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Go Outside: Adventures on the Gorge w/ LeadershipWV 2021 Class

@hashtagwvNew River Gorge Bridge in Fayette County, WV ##FayettevilleWV ##explorewv ##summertime ##304 ##roadtrip

♬ Blackbird – Acoustic Guitar Revival

Last month, Leadership West Virginia’s Class of 2021 (LWV2021) kicked off their program year with a trip to Adventures on the Gorge (AOTG) in beautiful Fayette County and experienced many of West Virginia’s most notable tourist attractions. AOTG is just an hour drive from Lewisburg and is known as America’s premier whitewater rafting resort. They offer private retreats and several activities to accommodate folks of all ages.

LWV2021 Class kicked off their program year with a trip to Adventures on the Gorge (AOTG) in beautiful Fayette County

The LWV2021 Class was able to experience a half-day rafting trip, and had the choice of a TreeTops Zip line Canopy Tour, Bridge Walk on the New River Gorge Catwalk, Birding, or a guided hike at the New River Gorge National Park. All members participated in a reception at Bridge Brew Works in Fayetteville, and a tour of the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve in Glen Jean.

With a 16-foot raft holding 8 people, the trip takes approximately three and a half hours to run 8 miles.

For anyone who wants to experiment the excitement of whitewater rafting with a tighter schedule, a half day trip on the Lower New River Rapid Run is a perfect opportunity. With a 16 foot raft holding 8 people, the trip takes approximately three and a half hours to run 8 miles. On this trip, guests will raft through 17 rapids, including a few Class 5 rapids. There are no extra stops along the way, like lunch or cliff jumping, unless a member of your boat accidentally goes for a swim. But not to worry, there are great stories that come from unexpected swims.

Aside from being an ideal option for a group looking to go rafting and do another adventure on the same day, this experience is unmatched due to the New River’s history, scenic views and powerful hydraulics. Rafters are in a large volume river with dangerous shelf drops and boulders, creating the perfect combination of waves and hydraulics for a world-class whitewater rafting experience. Our guide, Ben, was not only our navigator and entertainer but shared information about the New and made sure to keep us safe along the way. He was wonderful and made sure we got a cold beverage on the bus back to AOTG.

While on the Bridge Walk, guests can stop, take photos, sit on the bridge dangle their feet in the air…

Do heights scare you? If you have a paralyzing fear of heights like many members of the LWV2021 class, you may or may not want to overcome it by doing the Bridge Walk on the New River Gorge Catwalk. This activity was a “Bucket List” item for some of the class members and took about an hour to walk across. To put it in perspective, driving across this bridge takes less than 40 seconds. While on the Bridge Walk, guests can stop, take photos, sit on the bridge dangle their feet in the air, and watch rafters float 876’ below on the New River. As a bonus for finishing the Bridge Walk, there will be an ice-cold beer waiting for you in your guide’s cooler.

There is no better way to experience the magic of West Virginia’s mountain forest than high up…

There is no better way to experience the magic of West Virginia’s mountain forest than high up in the leafy canopy. The TreeTops Zip Line Canopy Tour takes three to four hours, and consists of 10 different zip lines, 5 swinging “sky bridges,” a couple of short ground hikes, and a free-hanging 20 foot rappel to conclude the trip. A fear of heights might be a factor on this trip, too, but fast zips and beautiful views are a great distraction. While on the zip lining trip, guests hear from personable and knowledgeable guides about the zip lining process and the hardwood forest biome of oak, maple, birch, and hemlocks along the cool stream of Mill Creek. If you haven’t noticed the trend by now, an ice cold beverage awaits after this experience, too. adventuresonthegorge.com

Offsite in Fayetteville is Bridge Brew Works

Offsite in Fayetteville is Bridge Brew Works and features locally brewed, creatively crafted beers sold by the bottle, pint, or growler. The brewery features a large outdoor patio with plenty of tables and seating. There’s also a fire pit and a pulled pork food truck! This is a great spot to enjoy a light Pilsner, IPA, or any other type of beer to satisfy your taste. They also offer flights, which is a great way to try out their nice variety of lagers. Bridge Brew Works is located at 335 Nick Rahall Greenway in Fayetteville. bridgebrewworks.com.

About a 20-minute drive south of AOTG is Summit Bechtel in Glen Jean.

About a 20-minute drive south of AOTG is Summit Bechtel in Glen Jean. The Summit is an adventure center for millions of youth and adults involved in Boy Scouts of America and anyone who loves the outdoors. From Friday, September 10-Sunday, the 12th, this venue will host Adventure On! Freedom Festival. This is a family-friendly event that features mountain biking, shooting sports, zip lines, canopy tours, rock climbing, and so much more. If you plan to stay, bring a tent or your RV/camper, or rent a luxury tent in the VIP Glamping Village, which sleeps up to six. On Saturday the 11th, the Summit will host a 9/11 Tribute Concert featuring Lonestar and conclude with a light show/fireworks display. Learn more about this event at adventurefestival.com.

LeadershipWV is now in its 30th year

Each month until November, the LWV2021 class will visit a different area in the state. This program is now in its 30th year and is designed to prepare leaders to move West Virginia forward. There are 40 members in the 2021 class and 1,400 alumni. “There is a growing need for qualified and visionary leaders in the state to remain at the forefront of our state’s future.” – LeadershipWV.org. The visit to Fayette County was intended to educate the current class about the tourism industry and for the duration of this year, the class will learn about economic development, the justice system, education, energy, health care, and government. If you would like to learn more about this program, visit leadershipwv.org.

– Christina Edwards, HashtagWV #133. July 2021.

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