zip lines and inspirtation

Meet Tekha and get inspired!

We get to meet a whole lot of really interesting people working here at ACE Adventure Resort. You know- one of the many perks of working here.  And sometimes we meet people who truly inspire us. So check out this story of a young man with a dream. A dream to play on the Egypt’s national basketball team…

Sure, that’s a hard job. But imagine that being your dream if you were a teenager who was more than 100 lbs. overweight?

On Monday, ACE was lucky enough to host this go-getter on a two-day adventure full of ACE outdoor activities. Meet Tekha Tarek Selim, an overweight Egyptian high school student who conquered the obstacles and ultimately achieved his dream of playing basketball for Team Egypt. He eventually lost 144 pounds in 11 months to get to his dreams… now that’s determination.

Tekha (he told me to say it like “Teak-ha”) has a smile that is contagious. Upon our first introduction, my first thought was, manners, this guy has manners. But as I watched and cheered him on for his first zip on ACE’s Zip Line Tour, you could see the excitement of being young and trying something new. He was giddy with excitement and instantly likeable. He laughed when his liason and I spoke about all the rain. Think about being from Egypt and hearing two West Virginian’s talk about all the rain this summer… too funny.

So if you’d like to learn more about Tekha’s story and are looking for a little inspiration, make sure you see him speak at one of his presentations in WV this August. Admission is free, so we hope you can make the time. After all, we all need a little inspiration from time to time.

- Aug 30th 7 pm, Davis Theatre- West Virginia State University in Institute

- Aug 28th 11 am, West Virginia University Parkersburg in Ripley

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whitewater rafing wv

white water rafting in WV

So you are totally pumped to go white water rafting in wv—but you don’t know exactly what to do or where to go the morning of your trip. Here’s the inside scoop on pre-trip details that will simplify your morning and keep you stress-free for a fun day on the river:

  • Where and when do I check-in?

The check-in for your trip is located at the Big Top—the giant white tent right at the heart of ACE. Your show-up time is listed and highlighted on a sheet you received at the Welcome Center when you first got to ACE.

  • When do I meet my guide?

Your Trip Leader (TL) will be at the Big Top to help you fill out wavers and answer questions. This is the time to tell him or her about any medical conditions—you don’t want to mention that triple bypass surgery you just had in the middle of a rapid.

  • What if I’ve forgotten something?

If you’ve gotten to the check-in on time, you should have enough time to go back to your cabin/camp spot to grab anything you’ve forgotten, such as sunscreen or a glasses strap. You can also purchase pretty much anything you need at the ACE Store, located right beside the Big Top.

  • Where do I park my car?

Your TL will have told you to meet up at the PFD Room to get all of your gear (link to blog about gear). Bring some towels and even some dry clothes in your car because you can park right by the PFD Room. After you get back from your trip, there are showers and changing rooms next to the PFD Room so you can change out of those chilly, wet clothes and get dry.

  • What do I do with my keys?

Once you’ve gotten everything you need out of your car, your TL will have a labeled key basket that will be left safely at ACE. So keep all your extra stuff and valuables in your car, lock it up, and then put your keys in the basket.

Final note: don’t take anything white water rafting in WV  that you would not be heartbroken to lose. So leave behind your great-grandma’s engagement ring or that baseball cap that took 10 years to break in, and take only what’s necessary for a day on the river. For tips on what to bring, check out (insert what to bring on the river blog).

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Mud CourseThe Muddier the Merrier:

What kind of adventure can teach team bonding and simultaneously make you look like a mud dwelling creature? None other than the Mud Obstacle course offered here at ACE.

A race against the clock, challenging obstacles and team tasks are all-apart of this adventure. It’s always fun to get dirty, but the mud obstacle course brings an entirely new meaning to the word “dirty”. Mud will be squishing out of your shoes, caked in your hair and dripping from your arms, as the only bright thing about you remains the huge smile on your face that this adventure is sure to leave you and your friends. This obstacle offers several run-throughs. The first time, you get the initial fear of getting drenched out of the way. Once you take the first muddy plunge, you learn to fully embrace the dirt. As you race over logs, through tunnels and climb high walls you learn that the more team based you are, the better you do. While that is half the fun, the other half is every time you fall over or off something the sweet, squishy mud is there to greet you. Taking a before and after picture is a good idea, because your clothes will definitely not be the same color. Ever wanted to push a family member or coworker into a huge mud puddle? Now you can and it is totally acceptable. The larger the group you have the better. In other words, the muddier the merrier. The mud obstacle course at ACE Adventure Resort is sure to be an activity that you and your friends will love to dive into. And trust us, the groups that dig into the mud together, end of up with a connection words can’t describe.

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John Muir- a real mountain manJohn Muir will forever remain, as standard for what the life of a mountain man is. While he can be given many titles such as: naturalists, author, early advocate of preservation, botanist and geologist, he would probably call himself an explorer. And for the reason, that exploring the mountains was what he truly loved. Throughout his life Muir created 6 volumes of writings and 4 additional books, all describing his explorations of natural settings. His writing however, is not what makes him a mountain man. His writing was not what he enjoyed, stating, “This business of writing books is a long, tiresome, endless job”.  It was simply a way for him to tell the world how passionate he was about the apex wonders of the mountains as he explored the wilderness.

Muir spent the majority of his life traveling the world, climbing mountains, exploring the vast unknown and writing it all down for us. Many of his letters written home have also been saved as they too show his testament to his one true love. This passion for the mountains causes him, multiple times, to act for their benefit. In 1890, he petitioned congress for the National Park bill, which passed, putting both Sequoia and Yosemite on the map as national parks. For contributing works such as this, along with his written works, John Muir Trail, Muir Woods National Monument, Muir Beach, John Muir College, Mount Muir, Camp Muir and Muir Glacier have all been named in his honor. A particular love letter he had written to his wife ended in a quote saying, “the mountains are calling and I must go”. It is aspects such as these letters that aid in showing us just how much he appreciated the mountains.  For dedicating his life to preservation and appreciation of forests and mountains, and writing it all down for us to appreciate as well, John Muir has earned the title of true mountain man. Having lived in the mountains of West Virginia my entire life, I often wonder what he would of thought of the New River Gorge.

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Dog friendly vacations

And you weren’t going to take me on vacation?

Travel with Your Pet:

Fluffy and Fido make a rather large impact on the places you are able to travel. Pet owners understand, it is worth going a couple extra miles and paying a couple extra dollars to take your furry family member with you. This can be difficult, but regardless, worth it. No one likes the guilty feeling of leaving their pet in a kennel while they travel. It takes a little part of your experience away not having your loyal companion next to you. We believe that your fun should be totally guilt free and pet friendly. Ever want to go camping but don’t like the idea of leaving your four-legged loved one stuck in a hot tent all day? Worry no more.

ACE now makes travel for you and your pet as easy as a day at the dog park. Because we now offer pet friendly cabins, travel to ACE Adventure Resort for you and your pet is a reality. If you take your pet with you, you want there to be plenty of bonding time! Being located in the great outdoors means endless adventure for you and an entirely new world of sites and smells for your pet that’ll leave both of your tails wagging. Take a morning walk with the dog, let them relax in an air conditioned cabin while you take a rafting or zip line trip then enjoy the evening together at the lake or playing catch! Camping has never sounded so good as it does now right.  An easy-access travel location with endless adventure possibilities that is Fido friendly may sound just too good to be true, however the opportunity awaits. (Well at least for the 2013 season.)

Please note that dogs must be kept in a crate while in our cabins. You will be expected to bring one from home, as well as all other dog necessities. Feel free to give one of our adventure specialists a call and let them know you have a dog, so they can give you all the dog beta!

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Zombie Prom Party

ACE’s Zombie Prom

What’s all dolled up and terrifying at the same time? I’m talking about ACE Adventure Resort‘s Zombie Prom! You’re probably thinking, “Whoa, zombie what?? My first prom was scary enough!” But bare with me on this one.

Imagine having all the fun of prom and none of the worry, because well, zombies do what they want. This means the fundamentals of prom, with a terrifying spin on everything. Every dance has its theme: There’s the ever popular 80s theme or Hawaiian theme and then there’s some that simply haven’t caught on. However, Zombie Prom is one of those themes that I believe just won’t die.

Why is this idea dreadfully better than regular prom? First, it’s different. When you’ve been to one high school dance, you’ve been to them all and we don’t want you to relive that experience. Typical dance themes are just becoming worn out. Zombie Prom though, now that’s a completely different idea. This generation loves zombies. Their classic creeps yet ever evolving in society. There are countless zombie theme activities these days, including entire parades devoted to just wondering the streets of large cities in your best zombie garb! The idea that we have just now added it as prom theme almost makes me ask, “Where has this been!” Secondly, you don’t have to worry about how precisely your tux is ironed or how perfectly each curl falls. The worse you look, the better! I remember back to my own prom days, when girls obsessed over every little detail concerning their prom attire. If each nail didn’t have the same amount of glitter on it, or one side of their head had fuller curls than the other, the night was basically doomed. Worry no more! Smudge your makeup and dirty up your dress because while zombies don’t have much on their mind, their looks would be the last. Those poor fellas worrying about if their dance moves measure up can rest easy knowing that people will be so focused on each others gruesome looks that no one will be focusing on their groove. Really zombie prom is better from all angles.  To put it simply, Zombie Prom is fun because it puts a terrifying spin on a rather traditional concept. This is the kind of fun that is simply to die for!

So what does Zombie prom have to do with ACE Adventure Resort? Well this year, the guides started a new ACE tradition= ZOMBIE PROM. To say the least, it was a smash. Raft guides and their unique lifestyles are always entertaining. And THAT is a guarantee!

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First Aid EssentialsMinor injuries and illness don’t discriminate and anyone is prone to them anywhere at any time, which is why it’s important to always have the necessities with you while camping – a first aid kit. While first aid kits may be purchased as a whole, it’s more beneficial and cost-efficient to create your own – this way, can personalize it to you and your family’s specific needs. For example, if someone suffers from migraines every now and then, you’ll know to pack migraine medication or if someone is allergic to poison ivy, you can ensure you have everything you need to treat it.

Whether you’re a expert white water rafting on the New River Gorge or are a beginner zip lining through the wilderness, minor scrapes and cuts happen from time-to-time in the great outdoors. You might also expect tick bites and some sunburn while enjoying your time outside, which is when a first aid kit will also come in handy!

Below are a few necessities to include when creating your kit.

  •     Classic Bandage Items


  •     Blister pads


  •     Medical tape


  •     Elastic bandages


  •     Sterile gauze


  •     Adhesive bandages in various shapes and sizes


  •     Bandana


  •     Include items to help sterilize wounds and prevent infection.


  •     Cotton swabs


  •     Anti-bacterial cream


  •     Hand sanitizer


  •     Alcohol wipes

Add a variety of over-the-counter medications to your kit:

  •     Pain relievers


  •     Digestive medication for heartburn or nausea


  •     Allergy medications (antihistamines)

Don’t forget medical instruments and tools:

  •     Tweezers


  •     Scissors


  •     Thermometer


  •     Rubber gloves


  •     Multi-tool

Include a few sprays and creams:

  •     Anti-itch creams/sprays


  •     Aloe Vera for burn relief

When creating your own first aid kit, keep in mind that your needs may differ from the basics, which is why it’s beneficial to create your own from scratch. If you have a chronic illness such as diabetes, be sure to include a separate kit to accommodate your needs. Other basic necessities include a small flashlight for treating wounds at nighttime, as well as a first aid manual! Check out some more of our camping must-haves here, an ideal list for a new camper or if you simply need a refresher. Again, headaches and minor cuts and scrapes are inevitable regardless of your experience level, so it’s important to have your first-aid essentials totally prepared while enjoying the great outdoors.

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Check out our list of places in West Virginia you’d rather be right now:

1. White Water Rafting

West Virginia is prime location for rafting adventure! Featuring the New River as it’s natural wet and wild roller coaster, you’re sure to find the thrill you’ve been seeking while riding along an ACE raft.

2. Theatre West Virginia

This is a change of pace, but an entrancing evening none the less. Theatre West Virginia showcases multiple plays and musicals in its famous outdoor theatre. This theatre, located in Grandview, offers a chance to enjoy the arts and the outdoors at the same time!

3. At a WVU Game

For the sports and recreation lover in every bunch, you are ensured an enjoyable experience at a Mountaineers game! Located in Morgantown, WV the Mountaineer pride is exuberant on every street corner. Football, basketball we have it all and it’s sure to be a crowd favorite.

4. Yokum’s Seneca Rock Stables

Seneca Rocks is a natural beauty that is sure to leave you in awe. Rising 900 feet above the scenic landscape the only thing that could make this adventure more enjoyable would be to travel by horseback!

5. Pies and Pints

Everyone loves pizza. However the same ol’ same ol’ of cheese and pepperoni can get boring. Pies and Pints, located in Fayetteville, puts an entirely new spin on pizza. This restaurant is sure to please the family and the taste buds.

6. By a Campfire

Every now and then the soul needs to disconnect from daily life and recharge in the peaceful outdoors. West Virginia has supreme campsites by which to do so such as ACE’s many beautiful camp grounds. Roasted marshmallows and the tranquil forest are calling your name.

7. The Tamarack

The Tamarack is center for West Virginia specialty. Located in Beckley, this cultural adventure features handmade crafts and art, specialty food and one of a kind finds featured by West Virginia artists and materials. This is a great way to get a feel for the state’s artistic side!

8. Snowshoe Mountain

Winter can sometimes leave you with “cabin fever”. Thanks to this winter resort located in Pocahontas County that offers multiple enamoring winter adventures, feeling cooped up will no longer plague your winter months!

9. Blackwater Falls

This sizable surreal site is one of nature’s best. These falls, located in the Allegheny Mountains of Tucker County, not only give off a black color to the rushing water, but twist and tumble down a mighty five story drop and eight mile gorge. Offering tours and even camping, the Blackwater Falls is a site for sore eyes.

10. The New River Gorge Bridge

876 feet above the already majestic gorge, this bridge located near Fayetteville, offers multiple activities. Bridge Day features a full day atop the structure showcasing vendors and daring base jumpers. To get a more thrilling tour of the bridge however, ACE offers Bridge Catwalk tours by which you can maneuver the 1.5 miles of steel structure. Being safely secured and at such an apex height is an adventure you will not want to miss!

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At a time when large hair was a must, Duran Duran ruled the speakers and every one’s mind was on Molly Ringwald, ACE Adventure Resort was just beginning its own tubular adventure. Becoming officially incorporated in 1980, ACE Adventure Resort was a much different story than it is today. The first white water rafting trip was actually run from a motel room in the old Chuck Wagon Motel, now the Whitewater Inn. The 80s may have been a time for great hair and music but it was a time of growth and innovation for ACE as a company. Pioneering the now popular self bailing rafts, it is that same innovation that has continued to drive ACE on its own successful adventure.

white water rafting in the 80's

Back in the day…

Just as everyone does, we love to look back at the 80s, reminisce and see how far we’ve come. To commemorate these many rad years, ACE will be offering it’s 80s white water rafting trip prices! Appreciating the 80s has never been more exciting than it is now. While we won’t make you bust out your hammer pants, if you feel the need to explore your old 80s garb while also exploring the world of adventure that is known as ACE Adventure Resort, then so be it. The opportunity to travel back in time on a raft may never come again, and we’re sure this one would be Marty McFly approved. ACE is just the place to peek back into the 80s realm of adventure.

To find out more about these flashback prices. Go to our homepage or check us out on Facebook.

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WV mapWild and wonderful West Virginia activities and location offer a premier spot to take part in adventure. These top five West Virginia activities are something that everyone can enjoy.

5. Go hiking

This is a great adventure to keep in shape and enjoy the outside world! In general, to hike the beautiful hills of West Virginia means to not only get a good work out in, but to also get an up close and personal view of the breath taking scenery and wild life. West Virginia offers a plethora of parks by which to start your adventure. This would be a great time to take pictures and simply bask in the outdoor wonders. Hiking is an activity that is very flexible. You can do it individually, or even with a pet or group of friends. All in all, this is a great West Virginia activity to do that not only aids your health but keeps your wallet happy as well. You may like it so much, that you have a new healthy hobby on your hands.

4. Take advantage of our winter resorts

Once the harsh winter rolls around this may leave you wondering what to do with yourself and feeling cooped indoors. All hope is not lost! West Virginia has some of the best resorts for winter adventure. Snowboarding and skiing are obvious options. From getting lessons and learning a new craft as a beginner or simply enhancing skills you may have, West Virginia’s outdoor realm only expands in those chilly months. For the children, there is snow tubing that will keep them happily entertained for hours on end. After spending some time with your newest winter activity, heading inside for something warm to drink by the fire only adds to a perfect day.

3. Attend a town event

The best way to get a true feel for a place is to meet the locals. What better way to do this then to attend an event in one of West Virginia’s many pleasant towns! A Taste of Appalachia held in Beckley is a stand out. This tasty event is sure to leave a smile on your face. It is held in the uptown streets that are full of locals, live bands and yummy treats. This delicious night out will give you that true West Virginia small home town feel, fill your belly and connect you to kind, fun loving locals.

2. Visit Bridge Day

Bridge day is an apex event to attend in wonderful West Virginia! This event is held atop the New River Gorge Bridge. The bridge is the second largest single span steel arch in the Western Hemisphere. To be at such great heights is immediately a fun, new experience. There are tons of great vendors to view, food stands that will leave you drooling and base jumpers to watch. Yes, there are thrill seekers out there that line up one after another to jump from this mighty height. For those of us who enjoy a stable surface, watching is a great activity to take part in. It seems that from every angle of the bridge something exciting is going on that you will definitely not want to miss.

1. Go Whitewater Rafting

Finally, the pinnacle of adventure in West Virginia has been named! Whitewater Rafting is a great activity from many different angles. West Virginia features the New River which is a prime location for a rafting riot. The Gauley has been continuously named as one of the most exciting and best sections to raft in the world. This activity is thrilling and gives you the adrenaline rush you may be seeking. This is a great activity to do with family or friends as it is a prime bonding experience and teaches teamwork. ACE Adventure Resort offers multiple rafting packages for you to tailor your fun filled trip to your group’s liking. The foaming whitewater, breath taking mountains, wildlife and the New River Gorge Bridge are all views that you can take in while sharing in this invigorating experience. Overall, this is one of the top West Virginia activities you must do because you will simply not get another life experience quite like this one.

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