There’s nothing new about the New River. A tributary of the Kanawha River, the New River is actually the third-oldest river in the world geologically, contrary to its name. Early Atlantic explorers gave it the name simply because it was new to them. (Perhaps not the most creative bunch).
Fact is the 320-mile long nationally designated river is at least 300 million-years-old. And though it cuts through North Carolina and Virginia, the New River is most celebrated in West Virginia where adventurers live and breath the ancient watershed. It’s a perfect match for a state that fancies itself “wild and wonderful.”
Stay: Opossum Creek Retreat
Opossum Creak Retreat is just five miles away from tiny downtown Fayetteville, West Virginia and gives travelers a rustic atmosphere with their cabins embedded deep in the woods. Still, there’s a hot tub bubbling along on the back patio, so you’re not roughing it too badly.
Do: Whitewater Raft With River Expeditions
Admittedly there’s no shortage of companies ready and willing to take you out onto the New River. But the folks at River Expeditions were as enthusiastic as their guides were knowledgeable.
Coasting along the rapids, you’ll learn more about the renowned river than you probably know about any other. Just don’t lose focus or you’ll find yourself launching into the air when a Class III or IV rapid spins your raft in circles.
Do More: Zip Line At ACE Adventures
If you were ever wondering who holds the Guinness record for most zip liners in an hour, look no further than ACE Adventure Resort. The adventure outlet sent more than 180 people along a 203-foot cable, smashing a German outfitter’s previous record of 122.
But there’s plenty to enjoy along their zip line canopy tours even if you’re not out to break a world record. There’s no shortage of gliding across the sky with panoramic views of the New River Gorge. However, the true stand out is the grand finale where adventurers are encouraged to sit on the platform backwards, fall back, and watch their limbs flail into the sky. Bonus points if you finagle yourself upside down.
Eat And Play: Downtown Fayetteville
Fayetteville, called home by slightly under 3,000 people, is proud of their 2006 ranking as one of the “Top 10 Coolest Small Towns in America” by Budget Travel Magazine. Here, you’ll find the best of small-town America in its surviving 19th Century architecture and plethora of friendly faces. Grab breakfast at Cathedral Café, which is exactly what it sounds like, and enjoy the quirky small shops that surround the local favorite.
Pies & Pints makes for a perfect lunch stop with their craft pizza (Chipotle Chicken Pie, please) and beer, the latter courtesy of Bridge Brew Works. For dinner, it would be a crime against humanity if you didn’t get a plate of Diogi’s Pollo Loco with strips of grilled chicken and local chorizo.
Okay, we exaggerate, but you get the idea. Don’t miss Diogi’s and don’t miss out on the food and adventure of Fayetteville, West Virginia.
Feeling extra adventurous? Come during Fayetteville’s Bridge Day on October 19, a 34-year tradition of base jumpers from across the globe jumping off the 876-foot tall bridge in front of an expected crowd of 80,000.