Every season in West Virginia offers a unique and incredible experience for visitors and locals alike. But fall in West Virginia is unlike anywhere else on earth. As the 3rd most forested state in the nation, West Virginia is home to a multitude of deciduous trees, all eagerly awaiting the fall to dress up in their autumn best. When fall arrives, the already gorgeous landscape of the New River Gorge becomes amplified by the stunning colors that blanket the steep gorge walls. Here, the juxtaposition of the trees, the river, and the sheer sandstone cliffs create an awe-inspiring dramatic landscape.
At Adventures on the Gorge, we are proud to offer adventures in the New River Gorge region year round. But in the fall, the addition of colorful trees can make already incredible adventures even better. Here is our list of can’t-miss fall activities with Adventures on the Gorge.
1. Zipline: We offer two different zipline courses at AOTG, each unique from the other. TreeTops, our original zipline canopy tour, travels through both deciduous forests and old-growth hemlock groves to offer a bird’s eye view of the flora of West Virginia. On this trip, you’ll get up close and personal with the trees, and learn about what we’re doing to help protect these special places from invasive pests. This immersive experience comes with no shortage of fun as you zipline from tree to tree and walk across hanging sky bridges. On Gravity, our second zipline course, you’ll experience big heights and soaring speeds as you zipline from platform to platform with views of the valley visible on every zip. The final zipline on this course, named Adren-a-line, is the longest and fastest zipline in West Virginia. Make sure to check out the fall views as you race to the finish line!
2. Raft: Fall is for rafting in West Virginia. During September and October, the gates are opened on Summersville Dam and the raging waters of the Gauley River are released. The Upper Gauley packs a punch, with technically demanding whitewater and five Class V rapids. We don’t recommend this trip for beginners, but those hoping to take in the fall views while rafting can experience the tamer (but still full of roller coaster waves and adrenaline-inducing rapids) Lower Gauley or the Lower New River, which travels underneath the iconic New River Gorge Bridge (more on this later).
3. Hike: The New River Gorge National Park and Preserve offers trails that lead to panoramic views of the New River Gorge. Endless Wall Trail travels through the heart of the park, and leads to a vista of Endless Wall, miles of sheer sandstone cliffline that is world-renowned for its rock climbing routes. This out and back hike is considered moderately challenging, and can be booked as a guided hiking tour with Adventures on the Gorge.
4. Bridge Day: Every year, we celebrate the engineering marvel that is The New River Gorge in the best way we know how: a big party! Bridge Day, held every October, celebrates the construction of the New River Gorge Bridge. People from around the world flock to the bridge as BASE jumpers fly off the bridge bound for the Gorge floor. While the views of the fall foliage are world class from the bridge, rafting underneath the Bridge on Bridge Day offers an even more unique vantage point of both the BASE jumpers and the fall foliage. You’ll see BASE jumpers as the descend to the Gorge below, and experience the beauty of Endless Wall from below. The best part? You won’t have to deal with the crowds on the Bridge.
5. Relax at Adventures on the Gorge: Take in the views of the New River Gorge from our basecamp. While adventure is in our name, we also offer relaxing vantage points throughout our campus with views of the New River Gorge. Pro tip: isit during the week for more lodging options and fewer crowds.
This fall, visit the leaf peepers paradise otherwise known as The New River Gorge. Here, you’ll experience the beauty of fall in West Virginia coupled with the adventures that make the New River Gorge a world-renowned destination.