Whether you’ve been here before or it’s your first trip, the New River Gorge is “that place”- the vacation that you’ll be talking about for.. well, ’till you keel over and die. Probably. Just sayin’.
How do I know? I’m a rental cabin expert. But I haven’t always been one…
My wife Tammi and I met in Florida, where I lived in the late 80’s. I’m originally from Pennsylvania, and she’s from right here in the New River Gorge area. When she brought me home to meet the folks the area began to woo me. For several years we traveled here to visit friends and family, and every visit made me feel like I was coming home. The folks here are friendly and most will go out of their way to assure your visit is a great one. That’s right- it’s so true, it’s in bold. Italicized. And, it happens to be reason #1.
That works, right? The 5 reasons are in bold letters and italics? Cool? Okay…
On one trip I talked several of my buddies into coming up to run the River for a few days and do some fishing. Tammi hooked us up with a river guide friend to take us on our four day river adventure. I didn’t know it then but from that point on I was hooked. Two years later I was a resident West-by-god-Virginian.
One of the things that never fails to take my breath away is the fact that there are so many great views in one place. Whether you’re at the end of Long-point Trail (my favorite hike in the New River Gorge National Park) or at Hawk’s Nest State Park, there is an amazing sight to see. I’ve been here now for eighteen years and still find new views that thrill my soul. While being at the top of the gorge looking down is what most people consider a view, it’s equally impressive looking up from the bottom.
If you keep your eyes open you’ll get a peek at some of the local fauna that lives here. They could be hidden anywhere. A word of caution; Beware of the Mad Beaver! There’s great wildlife for your viewing pleasure all over the place. You may be privileged to see anything from black bear to flying squirrels. The New River Gorge is also a great place to catch a glimpse of the secretive neo tropical flying migrants (wood warblers and such) as they pass through.
Nature at its best – Around here there are tons of opportunity to just get out and explore. This place is a naturalists dream. There are wildflowers, warblers, fungi and more. Fayette County West Virginia is one of the few places on the state that you will find the Painted Trillium. A beautiful wildflower introduced to me by my botanist friend and naturalist Jim McCormac.
Here I have experienced nature at its best. When I first came here, the friendly folks, wildlife and natural aspects of the area far exceeded my expectations. The outdoor opportunities are unmatched by almost anywhere I’ve ever been. Most of the folks I run in to who are here for the first time seem to have one thing to say: “This place is better than I could have ever imagined.”
How true that is.