Every year Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine asks their readers to vote for their favorite places, events, and more in our region. Best of the Blue Ridge Awards are the largest and most prestigious outdoor awards in the Southeast, and they are highlighted in newspapers, magazines, shops, and businesses across the region. The region is full of inspiring athletes, cultural hubs, and wild and wonderful spots to explore. In the 2020 Reader’s Choice Awards, the Fayetteville area, Adventures on the Gorge and several of our Friends brought home the awards.
Raft Guide Company – Adventures on the Gorge (Lansing, W.Va.)
Run the New River and Gauley River with the whitewater rafting guides at Adventures on the Gorge. Families will enjoy the scenic views on the Upper New trip while those looking for an adrenaline rush will want to check out the Class V rapids on the Upper Gauley.
Zip Line – Adventures on the Gorge (Lansing, W.Va.)
Take a ride through the trees at Adventures on the Gorge. Choose from the adventure park with tree-based obstacles, a canopy tour with sky-bridges, and a 1.5-mile zipline course for an adventure off the ground.
Food Personality – Lewis Rhinehart (Secret Sandwich Society, W.Va.)
In the early 90s, Lewis Rhinehart started visiting Fayetteville to play and hang out. He eventually sold his pizza shop back in Pennsylvania to live in the area full time. He started working for Secret Sandwich Society when it first opened, eventually buying the Fayetteville location in 2012.
In addition to their community engagement programs and 100 percent wind-powered operations, Rhinehart said mental health in the food industry is an important issue for him. “Be kind to your restaurant workers,” he said. “They work long hours. There’s a lot of stress. It’s physically and mentally taxing.”
Food Truck – Riverchick Farms (Fayetteville, W.Va.)
Fill up on handmade sweet and savory crepes from Riverchick Farm. The menu rotates depending on the season, so try some new fillings each time you visit.
Ice Cream – The Stache (Fayetteville, W.Va.)
Satisfy your sweet tooth after a day outside with an ice cream cone, sundae, milkshake, or candy from The Stache.
Pizza – Pies & Pints (Fayetteville, W.Va.)
Stop by the original Pies & Pints location in Fayetteville, right down the road from the New River Gorge. Try one of their specialty pies like siracha shrimp, chicken gouda, or black bean.
Farmers Market – Fayette County Farmers Market (Fayetteville, W.Va.)
Stop by the Fayette County Farmers Market every Saturday from May through the end of October for fresh food, art, and crafts. You can also catch these vendors from two to six on Thursdays just down the road in Oak Hill.
Brewer/Distiller/Winemaker – Nathan Herrold (Bridge Brew Works, W.Va.)
Nathan Herrold started brewing beer in his garage back in the mid-90s. In 2010, Herrold and Ken Linch, another avid home brewer, established Bridge Brew Works to bring their craft beers to Fayetteville. His brother, Adam, joined the team in 2016. “It was a hobby that turned into a passion that then turned into a career,” Herrold said.
Outdoor Shop – Water Stone Outdoors (Fayetteville, W.Va.)
For over 20 years, the adventure enthusiasts at Water Stone Outdoors have been providing visitors to the New River Gorge area with gear and advice to get the most out of their trip.