Since 1972, River Expeditions’ seasoned river guides have organized whitewater-rafting trips down the New River and the Gauley River in southern West Virginia’s scenic Appalachian Mountains. There’s a stretch of water for all ages and skill levels, from those looking for a scenic float to paddlers craving a soaked-to-the-bone thrill ride. In addition to day trips, River Expeditions also offers overnight excursions, which typically include camping on the riverbank, cooking out beneath the stars, and paying off local owls to guard the food at night.
River Expeditions can also arrange horseback riding, ziplining, mountain biking, fishing, and ATV tours.
West Virginia's New River Gorge beckons thrill-seekers and nature-lovers alike with a stretch of unspoiled nature, and Adventures on the Gorge rests on the rim to make sure they find it. Blending quiet country peace with adrenaline-pumping excitement, the resort has a little something for everyone. Whitewater rafting expeditions, for instance, send paddlers of all skill levels across the rolling rapids and peaceful stretches of the Lower New River and the Gauley River. Ziplines, on the other hand, lift nature explorers into the canopy, and the TimberTrek Aerial Park lets guests navigate the forest the same way squirrels do?on a series of ziplines, swings, and bridges.
So that guests never have to leave, Adventures on the Gorge tends to all their creature comforts. Cabins nestled in the woods contain comfy couches and even hot tubs, whereas campgrounds allow people to get back to their simpler roots. Yet no matter where they stay, guests can swing into the onsite restaurants and pubs to grab a cold one and avoid the hassle of cooking a casserole over a fire.
Inspired by the rustic cuisine of the South, the menu at Chateau Morrisette is home to hand-made, savory beignets; a house take on surf and turf; and boards piled with cheese and charcuterie. Tucked away in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the restaurant and winery invites guests to experience a taste of old-world elegance with a bottle of one of its many varietals, ranging from summery Blackberry Wine to classic Merlot.
Standing on a platform, eco-tourists pause to admire the view before stepping from their perch to soar across a high wire and admire the complex ecosystem of animals, plants, and Swiss Family Robinsons that lives in the scenic canopy. This moment?both tranquil and adrenaline-filled?occurs every day at Carolina Ziplines Canopy Tours, where experienced guides lead safely harnessed visitors on excursions through the verdant treetops of the Carolina forests nestled in the shadow of Pilot Mountain, near Hanging Rock State Park. The zipline course weaves from platform to platform, culminating in a 1,000-foot-long uninterrupted soar. After tours, guests can linger to have a picnic on the historic grounds, enjoy a bonfire when the weather?s cool, or even stay overnight in a cozy inn.
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Nestled on 225 acres of Blue Ridge Mountain foothills and operated by passionate winemaking families, Grassy Creek Vineyard produces and bottles high-quality Yadkin Valley wines. Vineyard visitors peruse the wide selection of wines, selecting red or white to match their gustatory preference or seasonal color coordination. Grapes from Grassy Creek?s distinctive red soil collide in the hearty and chocolatey Red Barn Blend, a rich ambrosial bottle bursting with herb flavors. Meanwhile, the Grassy Creek Pinot Gris features honeysuckle, green-apple, and pineapple notes and a refreshingly crisp finish.
Though Stony Knoll Vineyards' first harvest didn't take place until 2002, the winery's 48 acres of cropland have been part of the Coe family since 1896, making it a North Carolina Century Farm. For most of that time, the land yielded tobacco, but now, under winemaker Lynn Crouse, its two vineyards grow grapes for 12 wines. That selection ranges from two cabernet francs to the signature SKV Plantation White, a dessert wine fashioned from handpicked chardonnay grapes.
Samples abound inside Stony Knoll's tasting room, which is nestled high in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, overlooking the scenic vines below. Elsewhere on the picturesque estate, Stony Knoll hosts weddings and overnight guests in its Wine Lodge. The lodge, which was built in 1860, was originally a rural homestead, but it now offers modern amenities for its guests, including a two-person jacuzzi and flat-screen TVs.