CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) — West Virginia is known for its outdoor recreation and adventure opportunities. If you’re visiting or even live in the Mountain State and want to dabble in some thrill-seeking activities, here’s a list of guided adventures that will help you check off items on your bucket list but with an expert there to ease your nerves and keep you on track.
There a lots of places to raft with a guide in West Virginia. West Virginia is known for its whitewater during Gauley Season in September when water is released from Summersville Lake, creating incredible rafting conditions.
Adventures on the Gorge, ACE Adventures, River Expeditions and New & Gauley River Adventures are just a few companies that will guide you through your first (or 100th) adventure on the Gauley or New River.
For those who want to stay further north, there are also options on the Cheat River in Preston County, like Cheat River Outfitters.
Rock climbing can be extremely dangerous without the right gear and guidance, but lucky for you, West Virginia has groups that will walk you through the entire process.
If technical climbing isn’t what you had in mind, the Nelson Rocks Via Ferrata in Circleville offers a climbing experience with rungs and cables that are fully guided and will allow you to have all the adrenaline and views of climbing without the technical skill of the true rock climber. NROCKS is based in Pendleton County and also offers other types of guided adventures.
For those wanting to try rock climbing in a more technical sense, Appalachian Mountain Guides, Adventures on the Gorge, ACE Adventure and many others in the New River Gorge also offer guided climbing trips.
There are lots of zip-lining options across West Virginia, from the New River Gorge to West Virginia University’s Outdoor Education Center to Harpers Ferry. If you’re looking for something that will take you along a series of ziplines rather than one large drop, the WVU Zipline & Canopy Tour in Bruceton Mills, Grand Vue Adventures in Moundsville or Pipestem Adventures in Pipestem.
If you’re looking for more of a major speed zipline, WV Tourism says the Harpers Ferry Zipline and Grand Vue each have a line that is 2,100 feet and reaches about 50 MPH.
Lost World Caverns offers guided cave tours in Greenbrier County. A tour lets you go 120 feet underground. Although there are 45-minute self-guided tours, if you want the full adventure, consider the 4-6-hour guided tour which takes you to the darkest parts of the cave. The full tour includes a mile of guided cave trekking, a hot lunch and snacks and water.
The long-guided tour starts at $79, and the self-guided tours start at $12.
Going ATV or UTV riding can be intimidating, you need to know what you doing and to have a vehicle; insert Mountain Top Adventures. The group offers guided tours on the Hatfield McCoy Trails—Southern West Virginia’s massive off-road trail system—and is the official rental supplier of the trail system.
Guided rides are available on Wednesdays and Saturdays and can be scheduled throughout the week upon request. Rentals for ATVs range from $400 to $700 per day before tax and insurance with options for 2-6 seaters.
Although horse owners can adventure pretty much anywhere in West Virginia on trails and rail trails, there are places that will take you on a guided horse tour where you don’t need to navigate yourself or know much about horses.
To see the highest of north central West Virginia’s mountains, consider Autumn Breeze Stables in Slaty Fork or Mountain Trail Rides in Davis. In the southern part of the state, try Hidden Trails Stables in Mathias or Horseshoe Creek Stables near New River Gorge National Park.