BlogWhat’s It Like In West Virginia?

Posted on September 12, 2012 by
Rappelling Down In The New River Gorge

Summit Director Dan McCarthyWhile I’ve only been a resident for six months, I often get asked what it’s like to live in West Virginia. Simply stated, “It’s awesome!”

I didn’t know much about West Virginia when I moved here to become the Summit director, but I’m learning quickly. What I’ve found is all good. The people are great; they are excited about the Summit and next year’s opening event, the 2013 National Jamboree. Appalachia is known for its creativity: crafts, music, theater, and good food are an integral part of the culture here.

But what really stands out about the New River Gorge area is that it is a family recreational paradise with emphasis on the word “family.” Consider rafting, tubing, kayaking, or jet boating the New River; hiking or biking the many trails in the Gorge; or experiencing the thrill of a canopy tour, the challenge of the Timber Trek (an aerial obstacle course), or the thrill of walking under the Western Hemisphere’s longest steel single-span arch bridge. If you’re into climbing, there’s plenty of opportunity for that as well. These are just some of the numerous recreational/high-adventure opportunities available for the entire family.[pullquote]Consider rafting, tubing, kayaking, or jet boating the New River; hiking or biking the many trails in the Gorge; or experiencing the thrill of a canopy tour, the challenge of the Timber Trek (an aerial obstacle course), or the thrill of walking under the Western Hemisphere’s longest steel single-span arch bridge. If you’re into climbing, there’s plenty of opportunity for that as well.[/pullquote]

In case you didn’t know, the New River, or “New” for short, is one of the oldest rivers in the world and flows north from its headwaters in North Carolina. The upper New is a stretch of flat water with awesome views of the upper gorge and is great for family members of all ages. The lower New is more challenging, with Class III to V rapids cutting through the breathtaking scenery of the lower gorge. Until you’ve been here, you really can’t appreciate the spectacular beauty of this area.

Now some of you may be wondering, won’t I be able to do many of those things at the Summit? The answer to that is yes, but you’ll need to be a Scout to do so. While Scouts are here experiencing the wide range of activities at the Summit, their families may be looking for an opportunity to experience West Virginia. And while there are things we will have at the Summit that are not available to the general public, there are things available in the many recreational venues around the New River Gorge that we won’t have at the Summit (e.g., we won’t be building a 3,030-foot, single-span arch bridge for you to walk under anytime soon).

My bottom line is this: It’s true that West Virginia is “Wild and Wonderful!” Come experience it for yourself. There really is something for the entire family. So when you plan your trip to the Summit, schedule a few extra days to enjoy the area. You’ll fall in love with it just as those of us here at the Summit have.

See you in West Virginia!

Dan