Catch and release applies to more than fishing. Think of rivers that are dammed, creating reservoirs behind earthworks. On signal, the water that is caught in a reservoir can be released, just like a fish caught on a hook.
This happens predictably after Labor Day on West Virginia’s Gauley River that becomes a rafter’s paradise during Gauley Season when adrenaline is charged to the max over successive fall weekends.
This year Gauley Season at ACE Adventure Resort in Minden, set on 1,500 acres in this state’s southern hills, will be Sept. 9-12; Sept. 16-19; Sept. 23-26; Sept. 30-Oct. 3; Oct. 7-10 and Oct. 15-16.
“The significance of this flow at this time of year,” said Heidi Prior, ACE Marketing Director, “is the fact that everywhere else in the US rivers have slowed down by the end of summer. This means that the Gauley River provides some of the most exciting Class IV & V white water available anywhere in the country.”
To whitewater enthusiasts, the Gauley is a “must do!” on these weekends when water gushes down from the upriver dam at a rate of 2,800 cubic feet per second or more. As it rushes downriver, the flow creates huge waves, runnable waterfalls, eddies and holes that provide all the thrills a rafter could wish for.
Fall Gauley Camp Package includes a full day of river rafting, a half-day pass to Wonderland Waterpark, two nights camping and one each breakfast, lunch and dinner. Rates (depending on day of week) are from $129 per person. Other longer stay and play plans are available.
ACE Adventure Resort (http://aceraft.com/) throws in extra splashes to make lifetime memories of a rafting weekend here. Welcoming guests this fall is a recently completed $1 million refurbishment including embellishments to a five-acre lake known as Wonderland Waterpark with two brand-new 300-foot industrial-strength waterslides, 40 new inflatable lake toys, an expanded beach area, new hardscape and greenscape, a new retail store, snack shack and arcade, and the addition of seven new bathrooms and eight changing rooms.
Once at the resort, people like to stay put. This means that on premise dining and beverage venues are integral to the resort. The current improvements herald renovations to the bar, both inside and out, including a large outdoor pavilion. Also new pizza ovens have been added to facilitate ACE’s award-winning brick oven pizza.
In addition to being the region’s largest private campground for tents and RVs, the resort hosts overnight guests in more than 55 cabins and lodges that sleep from four to 14. Nearly all of the deluxe cabins now have new beds, comforters, window dressings, lamps and furniture. Nine one-room Cozy Cabins have been renovated to offer two bedrooms. Full bathrooms have been added to 10 Cedar Cabins. Four other cabins that formerly utilized ladders to access sleeping lofts now have staircases.
Thanks to a law enacted by Congress, some rivers with dams, like the Gauley, are subject to whitewater dam releases for recreational purposes. The law is intended to help stimulate the economies around the rivers when the normal flow might be dwindling. So just after Labor Day water will flow furiously down the Gauley thanks to a series of 22 controlled releases spread over fall weekends. Administered by the National Park System, Gauley River has been designated a National Recreation Area for its beauty and challenging rapids targeting thrill-seeking adventurers worldwide. Rapids range from Class II to Class V+. Peak season is from (summer) April to August and (fall) September through October. The ultimate season is the fall, although the Gauley does run all summer long usually at lower flows. ACE pioneered the Summer Gauley program that takes guests down the river in inflatable kayaks during milder summer flows. See: http://aceraft.com/collections/whitewater-rafting/Gauley-River
Rated the #1 Adventure Outfitter in West Virginia, ACE Adventure Resort offers whitewater rafting along with a variety of supported adventures such as zip lining, mountain biking, disc golf, stand up paddle boarding and rock climbing. The adjacent 70,000-acre New River Gorge National River is an option for miles of wilderness exploring afoot and on horseback or fat tire bike.
For more information and to make trip and lodging reservations, please telephone (800) 787-3982 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the website at www.aceraft.com.
The Gauley River provides some of the most exciting Class IV & V white water rafting available anywhere in the country.”
Rated the #1 Adventure Outfitter in West Virginia, ACE Adventure Resort offers whitewater rafting along with a variety of supported adventures such as zip lining, mountain biking, disc golf, stand up paddle boarding and rock climbing.