Experiencing Outdoor Adventures In West Virginia From Hiking To Water Rafting

Travelby Barsha Bhattacharya18 November 2023

West Virginia, also known as the mountain state, is a gorgeous state encompassed by massive plateaus and mountains. Most of WV lies within the Appalachian Mountains. However, they make it the perfect place to explore nature and participate in new outdoor activities.

Keep reading to learn about West Virginia’s most exciting adventure opportunities, such as hiking, white water rafting, and horseback riding.

White Water Rafting

West Virginia is home to two world-renowned whitewater rivers, the New River and the Gauley River. Designated as National Wild and Scenic Rivers, these two rivers offer a variety of rafting experiences. Moreover, they offer a wide variety of challenging and potentially dangerous rapids to calm rides with breathtaking scenery. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, there is a West Virginia whitewater river for you. 

Rock Climbing

Naturally, the mountain state offers ample opportunity for rock and mountain climbing. The state’s rugged terrain, particularly around the New River Gorge, provides exceptional sandstone cliffs. Moreover, it also provides a variety of climbing routes for climbers of all skill levels. This region is renowned for its excellent sports and traditional climbing opportunities.

The iconic Seneca Rocks is a popular destination for challenging multi-pitch climbs. West Virginia’s climbing community thrives amid the state’s striking rock formations and breathtaking views.

Mountain Biking

West Virginia’s diverse landscapes also offer mountain bikers a wide range of opportunities.

The Hatfield-McCoy Trails system is the most popular and consists of over 700 miles of off-road trails. Bikers of all skill levels can explore winding trails that travel through lush forests, tackle challenging downhills, and enjoy stunning mountain views. Also, the trails are not only for bikers. Anyone can visit on foot or in an off-roading vehicle like an ATV or Jeep.


As you may have guessed, hiking is another popular outdoor activity in West Virginia. However, the state is scattered with hundreds of hiking trails, big and small. The most famous include the GreenBrier River Trails.

The Greenbrier River Trail is a scenic 77-mile rail trail.  At the same time, it meanders through West Virginia’s lush countryside. Ultimately, they offer hikers and cyclists a relaxing experience with serene river views, pastoral landscapes, and vibrant wildflowers.

Well-maintained surfaces and various access points make it a popular choice for outdoor enthusiasts seeking a tranquil and picturesque escape. In addition to it there are access points, and dining and shopping establishments are plentiful. There, you find attractions like the Mystery Hole and the Greenlight Medical Marijuana Dispensary. They make for a wonderful day’s adventure. (Here you can find information on getting a medical marijuana card in WV).

Cave Exploring

West Virginia’s underground caverns are a magnet for spelunkers, offering fascinating glimpses of the region’s geological past.

Seneca Caverns and Smoke Hole Caverns are two popular destinations known for their intricate and beautiful stalagmite and stalactite systems. Visitors can explore winding passageways and awe-inspiring chambers on guided tours or challenge themselves with more adventurous spelunking journeys.


West Virginia is a camper’s dream, offering diverse opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts to immerse themselves in the State’s natural beauty.

From remote, primitive campsites to well-equipped campgrounds in state parks, the state caters to a range of camping preferences. Campers choose from serene rivers, lush forests, or scenic overlooks. With its varied landscapes, the state provides camping opportunities filled with hiking, fishing, and stargazing. Simply pitching a tent, you can make it an ideal destination for al adventurers.


West Virginia’s zip-line courses offer a thrilling way to soar above the state’s lush forests and canyons, providing an adrenaline rush and stunning views for adventure seekers of all skill levels.

One of the state’s most popular zip lines is the Gravity Zip Lines at ACE Adventure Resort. The zip lines range from 300- 1,500 feet long and are located in the New River Gorge region.

Another popular zip-line is the Grand Vue Park Canopy Ride. It is an impressive 2,100-foot ride that takes you across forest tops and the town below.


West Virginia’s rich and diverse landscape is a haven for hunters. It offers a wide range of opportunities, from deer and bear to squirrels and rabbits. The abundant forests and mountainous terrain provide ideal hunting grounds for locals and visitors alike.

Deeply ingrained in West Virginia’s heritage, hunting culture is celebrated with a commitment to conservation and sustainable practices.

To hunt in West Virginia, you must abide by hunting season regulations and obtain a hunting license, which you can do here.

Horseback Riding

West Virginia is also a haven for equestrians seeking a relaxing ride amongst natural beauty.

The state’s most notable horseback riding trails include:

Greenbrier River Trail- This 78-mile trail welcomes horseback riders to journey through the forest, farmland, and even the town.

Huckleberry Trail- The Huckleberry Trail is a serene trail that takes you through dense forests and along the river.

Mountwood Park- This trail is a well-maintained path. It takes you through meadows and woodlands, making it a great option for beginners.

Seneca State Forest- The Seneca State Forest trail is a 23-mile trail. Explorers of all transportation methods share it and offers a beautiful view of mountain vistas.

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Barsha Bhattacharya

Barsha Bhattacharya is a senior content writing executive. As a marketing enthusiast and professional for the past 4 years, writing is new to Barsha. And she is loving every bit of it. Her niches are marketing, lifestyle, wellness, travel and entertainment. Apart from writing, Barsha loves to travel, binge-watch, research conspiracy theories, Instagram and overthink.

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