On 1,500 acres in West Virginia’s southern hills, ACE Adventure Resort (http://aceraft.com/) turns heads with fall colors come late September through October.
West Virginia’s colorful palette on a landscape that is 80 percent forested comes with uncrowded scenic drives and crisp fall days. In fact, this southern state probably has more varieties of colorful hardwoods than does New England.
Activities stay lively here amidst the falling leaves. World-class rafting on The Gauley, one of the wildest late-flowing rafting rivers in the country, is guaranteed here through Oct. 18. There are also year-round rafting expeditions on New River Gorge National River.
Fall colors at ACE Adventure Resort peak mid to late October depending on the weather. However, the protected depths of the New River Gorge can keep colors longer than usual along the river bottom. Prime foliage viewing is best from secluded overlooks which include the Endless Wall Trail, named the best national park hike in the United States by the readers of USA Today. ACE’s popular New River Bridge Catwalk Tour that takes adventurers under the longest single arch bridge in the western hemisphere spans 1.5 miles on a 24-inch wide catwalk (with railings). The fall colors can be truly spectacular with the right timing (this can be coupled with a raft trip).
A major date on West Virginia’s tourism calendar is Oct. 17, Bridge Day, when daredevils high line, rappel and jump with fast-opening parachutes from New River Gorge Bridge 876 feet over New River and one of Earth’s oldest river gorges.
ACE’s Bridge Day Twin Rivers Fall Package on Oct. 17-18 is $259 per person double for two full days of rafting on two rivers, two breakfasts and lunches and one dinner. Single night programs that include Bridge Day activities are also available for this weekend.
Most of the activities that have made ACE Adventure Resort the #1 Outfitter in West Virginia continue through fall as well: zip lining, mountain biking, disc golf, stand up paddle boarding and rock climbing. The adjacent 70,000-acre New River Gorge National River is an option for miles of wilderness exploring afoot and on horseback or fat tire bike. Guests may also enjoy world class fishing on the New River for small mouth bass. Conditions for rock climbing and mountain biking are usually optimal this time of year.
Guests can anticipate more thrills and chills the weekends of Oct. 23-24 and Oct. 30-31 with Nightmare on the Gorge: http://aceraft.com/pages/halloween-haunted-adventure. A haunted trail, night zip lining and zombie run unravel the resort’s haunted history followed by a party with live music for a per person double rate of $129 for adults and $119 for youth.
The Gauley that runs through the heart of West Virginia’s mountains is considered to be one of the most exciting stretches of commercially runnable whitewater in the world. To whitewater enthusiasts, it’s a “must do!” The catch is, one can only raft its most challenging whitewater in the fall. Until mid October, the Army Corps of Engineers on weekends releases water from the Summersville Dam at a rate of 2,800 cubic feet per second. As it rushes downriver, the flow creates huge waves, runnable waterfalls, eddies and holes that provide all the thrills a rafter could wish for. See: http://aceraft.com/collections/whitewater-rafting/Gauley-River
About ACE Adventure Resort
ACE Adventure Resort is the East Coast’s largest mountain hideaway exclusively focused on world-class whitewater rafting along with guided adventures, outdoor sports and activities, lodging, camping and other amenities. The nearby New River Gorge National River is affectionately known as the “Grand Canyon of the East” and features rafting from April to October. The New and Gauley Rivers combined offer over 100 miles of rapids all within 30 minutes of the resort. Both rivers are administered by the National Park Service. ACE’s passion since 1980 has been to create vacations wrapped around these rivers and other outdoor adventures so that guests can experience “a world of adventure in one place.” The 1,500 acres here encompass both forest and a 5-acre lake plus a series of ponds, a mining-era ghost town and spectacular cliffs for rock climbing, waterfalls and overlooks.