Friday Sept 8 marks the start of Gauley Season. The Gauley River in Fall is the best whitewater rafting in West Virginia. As fall approaches the Gauly ranks in the top 3 in the nation and consistently is ranked top 5 in the world. For the adventure seeker it doesn’t get better than fighting the rapids of the swelling Gauley.
I will not seek that adventure this year. I did however, brave the rapids of the New River last week. The New River may not have all the excitement of the Gauley, but it does offer some class 3,4 and 5 rapids as well as the best scenery in the world.
The trip started at ACE Adventure Resort in Oak Hill, West Virginia. We stayed in a cabin tent. It was the glory of tent camping without having to haul and setup my tent. The Tent was spacious and had 3 cots. The cabin tent would be great for a small family. The campground was especially quiet during my stay, but I am sure it gets more excitement during busier times.
After unpacking and getting set up it was time to explore. At the entrance of the resort is a spectacular looking water park. Wonderland Water park is a 5 acre area with scattered inflatables, a large waterslide, and a zip line heading straight to the lake.
Unfortunately due to slightly chilly weather and a day full of rain a water park was not on my must do list. I did enjoy watching the fun as families braved the chilly air and frolicked in the lake.
We stopped into the Lost Paddle for dinner. The menu was a typical bar menu with pizza sandwiches and nachos. The prices were very reasonable, but the food overall was average. Dinner on the patio was a nice atmosphere overlooking the water park.
On to the rafting. After signing a fistful of paperwork gearing up with my paddle a helmet and a PFD I boarded the bus to adventure. 10 minutes later the bus blew a tire so we boarded a new bus to adventure. After some short instruction we got on the river. With our guide Steve we headed down the New River. Rafting the Upper New is pretty calm. There are long stretches of calm water between the variety of rapids the Upper New Offers. After half day rafting we stopped at a beach for a nice lunch of pulled pork and chicken with all the fixings. The guides prepared the feast while some swam and others kicked back on the beach. The trip continued with some additional rapids and some people opting to float down the calmer section of the river. We concluded our trip under the New River Bridge and hopped a bus back to ACE Adventure in Oak Hill.
Overall ACE adventure was an excellent experience. Everyone onsite was helpful and extremely friendly. There are a ton of adventures to be had. I am looking forward to my next visit there. Ace still has a lot to offer that I didn’t get to see, and I think I am ready for a two day Gauley trip…next Gauley Season.
For more info on ACE visit their site at https://aceraft.com/