To really experience the New River, you have to get out on the water. With the help of any of over fifty professional rafting companies you can get down and into a boat for white water rafting.
The NPS webpage says:
New River Gorge National River includes 53 miles of free-flowing New River, beginning at Bluestone Dam and ending at Hawks Nest Lake. The New River typifies big West Virginia style whitewater. Within the park it has two very different characters. The upper (southern) part of the river consists primarily of long pools, and relatively easy rapids up to Class III. It is a big powerful river, but very beautiful, always runnable, and providing excellent fishing and camping. There are a number of different river access points, and trips can run from several hours to several days..
The lower (northern) section of river is often referred to as "the Lower Gorge." In a state that is justifiably renowned for colossal rapids, the Lower Gorge has some of the biggest of the big with rapids ranging in difficulty from Class III to Class V. The rapids are imposing and forceful, many of them obstructed by large boulders which necessitate maneuvering in very powerful currents, crosscurrents, and hydraulics. Some rapids contain hazardous undercut rocks. Although the gradient is a modest 20 ft/mi, the rapids are of the full-grown West Virginia variety: big...
Since it was too cold to get into a raft, we drove up to the Sandstone Falls Overlook. The falls are 25 foot high and are located 8 miles north of the town of Hinton on State Route 26.
Equipment: Local river-rafting outfits include New River Tours (tel 304/466-2288 or 1-800/292-0880) and Cantrell Canoes (tel 304/466-0595 or 1-800/470-RAFT), both charging from $69 per person (with occasional specials) for trips through the gorge.
We watched the White Water rafting in the New River, but I was too afraid of the raft tipping over and us getting smashed on the rocks to do it...but, I think we will do this next time. Some of the rapids in this river are Class IV and V. We did watch one raft tipping over in the area of the photo, just under the bridge.
Equipment: Water shoes, and stuff that can get wet. The rest ( helmets and lifevests) you get from the rafting companies.
Whitewater rafting on the New River can be as thrilling or relaxing as you choose. The Upper New will give you gentle rapids, class I to III, where even children are safe to navigate. The Lower New is deemed the "Grand Canyon of the East" with rapids ranging from Class II to V. First timers have no fear....you will be safe provided you are with an experienced guide - I highly recommend Mountain River Tours.
Packages vary from half day river runs to all week-end activities including camp-outs, horseback riding and hiking.
For Lodging, consider Hawks Nest State Park - but book early.....short of that, look for lodging in nearby Summersville, Oak Hill or Fayetteville.
West Virginia lies in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains, which are drained by hundreds of streams and rivers. Due to the steepness and ruggedness of the terrain, there are over 2,000 miles (3,219 kilometers) of runable whitewater rapids in the state. These rapids range from Class I (easy rafting requiring little or no skills or experience) to Class VI (extremely difficult rafting for experienced paddlers only). Over 200,000 people visit West Virginia per year for the whitewater rafting opportunities offered by its rivers. (The term "whitewater rafting" includes kayaking and canoeing).
About 20 whitewater rafting companies in the state offer a variety of professionally guided package trips for every type of adventure and skill level. They range from one-day trips to multi-day trips, and many include meals and overnight accommodations.
Although there are hundreds of rivers in the state which attract paddlers, the most challenging and popular include the Cheat River, the Gauley River, the New River, the Potomac River, the Shenandoah River, and the Tygart River (pictured here). The Cheat River flows through a boulder-strewn canyon and has over 30 technical rapids ranging from Class III to Class IV. The Gauley River, called the "Beast of the East", is ranked seventh in the world for its whitewater run. It has more Class IV and Class V rapids than any river in the eastern United States. The New River is actually the second-oldest river in the world. It drops 240 feet (73 meters) along a 14-mile (23-kilometer) stretch that passes through a 1,000-foot-deep (305-meter-deep) gorge. Its rapids range from Class I to Class V. The Potomac River is popular with canoeists for its easy Class I to Class III riffles. The Shenandoah River is also an easy river to negotiate, with riffles and rapids up to Class III. It is popular due to the fact that paddlers pass through many historic towns along the way. And finally, the Tygart River has a ten-mile (16-kilometer) stretch of Class I to Class V rapids, including Wells Falls, the most powerful runable drop in the Monongahela River basin.
Home of the West Virginia University Mountaineers men's and women's basketball teams, the West Virginia University Coliseum was constructed in 1970. The main architectural feature of the coliseum is its poured concrete dome. In 1971, the Pittsburgh chapter of the American Concrete Institute named it the "Outstanding Concrete Structure of the Year".
In addition to hosting basketball, the 14,000-seat coliseum is also home to West Virginia University's men's wrestling and women's volleyball and gymnastics teams. Other sports facilities within the coliseum include a 3,000-square-foot (280-square-meter) weight room, raquetball and squash courts, and a dance studio. There are also about 100 offices, 13 lecture rooms, and a safety laboratory.
Throughout the years, the coliseum has also hosted concerts (but the acoustics are not very good) and the 1984 and 1988 Atlantic Ten Conference men's basketball tournaments.
In 2004, the coliseum underwent major renovations and upgrades, which have resulted in new state-of-the-art features.
Home of the West Virginia University Mountaineers football team, Milan Puskar Stadium was constructed in 1980 to replace an antiquated 38,000-seat field that had been used for university football games. Originally called Mountaineer Field, its name was changed in 2004 to honor Milan Puskar, the founder of Mylan Pharmaceuticals, after he donated $20,000,000 to the university.
The stadium initially had a seating capacity of 50,000, but during its history several renovations and expansions were carried out and the seating capacity is now 60,000. This includes luxury box suites. This makes Milan Puskar Stadium the largest on-campus stadium in the Big East Conference. (The University of South Florida and University of Pittsburgh play in larger stadiums, but they use the National Football League's Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Raymond James Stadium in Tampa and the Pittsburgh Steelers' Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, respectively).
At the stadium's dedication in 1980, the singer John Denver made a surprise appearance and performed his hit song about West Virginia, Take Me Home, Country Roads. Since then, it has become a tradition to play the song at every home game.
In addition to university football games, the stadium has hosted an exhibition National Football League game in 1998, high school championship games, concerts, Drum Corps International and Bands of America events, and numerous local high school band festivals.
Snowshoe was NOT what I expected at all. We drove up to the ski resort that was located miles from anywhere and found something that resembled a Disney resort .....
I am not sure how this place got to where it is, but it sort of looked out of place amongst the rest of West Virginia. When we go skiing, I like to rent a house or cabin from some local owner and just drive to the resort to ski. I don't really like large hotels or condos. This is really not possible in West Virginia. You can either stay at the resort and spend a lot of money on lodging, or you could potentially drive hours to the nearest town and stay in some motel. There really is not much else out there. Plus, there is nothing else to do there in the winter time, so if there is no snow , you could find yourself stuck on top of the mountain in the resort with nothing to do. Plus, the slopes were not that impressive.
I wonder if any of the local economy benefits at all from this ski resort. Don't get me wrong, it looked like a very nice resort for people that like that sort of thing, it was just not me....