By LEIGH C. MERRIFIELD | News & Journal Editor
North Central West Virginia continues to be fortunate in avoiding some of the more extreme weather that has visited other parts of the country. Even with the absence of large quantities of snow, the cold, wind, rain, and dampness soon grows tiring at this time of year. Everyone is anxious for Spring and the opportunity to escape to the outdoors.
Luckily for Mountain State residents, we have lots of choices from which to select. Perhaps making plans for one of those “escape” trips will lift your spirits! There are many state parks and resorts in West Virginia that might make interesting choices. Whether your interests include fishing, skiing, golfing, or just relaxing in a picturesque setting with a good book, getaways are always inviting. Valentine’s Day is nearing … wouldn’t planning even a weekend away be a nice surprise? While flowers, chocolates, jewelry, or dinner out are always favorite choices, planning something unique might be just the thing to show how much you care.
‘River Expeditions’ is just one example of a truly wild and wonderful getaway. Depending on what type of adventure you might like, you could choose from white water rafting, zip lining, ATV tours, rock climbing, mountain biking, a scenic hike, a visit to the nearby New River Gorge … or just a quiet, relaxing couple of nights in a secluded cabin! There is something for everyone.
If you like roughing it, there are tent options, and you don’t even have to pack and set up your own; Safari Tents are a fun way to camp without all the hassle. They are built on solid wooden platforms surrounded by sturdy canvas, and come with foam twin-size mattresses. Just bring a sleeping bag and pillow.
OR there are bungalows that are a step above yet still rather primitive camping along the river. If you have an RV, there are also sites for RV parking.
Now if you’re not quite into campsite, there are also “glamping” options. Glamping is a new term for glamorous camping, and accommodations can vary from a quiet cabin for two to luxury and deluxe cabins that can sleep ten people. Ask your friends to join in and split the cost! Just eat, drink, play cards, charades, and watch TV – the choice is yours.
When they say “glamorous camping”, they mean it! The new Deluxe Cabins at River Expeditions Adventure Resort on the New River Gorge are conveniently located next to the Fire Creek Lodge where you can relax, watch television, surf the Internet, play pool, swim in the pool, use the hot tub, and shop in the Outfitters Store. Walk a short distance and enjoy live music at the Red Dog River Saloon on weekends.
Each Deluxe Cabin features an upstairs with three double beds and a futon (sleeps up to 8), a seating area, bathroom/shower, fridge, coffee maker, heat and a/c, linens and towels provided, gas grill on the porch and a fire ring and picnic table outside.
Also new are Leisure Cabins that feature four double beds, a bunkbed and single bed upstairs, seating area with sofa and loveseat, all the other provisions listed above PLUS a microwave.
Now if you REALLY want to “glam it up”, you can enjoy all the comforts of home in the luxury cabins that are nestled in the woods. They offer five queen bedroom luxury! The Luxury Cabins feature a full kitchen, two full baths, sofa and love seat, gas fireplace, satellite TV, Wi-Fi, all the above listed amenities along with your own private hot tub! These cabins sleep up to ten! (Pets are not permitted in the cabins, though.)
If you prefer a hotel stay or like a Bed & Breakfast atmosphere, River Expeditions can help by recommending the accommodations you desire in the area.
Dates are available for special package pricing. Visit www.raftinginfo.com or call 1-800-463-9873 for more information.
Even if you are not the outdoor adventure type, a few days away in a quiet cabin retreat (alone or with a group of friends) to relax and enjoy the scenery could be a memory-making experience. If you choose to opt out on the more traditional bouquet and chocolates, consider giving your sweetheart a card with a message inside, saying, “I’ve planned a getaway!” And whatever date you choose can be your celebration of Valentine’s Day!