On a 1,500-acre playground in West Virginia’s southern mountains, ACE Adventure Resort (http://aceraft.com/) reveals its 2016 events calendar that begins in late May with promises of fun competitions continuing through October when ghosts and spirits in the South are active and hiding in the shadows.
“Everything we do here focuses on having fun at one of the nation’s finest outdoor destinations,” said Heidi Prior, ACE Director of Marketing. “No one knows how to create smiles and laughs like ACE and just being able to show-off these beautiful mountains to others gives us immense satisfaction. Toss in a year-long schedule of special events coupled with a company proud of its West Virginia roots, and you have the perfect mix for fun, relaxation and memory making.”
According to Prior, 2016 is shaping up to be the biggest and best year for fun and adventure yet at ACE Adventure Resort. Three running competitions are now on next year’s calendar and will soon be open for registration. These include the May 28 Wonderland Mountain Challenge – a half-marathon or 10K trail run through the New River Gorge, past scenic rock outcrops, cascading waters and abandoned coal mines. A burrito buffet awaits all contestants at the finish line. Winners receive cash prizes and medals. Registration fees are $20 to walk the course, $30 for a 10K run and $40 for a half marathon. This weekend racers and their families can camp free. See: http://aceraft.com/pages/ace-adventure-series-wonderland-mountain-challenge
The second competition on July 23 is the third annual Gritty Chix Mud Run, a 5k route along the muddiest and wettest trails on the property. This event last year raised money for Relay for Life (American Cancer Society) and for First Descents offering life-changing outdoor adventures for youth diagnosed with cancer. This is a fun event, where one can choose the level of participation. The course has a variety of muddy, messy spots where participants can choose to go around or jump right in and get gritty! See: http://aceraft.com/pages/gritty-chix-mud-run
The 15th annual New River Gorge-ous Trail Run & Walk on Aug. 20 offers three race options on courses meandering through deep hardwood forests and offering spectacular views of the New River and the historic town of Thurmond. Events include a 5.0-mile walk, and 8.5-mile and half marathon runs. Registration is $20, $30 and $40 respectively. Free camping for racers and families will be offered. There are cash prizes and medals plus the first 100 registrants will receive the 15th Annual commemorative t-shirt. See: http://aceraft.com/pages/new-river-gorgeous-trail-run
And because the hollers of West Virginia wouldn’t be complete without the sounds of guitar and banjo, back for a third year is ACE’s Mountain Music Festival scheduled June 3 and 4 with a stellar line-up yet to be announced. The festival brings the spirit of Appalachia to life through its two greatest exports – music and wilderness. Last year’s fest featured the Del McCoury Band, Papadosio, Keller Williams and others. See: http://www.mountainmusicfestwv.com/
A competition unique to ACE Adventure Resort is the July 2 Big Air Blob Competition at ACE Adventure Park and Lake. Teams of two compete for the most outrageous blob – or splash — of the day. Judges will score up to 10 points per blob based on form, height or just sheer craziness. Prizes for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners! Entry to the competition is free to those lodging here for the July 4 holiday. Action takes place at a five-acre water park with water slides, zip lines, inflatable toys and the famous “Blob” (a giant inflatable pillow on the water). The televisions show, “Wipeout”, was the inspiration for the water obstacle course here. See: http://aceraft.com/pages/big-air-blob-competition
Also on the 2016 calendar is the Oct. 15 Bridge Day, an annual event that attracts daredevils on a highline, rappelling and base jumping on the New River Bridge. It also happens to be peak fall color time for the hardwood forests surrounding the bridge and gorge which adds an element of splendor to this event. And to be announced are plans for the 2016 Halloween celebration that consumes the resort as it is flooded with goblins and guests alike.
Most of the activities that have made ACE Adventure Resort the #1 Outfitter in West Virginia continue into late fall: rafting the Gauley River, 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.
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.