Guide to Spartan Weekend in Almost Heaven
Spartan Race returns to West Virginia this year—with a Trifecta weekend sure to get the blood pumping! This challenging, world-famous obstacle course race and festival will take place August 27-28 at the Summit Bechtel Reserve in Glen Jean, nestled within the scenic New River Gorge National Park & Preserve.
Athletes from far and wide gather at Spartan Races worldwide to compete for the fastest finishing time while scaling walls, shimmying up ropes, hauling sandbags, crawling under barbed wire and leaping over fire pits. It’s not for the faint of heart, but that doesn’t mean you have to be an expert to tackle this sport—just brave and determined.
As you settle into West Virginia for your Spartan Race, you’re going to want to explore the nation’s newest national park and its surrounding mountain towns. Extend your weekend by a few days with the perfect Almost Heaven itinerary.
In the surrounding towns of the New River Gorge, mouthwatering stops await your arrival. With everything from fresh favorites to bubbling craft brews, be sure to pack your appetite for this trip.
Pies & Pints
There are few better ways to carb-load before (or after) a big race than with gourmet pizza pie. Located in historic Fayetteville, Pies & Pints boasts a menu that combines unexpected ingredients and classic flavors atop a homemade stone-fired crust. Pair your pie with an ice-cold brew or a decadent slice of chocolate peanut butter brownie terrine.
Handle Bar + Kitchen
Even if you don’t have the energy to take on more trails after your big race, Fayetteville’s Arrowhead Bike Farm offers more than mountain biking adventures. At their Handle Bar + Kitchen, you can try everything from WV-made Bratwursts to fresh and flavorful specialty tacos. Grab a locally brewed craft beer or cider to top off your perfect post-race meal.
To make your trip picture-perfect, choosing the right place to stay is of the utmost importance. After a challenging race day, there is nothing better than a comfortable place to rest. Whether you are looking for something rustic or a more luxurious stay the New River Gorge has the place for you.
Adventures on the Gorge
In addition to a wide variety of whitewater rafting and treetop excursions, Adventures on the Gorge offers a full selection of lodging options. Nestled on the rim of the New River Gorge, find everything from cozy cabins to luxurious vacation rentals at Adventures on the Gorge. While you rest your legs in a comfortable bed, you will also enjoy the convenient proximity of your cabin to the Summit Bechtel Reserve. Don’t forget to book a rafting trip or zip-line adventure to round out your weekend!
Hawks Nest State Park
Well known for its stunning panoramic views of the New River Gorge, Hawks Nest State Park is a beloved stop on any Almost Heaven road trip. Book a stay in the Hawks Nest Lodge, with some rooms offering private balcony views. Looking for something a bit different? Hawks Nest is also the proud home of several new Tentrr campsites–a unique glamping experience.
The Resort At Glade Springs
Head just a bit up the road to The Resort At Glade Springs, where casual comfort and elegant accommodations can be found. Enjoy a luxurious stay in a deluxe suite or go for a spacious vacation rental. While you rest and refuel, The Resort At Glade Springs makes finding adventure easy. Check out activities ranging from archery to canoeing and bubble soccer to golf. Focus on your post-race recovery with a relaxing spa treatment at the on-site Spa Orange.
ACE Adventure Resort
Looking for the perfect home base? ACE Adventure Resort has everything you need to relax in comfort while staying close to the action. With accommodations ranging from tent camping to cozy cabin stays, ACE Adventure places you just steps away from adventure. After your weekend of racing, check out all that ACE has to offer, including whitewater rafting trips and rock climbing excursions.
Adding a few days to your Spartan weekend is a must with all of the adventures to be tried in the New River Gorge region. Find a whitewater rafting trip perfect for your itinerary or try your hand at horseback riding!
New River Gorge National Park & Preserve
The New River Gorge National Park & Preserve offers an endless amount of fun, including whitewater rafting, hiking, biking, rock climbing, zip-lining and horseback riding. You can’t leave without taking a gander at the magnificent 876-foot-high New River Gorge Bridge. Stop at the Canyon Rim Visitor Center to visit the overlook and pick up a map of hiking trails or information on area attractions.
Head to the rugged southern mountains to experience an exhilarating ride like no other. Catch some speed on the Hatfield-McCoy Trails, where off-roading is a way of life and stunning views abound. Regarded as one of the best trail systems in the United States, Hatfield-McCoy Trails span thousands of miles with 10 trails to choose from. Don’t have your own off-roading vehicle? No worries! Local outfitters can be found near every trailhead offering vehicle rentals and trail permits.
Pipestem Resort State Park
Just a short hour’s drive from the New River Gorge, Pipestem Resort State Park is the perfect stopover to add to your Spartan long weekend. As West Virginia’s premier family adventure resort, Pipestem offers zipline excursions, adventure lake adventures, kayaking, tubing and much more. Settle in for a few days of fun along the Bluestone River by booking a stay in one of Pipestem’s unique cabins to extend your stay.
Want another way to get your adrenaline pumping beyond the Spartan finish line? Snowshoe Mountain has something you might not expect to find at a winter-sports resort: a mountain biker’s paradise. As the home of the 2019, 2021 and 2022 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, Snowshoe Mountain transforms into a world-class mountain biking park when the winter snow no longer covers its slopes. Rent a bike and all of the gear you may need right on the mountain and get straight to the downhill fun.
There is no shortage of flavor, relaxation and adventure to be found in the areas surrounding the West Virginia Spartan Race at Summit Bechtel Reserve. Continue your Almost Heaven adventure planning with your very own copy of the new West Virginia Vacation Guide before you head here for race day.
This post was last updated on July 19, 2023