Be mine, Valentine: a New River Gorge guide

Need some ideas for Valentine’s Day? From simple hikes to romantic escapes, our region has lots of inspiration for February 14.

A gorge-ous retreat

Awaken your senses with healthy exercises and majestic scenery. Adventures on the Gorge in Lansing will have a special yoga retreat for beginners, right smack dab on the canyon rim!
Lessons are 2.5 hours long. Just pick your date— Feb. 9, 10, or 11— and go! Randy Boyd, a professional yoga instructor and therapist, will teach you safe, confidence-boosting poses. Want to make a weekend out of it? Call the resort and ask about their package deals.

Valentine’s Dinner

The New River Gorge at sunset is a marvellous sight. And at Adventures on the Gorge in Lansing, romantic scenery and dining are a two-for-one deal.
Bring your date to the resort on February 14 for an unforgettable Valentine’s Dinner. It’s held at Smokey’s Steakhouse, a restaurant overlooking the gorge. Sirloin steak, baked oysters and an artisanal salad are just some of the courses you’ll receive. Wine pairing is also available as an upgrade. Cheers!

Forest getaways

A crackling fireplace is undeniably romantic— and perfect for Valentine’s Day. Cabin rentals are at their lowest, too.
Book your retreat at favorites like: 

  • River Expeditions (Oak Hill): luxury cabins with full kitchens, hot tubs and linens. Rentals are 50 percent off from now until March 31.
  • Opossum Creek Retreat (Lansing): quiet homemade cabins with kitchenettes, screened-in hot tubs and special package deals— including one for couples.
  • Cabin by the Creek (Ansted): a charming retreat with a loft, full kitchen and porch. It’s next to a cute country store.

That’s just a preview, too. The New River Gorge has many more cabins available, from rustic to luxurious.

Private hikes

Share a moment together, surrounded by nature. The New River Gorge’s famous trails are perfect for Valentine’s Day or weekend.
Long Point is one of the best; it finishes with a grand overlook of the New River Gorge Bridge. You’re also high on a ledge, which towers above the surrounding mountains and river. At 3.2 (total) miles in all, Long Point isn’t too demanding, either. Only the end gets somewhat steep.
To reach the trail, drive south through Fayetteville on Route 16. Turn left on Gatewood Road, then drive for 1.9 miles until you see Newton Road. Turn left; you’ll see parking spaces for the trailhead.
If you’d like a longer outing, try Southside Trail. It’s a 7 miler with exquisite riverside landscapes and fascinating mining artifacts. You’ll see coke ovens and several abandoned towns along the way. The terrain is flat and easy.
To get there, head north on Route 19 and turn into Fayetteville. Follow Route 16 until you see a sign for Kaymoor and Cunard. Turn left onto Gateway Road and continue for 4.6 miles. Go left at Cunard, proceed for 1.8 miles, and turn left at the two signs for Cunard River Access Road. Follow to the river access point for parking; cars are allowed for the first mile.
Park Loop Trail is short n’ sweet. If you like walking while chatting, this 1.1-mile loop can’t be beat. It takes you through a forest and part of Fayetteville’s Town Park. As a further incentive, you’re minutes from excellent restaurants and cafes.

Dinner for two

Make Valentine’s Day extra special with some New River Gorge cookin’. Pies & Pints in Fayetteville has imaginative— and delicious— artisan pizzas. Pair your order with some craft beer, and February 14 is a done deal. 
The Station makes evenings really special. It’s a Fayetteville restaurant with artisan fare, seasonal ingredients, and elegant presentations. Start with their artisan cheese plate then go from there. Popular entrees include pan-seared local trout, shepherd’s pie, and creamy lemon curd with streusel.
Giuseppe’s in Mount Hope specializes in Italian cuisine. Owned by the Veramessa family, it boasts authentic recipes you won’t find anywhere else. Enjoy homemade lasagna, spaghetti with meatballs, eggplant parmesan, and other Mediterranean classics.
There’s also Cafe One Ten. The Oak Hill favorite serves American fare made with fresh ingredients. Catfish sandwiches, flatbread pizzas and gouda mac n’ cheese are just the beginning. If the surprisingly diverse choices make you indecisive, no problem; simply help yourself to the special Valentine’s Day buffet.