The Tabits — made up of mom, Lori; dad, George; son, Tylor (23) and daughter, Graclin (13) — are a pretty active Fayette County family. They spend a lot of their time in the New River Gorge doing various outdoor activities such as walking, running, hiking, biking and swimming. Trails are a big part of their lives, as are local races — George participates in Captain Thurmond’s Challenge, Wonderland Mountain Challenge Trail Race and Sticks & Stones 15K Trail Run at Babcock State Park — and eateries. To put it simply, the Gorge, according to the Tabits, has “something for everyone,” and there’s no better time to take advantage of the beauty and adventures that await than the summer months.
Here are a few ideas, courtesy of the Tabits, that are sure to be fun for the whole family this season.
ACE Adventure Resort
When the temperatures get too high, the Tabits head to ACE Adventure Resort to cool down at Wonderland Waterpark. The Waterpark spans five acres and offer activities for all ages, including: waterslides, tower zip line, 50 inflatable toys (including floating trampolines; giant, spinning Saturn balls, obstacle courses and more), volleyball and tetherball, giant chess board, hiking and biking trails, dry climbing tower and lakeside lounging with wood-fired pizza. Add in ACE’s other adventures like rafting (ages 6 and up), ziplining (ages 8 and up) and climbing (ages 8 and up), plus lodging, and there’s no way anyone can be bored.
Long Point Trail
There are plenty of trails to hit in the Gorge if you’re up for a trek, and Long Point Trail is a well-known one, particularly to hikers and bikers such as the Tabits. The mostly forested trail, located just outside of Fayetteville, measures about 3.2 miles round-trip. It takes you through a wildflower meadow and offers some of the best panoramic views of the Gorge and New River Gorge Bridge and cliffs of the Endless Wall.
Wild Blue Adventure Company
One of Graclin’s favorite things to do is ride in a family member’s plane for a birds-eye view of the Gorge. At Wild Blue Adventure Company, anyone can soar to new heights — by hopping in a WWII Stearman biplane for a sightseeing tour or an aerobatic thrill ride. Keep your eyes open, and you’ll catch the awesomeness of the New River, New River Gorge Bridge, Endless Wall, Beauty Mountain and Hawks Nest State Park and Dam. Add-ons include a flight to see Summersville Lake and/or Kanawha Falls.
Tudor’s Biscuit World and Gino’s Pizza & Spaghetti House
The Tabits make it a point to frequent all the local restaurants in the Gorge, and even though it might be a bit biased — Lori is the Director of Franchising for the company, after all — state staples Tudor’s Biscuit World and Gino’s Pizza & Spaghetti House cannot be left off of their must-eat list. Stop by for a Ron, Miner, Mountaineer or another favorite from this beloved biscuit and pizza chain.