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What Do You Know About The Summit?

The Summit Bechtel Reserve, located in southern West Virginia, is the new home of the national Scout jamboree and the 2019 World Scout Jamboree.

That means tons of nature and adventure.

You’ll have 10,600 acres of Summit property and 70,000 acres of the New River Gorge National River to explore and enjoy. Are you ready?

Hilly Terrain Makes For Great Adventures

Bowl At Sunset
The changing leaves in the fall help show the hilly terrain at the Summit. (Photo by Gary Hartley)

You’ll be in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains, which, at approximately 460 million years old, are the oldest mountains in the world. The mountains stretch from Newfoundland to Alabama. With the Summit right in the middle of them, you’ll experience some wild terrain.

West Virginia is called the “Mountain State” for a reason. It has the highest mean elevation of any state east of the Mississippi River at 1,500 feet above sea level.

The Summit itself has an elevation difference of approximately 1,300 feet from its lowest to highest point. That means downhill mountain biking, zip line courses and plenty of intense hiking trails.

Gravity has never been so much fun.

Lots And Lots Of Water

You will also be a stone’s throw away from the New River Gorge National River, Bluestone National Scenic River and the Gauley River National Recreation Area. This makes the Summit a destination for fishing, kayaking and, of course, whitewater rafting.

Whitewater Rafting On The Gauley
Rafters always attempt to hit Pillow Rock with their paddles when they paddle down the Gauley River. (Photo by Gary Hartley)

The New River, ironically, is actually one of the oldest rivers on the planet, second only to the Nile River in Egypt. It runs north for 320 miles through North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. Hundreds of people whitewater raft or kayak their way down the river everyday.

The Gauley River is home to some of the biggest whitewater in the country. It stretches 105 miles through West Virginia and meets the New River to form the Kanawha River.

Rafters and kayakers flock to the Gauley River during the fall for 22 days of guaranteed high water known as Gauley Season. Gauley Season means lots of intense whitewater — 2,800 cubic feet per second to be exact — thanks to scheduled releases from the Summersville Dam.

The Bluestone River runs for 83 miles through Virginia and West Virginia. Eleven miles of the river, the stretch near the Summit, is part of the National Park system and has been designated the Bluestone National Scenic River. This area is great for hiking, fishing and hunting.

Rock Climbing The Rocky Gorge

The same rivers that provide thrilling whitewater have carved out some of the best rock climbing on the East Coast. People come to the NRG for all types of climbing: sport, trad and bouldering.

There are over 1,600 climbing routes made of the hard sandstone which range from 30- to 120-feet tall. There is a wide variety of routes here that are rated between 5.6 and 5.12 on the Yosemite Decimal system from 5.0 (easiest) to 5.14 (hardest). Although the rock is spread out all over the gorge, most climbers head to Endless Wall, a 4-mile-long wall of the classic sandstone overlooking the river.

You can also find more than 300 climbing routes on the cliffs around the Meadow River and Summersville Lake. During the summer, there are plenty of climbs on the lake that are only accessible by boat, which is perfect for a midday swim.

In short, the geography and topography of the Summit will allow for some of the greatest adventures you’ll ever experience.

How does your hometown landscape compare to that of the New River Gorge? What types of adventures does your hometown offer?

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