•Home Page •Outdoor Activities •Events Listing •Article Archives •Great Food
•Shopping •Advertiser Links •Area Hotels •Media/Writers •Contact Us

Secret Places and Activities Unlocked!

By Bobby Boucher

West Virginia’s 32,000 miles of streams and waterways offer a perfect opportunity for visitors to the Twin Rivers area to beat the summer heat! Fortunately there are many different ways to enjoy the refreshing waters as there are lakes, rivers and swimming areas. What follow is a rundown of some of your best sweat busting options.

Whitewater Rafting leads the pack for beating the heat on the New and Gauley Rivers. West Virginia is the undisputed whitewater capitol of the East and more than 300,000 paddlers will be drawn into the area each year, pumping over $60 million into the local economy. Most outfitters run the Upper and Lower New River in the summer and Rivers Resort also runs a summer Gauley program as well as a Upper and Lower New overnight and camping adventures.

Lower New River
The Lower new River is family friendly in the summer because the river level typically goes down and the water becomes pleasantly warm. The first part of the trip features verdant mountain scenery and friendly warm-up rapids that are interspersed among relaxing blue/green waters. Some outfitters, like Rivers Resort, offer an exceptional river side lunch that’s out of this world, then head on down river to surf over 20 adrenaline pumping rapids with roller coaster waves and heart pounding drops. The best thing about the New River in the summer is that you will almost never be disappointed. The New River is natural flowing and the biggest water in the East and even in a draught it is a roller coaster type ride bigger and more fun than any of the dam released rivers like the Ocoee in the South.

Upper New River
For beginner friendly rapids, you can’t beat the Upper New River. This is the perfect trip of rafting, swimming and relaxing. The water is warm, the scenery is marvelous and the pace is unhurried. People who want to get “up close and personal” with the river will really like this trip, since they can swim and play in the quiet emerald green pools. This is also the perfect trip for families with young children since the minimum age is only five and most outfitters have a professional guide in every raft.

The Summer Gauley
The the “Crown Jewel” of summer whitewater, it just doesn’t get any better than the Upper and Lower Summer Gauley trips. Rivers Resort invented these trips and probably have more experience on the Gauley River than all the other WV outfitters combined. The type of trip depends on the water flow that morning, so paddlers will either be in a small raft or duck—a one person inflatable funyak. This is truly a wild and scenic whitewater experience and should not be missed—you can even do a two day trip and camp out on the river at Rivers Gauley wilderness outpost, sleeping beside a 90 foot waterfall!

Climbing, Diving, Boating, and Kayak Touring at the Lakes
Climbing the cliffs along Summersville Lake offers guests an ideal opportunity to swim in the refreshing water that surrounds the climbing routes. A few outfitters offer trips to the cliffs in motorized or kayak touring boats with lunch included.
Sarge’s in Summersville offers dive, swim or snorkel adventures on the Lake and also rents gear, jet ski’s and offers lake tours. Boats can also be rented at the marina at Summersville Lake. The lake, often described as “The Little Bahamas of the East” offers spectacular views of cliffs and overhangs. Boating and fishing is also popular and Plum Orchard Lake near Oak Hill.

To beat the summer heat and get information about the many programs available at Rivers Resort call 1800-Try Rivers (879-7483) or go to www.riversresort.com Other outfitters can be found at
www.callwva.com. AAA Adventure Outdoors offers complete packaging of programs with just one phone call at 1 877-868-4578 or www.aaaAdventureOutdoors.com