My daughter and I grew up together, here in the New River Gorge.
We have been exploring it since she was just a tot. We hunt, fish, hike, pretty much anything outdoors. Alex is in College now, but we still get out when we can (I’m looking forward to some time together this summer).
Any time you can spend together with your children is quality time. There is a lot to do still, and we’ll eventually get it all in. Eventually.
There are just way too many things to try and do, even on a short visit to the New River Gorge. Here are five things you shouldn’t miss with your kids while you’re here:
1.) Somehow, some way, you need to get on the river. Whether it’s a playful float on the upper New River or thrill filled “white” water excursion on the Lower, you’ll find the day exhilarating and full of great memories. I can remember Alex when she was just seven or eight years old, paddling around and singing “Just Around The River Bend” from Disney’s Pocahontas.
2.) Horseback riding is another don’t-miss experience, especially in Babcock State Park. Babcock Stables offers you a not so usual horseback ride as it is set in the pristine woods in and around the state park. There are high mountain vistas, and plenty of places to stop for a rest and enjoy the wild outdoors. Not your typical gravel road ride. Wildlife abound in the park, so chances are you’ll be seeing plenty during your ride. Years ago on a ride here Alex said, “This reminds me of the old pioneer days, Dad!”
3.) Hiking Long Point trail is a great way to spend an evening with the whole family. A short, moderate trail the ends in a breathtaking view of the Gorge from on high. 3.2 miles round trip and not too difficult, this one makes for another awesome memory-maker. You’ll want to allow enough time to sit and take it all in when you reach the rock outcropping that overlooks the Gorge. It gives you a totally different perspective of the Bridge. Great family trip.
4.) The Tree Tops Canopy Tour is another adventure we love. Zipping along in the hemlock forest ranging from 20 to over 100 feet off the forest floor is now our favorite way to explore the forest and woodlands. Looking down into a blooming magnolia blossom is something you don’t get to experience too often. Watching canopy dwelling bird behavior at eye level is another. Not to mention the thrill of the ride. One zip is over seven hundred feet long! Wow! We’ll be talking about zipping in our family for a long time.
5.) Summersville Lake and Plum Orchard Lake are both great spots for a canoe or kayak excursion. Spend the day playing on the water, casually floating and cruising the steep banks of Summersville Lake. Exploring the hidden pockets of Plum Orchard Lake will give you a perspective not found or seen from the banks. Get out there and show your kids what there is to see!