My son and I were asked to come on this trip as part of a press event, however all of our opinions are our own.
My boys are reaching the age where adventure is just a way of life. The bigger and bolder the experience, the better in their minds.
There are times, however, that a exhausting road trip is as much of an adventure that I can handle.
So, when I had the chance to go on a trip full of high adventure with my oldest son, I jumped at the chance.
I would like to tell you that I am the adventurous parent, but that is the farthest description from who I am. Which is part of the whole reason that I accepted the trip.
If it looks like it could be dangerous I typically usher my children and myself away from whatever it is as quickly as possible. Here is the thing, I don’t want my children to operate out of fear. Obviously, I want them to be smart in the choices they make but I want them to be ok with being outside of their comfort zone.
That’s where Adventures on the Gorge comes in.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from our trip, I really just wanted to spend one on one quality time with my kiddo and show him that his mom was brave.
We achieved both of those things on this trip, and so much more.
About Adventures on the Gorge
Adventures on the Gorge is a one stop shop so to speak, for all things adventure. This operation is made up of 4 separate river guiding operations that came together as one to create Adventures on the Gorge.
Located in Lansing, West Virginia minutes from Fayetteville, the property is poised to be the home base of your family’s trip.
When we arrived in the early evening, I have to admit I was blown away by the property. I didn’t know what to expect, but what I was picturing wasn’t even close to the amazing property that welcomed us.
Adventures on the Gorge is a one stop shop of sort. Need a bite to eat? Get it at one of the 3 on site restaurants. Ready to call it a night? From luxury lodging to primitive camping, be prepared to catch some zzzz’s. Itching for adventure? Again, leave it to Adventures on the Gorge to satisfied your need for adrenaline.
Lodging at Adventures on the Gorge
The expansive property offers a wide range of lodging options for every budget and travel style.
While we were visiting we were fortunate enough to stay in the Kaymore cabins. It was the perfect size for my oldest son and I. It featured a king sized bed and large bathroom with a living area.
Inside of the living area was a sleeper sofa, a super comfy recliner, a large dorm style fridge, coffee maker and microwave.
There was a small covered porch that faced the woods had room for 2 Adirondack chairs and was perfect for drying wet swim suits at the end of the day.
Like I mentioned before, there is really something for everyone, the primitive camping area was full the entire time that we were there and I noticed quite a few cars near the cabins that were up a notch from where we were staying.
It is possible to have a place to sleep for $15 a night if you are happy to bed down in your tent under the stars.
Activities at Adventures on the Gorge
Adventures on the Gorge can keep you and your family as busy as you want to be.
During our time there, we went on a white water rafting trip on the New River, explored Summersville Lake via stand up paddle boards and rock climbing, a tree tops ropes course, and a walk on the New River Gorge Bridge nearly 1,000 feet above the ground.
Should you choose to sit by the beautiful pool all day and catch up on all of the books that you’ve been meaning to read, that is perfectly fine as well.
Just a note, everyone of these activities took me way outside of my comfort zone, but I don’t regret doing any one of them. I am so glad I was able to show my son that by facing your fears, you may just find something you never knew you would enjoy.
White Water Rafting on the New River
The New River in West Virginia offers 2 different options for white water rafting. The Upper New River is best suited for families with younger kids. On the Upper New, rafters will experience class I, II and the occasional III rapid. My son and I went in what was called a ‘ducky’ it seemed very closely related to the kayak family. Initally when the guide suggested doing this over the larger raft I started going into a low key panic. They were going to turn my 9 year old son and I out into a river with rapids without a guide in the boat? Once I took some deep breaths, I realized that if the 10 year old next to us could do it solo, then my son and I could conquer it together.
Our goal was not to go ‘swimming’ aka: fall out of the raft. We achieved this goal, so along with some giggles and moments that took our breath away, it was a pretty fantastic experience.
Now, that I have had a moment away to think about things, I think I ultimately would have felt less safe and more nervous in the big raft with many people. Here’s why: the problem with going in the larger group is that chances are you don’t really know the folks that are going with you. So, you might end up in a boat with people who are trying to knock each other out and end up being one of the unfortunate ones.
The Bridgewalk was an adventure that I could never imagine doing but I am so glad that I took a deep breath and told my fears to get lost.
The catwalk just under the driving surface of the New River Gorge bridge is 847 feet above the ground, has a platform that is 24 inches wide and a mile and a half long.
My kiddo and I had a serious case of butterflies as we were harnessed in and attached to the pulley system that spans the length of the bridge.
Here’s the thing, I kept telling myself that I had to hold it together, at least outwardly because the more I fretted the more my boy would pick up on that. So, I kept my eyes fixated ahead of me and started walking. And then the guide stopped, not even 100 yards from the beginning. Was there something wrong? Why weren’t we moving to get this terrifying experience over with?! As this happened several times and the guide sharing fascinating details of the bridge and the events that go on the community each year, I realized he was doing it on purpose. The longer we lingered and the more we got used to taking a breath and looking around the more comfortable we got with our surroundings.
The sounds (and vibrations!!) of the passing cars were an ever present reminder of what we were walking on. The experience was for sure one of a kind and I am very glad that I was a part of it. Once we got to about the halfway point, I felt more at ease and confident with the journey and I started to relax and really look around at the scenery and marvel in what was going on around me.
Stand up paddle boarding at Summersville Lake
Summersville lake is a man made lake that happened as a result of a project by the Army Corp of Engineers. What a project it turned out to be! The pristine water called to me just as soon as I set eyes on it.
My adventure guy and I tried standup paddle-boarding, he quickly mastered the art of standing up and paddling around. I on the other hand, got all the way up exactly one time and as soon as I started paddling, my board started wobbling like crazy. So, sit down paddle boarding is how I spent my time and I actually really enjoyed myself.
While on Summersville lake, there was lots of controlled rock jumping and swimming, my son rock climbed (and loved it) and I took a few minutes to myself just laying on the pontoon boat and enjoyed soaking up the rays.
Adventures on the Gorge has extremely knowledgeable guides in every adventure you are taking on, but our group really took to the guides that spent time with us on the lake and while we were rocking climbing. They were extremely patient and very willing to let all of the kids and adults, have a chance at climbing should they choose to.
I loved that even the older very experienced climbers who were in the area stopped to cheer on the kiddos who were climbing.
Nestled in the trees, this aerial adventure course was a favorite of my son. There are different levels of difficulty starting with the yellow course that kiddos can try on their own. For my son at age 9, he could do the yellow course without a parent and the 2 green courses with supervision.
Additionally, there are blue and black courses for those who are over 10, with adult supervision and then anyone 14+ can give the tougher courses a try on their own.
I tried the yellow course with my son, and found that I had even more fun watching him maneuver from the ground.
Dining Options at Adventures on the Gorge
On the Adventures on the Gorge property there are three restaurants and one coffee shop, they range from upscale dining to a pizza place tucked into a pavilion.
Smokey’s is the restaurant on property that serves upscale meals, in fact the chef was at the Greenbrier for many years before landing here. With innovative foods like lump crab spoon bread (trust me, you need to get it) to the newly introduced family meals for parties of 15 or more, there really is something for everyone.
Even if you don’t grab food here, you’ve got to take the time to browse the smoker collection that is seemingly growing larger by the moment. The smokers really are an art form of their own.
Smokey’s is also the on site restaurant that serves breakfast.
Just like the name sounds, Chetty’s Pub serves pub style food. If you leave without ordering the pretzels for an appetizer, then you’ve done it all wrong! Seriously, though the pretzels might have been my favorite of all of the things we had during our time there. What can I say? I am a simple gal.
My kiddo had the kids burger each time we ate there and he scarfed it down. The atmosphere is a fun and lively one offering sweeping views of the Gorge.
We learned during this trip that this spot has had several different concepts, prior to being a pizza place they were serving BBQ.
After experiencing the pizza, I feel safe in predicting that the pizza is here to stay for quite some time. Several of us in the group remarked that pizza sounded really perfect after a long day of physical activity.
Don’t worry, if pizza isn’t your thing, they have very large, fresh salads and great sandwiches as well. The general consensus was that if grabbing a pizza and heading back to your campsite this pizza is perfect for it. But, if hanging out and lingering over a fresh slice of pie and a cold beverage is more your speed, Buffler’s is great for that too.
Our takeaways from Adventures on the Gorge
The one on one time that I got to have with my oldest son while we were experiencing epic adventures was worth more to me than I can express. My whole goal this year was to be bold and to do things that I might not normally do and I stepped out of my comfort zone and found new activities that I enjoy. Most importantly, I made memories and shared laughter with my oldest son, and have been making plans to return to Adventures on the Gorge with the whole family.