New River Gorge in Winter?

Psst. We’ll let you in on a secret: The New River Gorge is just as fun in the winter as it is in the summer.

You seem skeptical.

Well, gather round the crackling fire on this cold January day and listen close, my friends, for here are just 5 things out of many you can do here in the winter:

1. Hiking/Trail Running/Biking

The trail systems in and around the New River Gorge are only growing. Did you know that you can get from ACE trails to the Park Service trails in the gorge, as well as the 13 miles of new Arrowhead Trails built this summer by Summit Corps volunteers, without getting in your car? Just follow the Rend Trail (formerly the Thurmond-Minden trail) and spend as much time walking, running or rolling as your heart desires.

2. White water. For real.

For you experienced kayakers out there, winter time is a boater’s paradise. It doesn’t matter if there’s rain or snow, either will fill the side creeks and bring up the big boys, the New and Gauley Rivers. Sure you need some extra gear, but you have the water to yourselves and see some cool, out-of-the-way places.

3. Zip Lines

Our southern West Virginia winters are generally pretty mild and our zip lines are always open. An invigorating flight through the Appalachian hardwood forests will rid you of the deepest winter malaise. Plus, with the leaves off the trees, you’ll see some pretty cool views of the New River Gorge, including remnants of boom towns such as Thurmond.

4. Eating

Any time you spend time outside during the winter months, you burn a lot of energy to stay warm. Throw in some honest-to-goodness exercise of any kind and you’re bound to be hungry. Just drop in to downtown Fayetteville and visit these purveyors of tasty eats:

  1. Pies and Pints – Handcrafted pizza and tons of delicious beers. Plenty of sandwiches, salads and non-alcoholic options, as well.
  2. Cathedral Cafe – This Fayetteville staple serves up breakfast and lunch. Choose from a menu full of options like frittatas, breakfast burritos, panini sandwiches and much more.
  3. Gumbo’s – Cajun cooking right here on the edge of the New River Gorge. Cajun cuisine featuring gumbo (of course), jambalaya and beans and rice. ‘Nuff said.
  4. The Vandalian – High quality ingredients and a contemporary interpretation of American dining. Everyone knows it by one name:  Delicious.
  5. Diogi’s – A cut above your standard Mexican fare. Diogi’s offerings are always flavorful, their salsa delicious (and free!) and the carnitas off the hook.

5. Hunkering Down

What’s more fun than holing up in a comfortable cabin, all warm and snug, passing the time playing board games, watching your favorite movies or just shooting the breeze. It’s a great way to unwind and just be. If you’re getting outdoors during the day, you’ll appreciate the cozy accommodations between adventures.

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