New River Gorge Racks up Awards from "Best of the Blue Ridge"February 3, 2015
Well, the New River Gorge sure stole the show in the Blue Ridge Outdoors “Best of” 2015 awards!
In addition to 6 top honors, the area racked up a handful of runner-up distinctions, even stacked against other popular hotspots like Asheville, NC & Charlottesville, Va. (BRO covers the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic, all the way from Baltimore to Atlanta.)
Here are our Best of the Blue Ridge gems, according to the adventure gurus at BRO:
Best River: New River
With mild kiddie waves to begin and wild rapids downstream, The New River really has something for everyone. It’s one of the world’s oldest rivers. In fact, the mountains grew up around it. It’s a haven for fishermen, whitewater paddlers, swimmers and boaters of all sorts.
Best Outfitter: Adventures on the Gorge
“You might never want to leave this mountain oasis.” We agree. AOTG has not only the gear and guides for every adventure— rafting, ziplining, kayaking, horseback riding, climbing, and SO many more— it also has a variety of on-site dining, nightlife, and cabins with every level of comfort, from rustic to luxurious.
Best Climbing Guide: Elaina Arenz
Our own Elaina stole the climbing crown. She’s the lead guide at New River Mountain Guides, a sponsored climber for La Sportiva and an Access Fund athlete ambassador. As BRO notes, she’s “an icon among women climbers worldwide,” traveling far and wide for her passion and claiming many first ascents.
Best Restaurant: Pies and Pints
Known for their handmade crusts, unique fresh topping selection and huge selection of brews, Pies and Pints takes the pizza-and-beer movement to a whole new mouth-watering level. Their plain pepperoni is great, but the real gems are their signature pies: grape gorgonzola, black bean and Sriracha shrimp are just a few of their staples.
Best Paddling Event: GauleyFest
The Gauley’s season is short— just a few days in the fall— but it’s worth making it in during the small window. You don’t have to tell kayakers and paddlers that. It’s one of America’s most thrilling and diverse sections of whitewater. GauleyFest celebrates the annual arrival of Gauley season with top outfitters, giveaways, competitions and more.
As the premier kayaking event, it’s also a great place to purchase gear, or even a high-performing used boat. You can find them on display at the gates.
Wildest Outdoor Event: GauleyFest
While there’s plenty of family fun during the day, after dark, this event does get a little more rowdy & loud! The guides, kayakers and river riders of all sorts travel in from all over the country, so they camp out beside the festival grounds, drinking and enjoying live music into the late hours. It’s a blast!
- Climbing Mecca: New River Gorge
- Outdoor Scene: New River Gorge
- Raft Guide company: ACE
- Climbing Guide Company: Adventures on the Gorge
- Zipline: Treetops Canopy Tour
- Sports Festival: Bridge Day
- Paddling Event: SUP New River Race
- Outdoor Hangout: Cathedral Café
- Burger: Secret Sandwich Society
- Climbing Event: AAC Craggin Classic
- SUP Spot: Summersville Lake