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Gorge Guide SUMMER 2011




Live it Up Here

Event Calendar inside!




turn your kids into your favorite playmates

Locals Give It Up On Favorite


Rest day odyssey

our taking-it-easy tick list


Where To Eat After Takeout, Hike Out or Bike Out

sumPTUOUS SHADE cool crags

and what to climb there

H A N D C R A F T E D P I Z Z A & P R E M I UM B E E R


& LOTS OF COLD BEER open daily    /    lunch  &  dinner Happy  hour  /  Mon  -­  Fri  /  3pm  -­  6pm  

Fayetteville 219 W.  Maple  Ave.    

Charleston 222 Capitol  St.

304.342.7437 304.574.2200

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Gorge Guide


Proof Quality.

Brunch on Weekends

Live it Up Here

Live Music on Tuesday

Publisher/Editor Cristina Opdahl

Contributing Writers Amanda Ashley, Katie Johnson, Maura Kistler, Jay Young

Cajun Creole Low Country & American Cuisine

Contributing Photographers Christopher Danz, Colleen Laffey, Mike Turner Editorial Consultants Maura Kistler, Christopher Danz, Ginger Danz

Low Country Boils • Fresh Seafood • Local Beers • Gumbo • Crab Cakes • Award-Winning Shrimp & Grits • French Onion Soup • Vegetarian Dishes • Homemade Desserts • Kids Menu • and much more!

Copy Editor Martha Opdahl

Editorial Content Editorial and photo queries are welcome. Send a brief description of your story idea or jpeg of photo you are submitting to Advertising Please send request for media kits to or call 304-573-8113

Sunday Brunch Best Burgers in Fayetteville: the Gumbo, the Latin Quarter, the Dixie, and the Big Easy Hours: Tues – Sat 11:30am – 9:30pm Sunday 10am – 8:30pm Closed Mondays We are located in the center of historic downtown Fayetteville on South Court Street (304) 574-4704 4  NEW RIVER GORGE ADVENTURE GUIDE  

Copyright© 2011 by Nickelville Press, LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is expressly prohibited. New River Gorge Adventure Guide P.O. Box 372 Fayetteville, WV 25840 Outdoor activities are inherently risky, and participation can cause injury or loss of life. Please consult your doctor prior to beginning any workout program or sports activity, and seek out a qualified instructor. Nickelville Press, LLC will not be held responsible for your decision to play outdoors. ON THE COVER Karen Childers finds the flow on Discombobulated, Central Endless Wall, New River Gorge National River. Photograph by Mike Turner/

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Delicious, Authentic & Lively


312 North Court St. Fayetteville


(304) 574-4822 WWW.DIRTYERNIES.COM




Hours: Sunday – Thursday 11:30 AM – 9 PM

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Friday – Saturday 11:30 AM – 10 PM

Advocates for Healthy Watersheds

Come fall in love with your next bike. BBI certified mechanics; custom work and routine maintenance Hours:

104 East Maple Avenue Fayetteville, WV (304) 574-2337 ask for Adam, Thom, or Chris

Tuesday – Friday 10am – 6pm Saturday 10am – 4pm Closed Sunday & Monday

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The New River Gorge's Closest & Most Complete Budget Motel









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Gorge Guide

Summer 2011 Issue 8. Local Talent 

Big water on the Dries this spring made for epic training sessions for local professional kayaker Bryan Kirk, just in time for the World Freestyle Kayak Championships.

9. In The Works 

Construction will begin on more than 40 miles of new mountain bike trails in New River Gorge National River this summer, thanks to the International Mountain Biking Federation and the Boy Scouts.

10. Drop Dead Gorgeous 

Every trail is different, but which to choose? Local hiking, trail running, and mountain biking enthusiasts give it up on their all-time favorites. by Amanda Ashley

17. How To Build An Adventurer 

Don’t let parenthood keep you from getting outside: Get out there, and take the kids with you. A seasoned mother of little adventurers shares advice with those of us who would like to build our own. by Katie Johnson

22. Some Like It Hot  you climbing in the summer heat

All the cool shady walls and tree sheltered routes to keep by Jay Young

24. Easy Does It 

Just when you thought you’d done it all, we present our rest day tick list: Eight things you really must do on your take-it-easy, not-doing-much-at-all days off. by Maura Kistler

28. Adventure Calendar 

Do the Captain Thurmond’s loop, howl at the moon while you run 50 miles, and shred the bowls at the Fayetteville Skate Park

30. Nature & Culture Calendar  band music, pork barbeque, and beautiful birds

31. Be Well 

Great community theater, Appalachian string

How to protect your skin from the sun in a healthy way

32. Losing Ground 

A great great granddaughter of an Oak Hill coal miner thinks about what mountaintop removal means for her, for her favorite bird, and for all of us.

33. Community Page 

Got time on your hands? Money to spare? These groups are working to help our community grow. Plug in and get involved!

38. Where To Eat 

Carnitas, Braciola, and a Coal Miner's latte are some of the treats you'll find if you know where to look






Local Talent

WHO: Bryan Kirk AGE: 32 HOME: Fayetteville, West Virginia SPORT OF CHOICE: Freestyle Kayaking and Creeking CLAIM TO FAME: Professional kayaker. Kirk competed on the U.S. Freestyle Kayaking Team at the World Championships in Germany this year for the fifth time. FAVORITE PLAY SPOT: The put-in waves of the Dries (a section of the New River), Surprise Wave on the Upper New, and 5-Boat Hole on the Lower Gauley. FAVORITE RUNS: The Gauley. "It offers something for everyone: downriver freestyle, loads of surf spots, challenging slots, boofs, big water lines, and awesome scenery."


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All of the nails in Bryan Kirk's Fayetteville basement were full of dripping wet gear this spring. This, as you might imagine, was a good thing according to the 32-year-old professional kayaker from the suburbs of D.C. After a particularly rainy spring, the Dries—the section of the New River that only runs when the New has an excess of 10,000 cfs—was pumping with levels up to 55,000 cfs from February to mid-May. Kirk took advantage of the opportunity to perfect his airscrew and pistol flip and practice linking tricks together in preparation for his fifth trip to the Freestyle Kayaking World Championships in June as part of the U.S. Freestyle Kayak Team. "The big wave levels made for some epic sessions," Kirk wrote in an email from Plattling, Germany, where he was training for the competition on the Isar River. "People as far as Canada came in to get in on the action."

Photo By tktktktk

Bryan Kirk rippin' it on the big waves near the put-in to the Dries





In The Works

Flags mark the path of the Craig Branch trails, to be constructed this summer

Photo By mike turner

WHAT: More than 40 miles of new mountain bike trails within the New River Gorge National River boundary SPECS: 11 miles of singletrack trails for hiking and biking in the Craig Branch area of NRGNR and 33 miles of the same on National River property between Garden Ground Mountain and the New River WHEN: Construction begins this summer KUDOS: A coordinated effort between the Boy Scouts of America, the New River Gorge National River, and the International Mountain Bicycling Association DETAILS: The same beautifully twisting, rhododendron-packed up and down, then up and down again trails that abound here, with views of the river

Load up your mountain bike and take off to one of the 22 National Parks in the United States that allow bicycles on some trails, and you'll likely be disappointed. Our beloved National Parks have thousands of miles of trails open to hikers and nature lovers, but as yet none have embraced mountain biking as a primary recreational use of the Park. Bikeable trails in National Parks tend to be short and rather uninteresting to ride. "Legacy trails are what we have been allowed on" says Frank Maguire, IMBA Regional Director for the Mid-Atlantic, "haul roads for extraction, and point-to-point trails that have been in use for a long time like, for example, from a campground to a fire tower. There have been no purpose built trails"—i.e., trails built with mountain bikers in mind. "Mountain bikers are more about the journey. We're not point-to-point recreationalists." This will change soon, if Jamie Fields, Outdoor Recreation Planner at New River Gorge National River, IMBA, and the local New River Bicycle Union gets their way. The required environmental impact assessments and planning have been completed in the hopes of garnering official approved use of bicycles on several existing NRGNR trails. These trails, combined with 44 miles of additional trails to be constructed this summer with mountain bikers in mind (as well as hikers and runners), will create an unprecedented 103–mile network of National Park singletrack and forest roads where mountain bikes are welcome, right here in the New River Gorge National River. As for the new trails, IMBA representatives have been training Park staff and Boy Scout crew leaders in the arts of proper trail building. During the month of July, nearly 1,700 Boy Scouts in four consecutive teams of advanced troops called Order of the Arrow will hike into the Gorge with fire rakes and Pulaskis, a combination axe and hoe used by firefighters, to carve out 16 miles of fresh trail. They'll also rehabilitate 12 miles of ATV trails and remove four acres of invasive species from National River land including the thorny and insidious multi-flora rose. The goal of the Boy Scouts project is to provide the teens with an outdoor classroom and reinforce a sense of community service. This community service will have fringe benefits, no doubt. Keep your eyes out for 14– to 21–year-olds zipping around the Gorge on bikes soon, sporting brand new trail-building badges.




Drop Dead Gorgeous

Photo By Donnie Hudspeth

Oh, we've got trails. We've got skinny trails that wind along the ridgelines and wide ones that gently slope down to lake's edge. We've got trails with views and trails that tunnel under thick rhododendrons. Which one should you pick, you ask? Read on for recommendations from local trail junkies who know them best. By Amanda Ashley

The view from Babcock trail looking down the The valley view from the Babcock of Mann's Creek Linked Trails, Babcock State Park


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→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→ The New River Gorge lies in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains, and with its unique geology, abundant wildlife and diverse flora, new discoveries are only a few steps or rolls of the fat tire away.

Trail #


Endless Wall Difficulty: Beginner to Moderate Length: 6 miles Recommended By: Amanda Ashley, trail runner and triathlete

sandstone cliffs. Look for wild blueberries, or sit and watch for peregrine falcons, which have nested nearby in recent years. Want to add a mini-adventure extension to your outing? Take the Donkey Kong Loop. Continue along the rim to the 2nd rock climbing access for Central Endless Wall. Climb down the ladders bolted to the rock face and run downstream along the base of the cliffs. Be prepared to rock scramble before climbing back up to the rim via the climbing access ladders at Fern Buttress. A trail map for the Endless Wall Trail and others in New River Gorge National River can be found at the Visitor's Center, just north of the Bridge.

Photo By cristina opdahl

A 1.3 mile drive out Lansing-Edmond Road just north of the Bridge takes you to the marked trailhead for the Endless Wall/Diamond Point trail. This trail drains well and stays dry, an important consideration given our wet climate. Even better, over 60% of the trail provides spectacular views of the Gorge, especially in late fall/winter when the leaves are off of the trees and the most intimate contours of the Gorge are exposed. You'll begin in a grove of old growth pines, which give it an ultrashady, ancient forest feel. After a mile or so the trail crosses a bridge over Fern Creek and begins to climb. Interesting rocks keep you focused on your footing and rolling little hills provide sprint opportunities if you so choose. The Endless Wall Trail is a 6-mile outand-back trip from the trailhead to the access point for a climbing area called the Cirque. You can turn around at any point, but once you climb away from Fern Creek, you won't want to. Most of the trail sticks close to the edge of the Gorge, which means ample opportunities to take a break at one of several overlooks and enjoy the upstream views of exposed

Amanda Ashley, a trail runner and mother of a 6-year-old, completed her second triathlon this spring.

Thick rhodos along the Endless Wall trail summer 2011  NEW RIVER GORGE ADVENTURE GUIDE  11


Trail #


Fayetteville Loop Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult Length: 12 miles Recommended By: George Rogers, Managing Partner and Chief Creative Officer at Weld, an Oak-Hill based content marketing firm

The New River has sculpted the longest and deepest gorge in the Appalachian Mountains, a happy thing for us, since this also means that trails within it have plenty of steep grades to get your heart pumping and downhills for feeling the breeze in your hair. The Fayetteville Loop is a 12-mile combination of trails through the Gorge that are no exception—in fact, an aerial map image of this trail system looks like an accordion, with more than 800 feet of elevation gain and loss. Plenty of creek crossings intersect this route, but three National Park Service–installed steel bridges ensure that you can go year round whether the creeks are high or not. Starting at the trailhead located


at the back of Fayetteville Town Park, take the Fayetteville Trail, cross the bridge over Wolf Creek, and then follow Timber Ridge gradually up and up. Once at the top, cross over the Long Point Trail to make your way to Butcher’s Branch. From here, take a wide service road. It is possible to ride upstream all the way to Thurmond at this point...but that’s another expedition for another day. Instead, take a left and ride to the Old Kaymoor Mine. If you’re out there in the fall, keep a lookout for some old overgrown apple trees that provide a sweet snack. Be sure to stop at the mine to explore and enjoy the view of Endless Wall. You’ll get an idea of the unique features that exemplify the Appalachian Plateau, with

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the exposure of sandstone and shale, housesized boulders scattered from rim to river, and waterfalls careening off of the steep cliffs. The Kaymoor Mine and Camp was built in 1899 and operated until 1964. At its peak it employed 1500 men and ran 101 coke ovens. Along its winding path, the river has exposed four seams of coal, considered among the best bituminous coal in the world. The smokeless New River coal once fed the boilers of the nation's trains, factories, fleets and power plants, and its coke fueled the nation's iron furnaces. If your legs are feeling strong, you can detour and walk down the 800-some stairs to the river and explore the abandoned town and structures. The Kaymoor Trail ends on Fayette Station road. Head up the pavement for just a few hundred yards, where on the right you can access the Fayetteville Trail again. From here it’s a climb all the way back to the Park. George Rogers manages to climb, kayak, mountain bike, or skateboard every day, despite working 50 hours a week running a marketing firm that caters to companies connected with adventure, adrenaline and wild places. Trail maps can be found at Marathon Bicycle Company and New River Bikes in Fayetteville.


Babcock trail caption tk

Trail #


Babcock Linked Trails

Photo By Donnie Hudspeth

Difficulty: Moderate Length: 8 miles Recommended By: Donnie Hudspeth, Race Director of the Gristmill Grinder Half Trail Marathon & The Animal Upper Gauley Race Babcock State Park in Clifftop, West Virginia, is adjacent to the New River Gorge National River and has more than 4,000 forested acres with streams, boulder-strewn canyons, majestic overlooks, and 20-plus miles of trails to see them by. History buffs love Babcock, too: mossy stone walls and steps are the work of the CCC many years ago, and a fully operational gristmill sits on Glade Creek, the main waterway that cuts through the park. The mill was made by combining parts and pieces from mills all over the state, and completed in 1976. The park gift shop sells freshly ground cornmeal and buckwheat flour from its grinding stone. The park’s personality changes with

the seasons: In spring the wildflowers and rhodos are blooming. Summer brings a thick canopy from the mature forest. Fall of course is ablaze with colors and many photographers come to snap a fall image of the Gristmill. In the winter most of the roads are gated and closed for the season, but the road to the Gristmill remains open, as do the trails, for your hiking and running pleasure. The Babcock Linked Trails is a combination of three short trails connected with road sections that form a loop. Park at the Gristmill and take Sewell Road (1.5 miles) down along Glade Creek past the cabins. From here a sharp right turn and a creek crossing puts you on the Narrow Gauge Trail, a former

narrow gauge railroad in operation until the 1950s. After three and a half miles up the hill, this trail ends at a paved service road. Here, turn right and go up to Mann’s Gorge Overlook. The overlook is complete with a picnic area, tennis court and volleyball net. Once there, find yourself on the 2.5 milelong Skyline Trail. Skyline passes through big boulder fields before crossing the spectacular overlook of the Glade/Manns Creek Canyons and the New River Gorge. From there it is only a 1-mile downhill cruise back to your car. Donnie Hudspeth lives in Hico with his wife, their 2 daughters, 4 dogs, 3 cats, 2 chickens, 2 ducks, 5 or 6 fish and 1 bunny rabbit. When not taking care of the menagerie, Donnie can frequently be found hiking, running and biking at Babcock. A map and directions to Babcoock State Park can be found at, 304-438-3004.


→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→ Southside Junction Trail, named for a junction of railroad tracks at its southern end, follows one forgotten set of these relics that's slowly being reclaimed by nature. Starting at Cunard public landing, take the gravel road that heads upstream. In one mile at Brooklyn, the trail turns into a beautiful narrow channel through the trees all the way along the New River from Cunard to Thurmond, West Virginia. Perfect for beginners, the total elevation gain is just 25-30 feet along the entire length. Take a break as you pass right through 19th century industrial ruins, coke ovens, old house foundations, and mining enterprise ruins. A lot of the flowers that grow along the trail were planted by citizens of the towns and have now gone wild. As you approach Thurmond, old buildings are visible cross the river. In its heyday, Thurmond was a booming coal town, boasting 2 hotels, a red light district and the world’s longest running poker game (14 years). Today the town has just a handful of citizens and is home to a NPS–managed public takeout and put-in point for the New River. As an out-and-back trail, Southside Junction is easy to navigate. Go as long as you like before turning around. If you go to the end, look for steep trails leading down to the riverside for some great rock skipping. And remem­ ber that you've been traveling upstream. When you do turn around, you'll notice that even a small amount of gradient makes great downhills.

Trail #


Southside Junction Trail Difficulty: Beginner to Moderate Length: 14 miles Recommended By: Carlos Plumley, founding member of New River Bicycle Union 14  NEW RIVER GORGE ADVENTURE GUIDE  

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Carlos Plumley works full time for the New River Health Association and still manages to ride 150-plus miles a week. He lives in Oak Hill, West Virginia, with his wife and their dog Hanna who happily runs alongside his bike around town every morning. He recently participated in the inaugural Gran Fondo New York, a grueling 100-mile ride originating in New York City. Trail maps can be found at Marathon Bicycle Company and New River Bikes in Fayetteville.


Trail #

it to a standard line. This spur route connected Ansted to the main line running down the New River, and carried passengers reluctantly. Because of the 4 percent-plus gradient, the C&O Railroad did not want to carry human freight. The state of West Virginia intervened and required that it do so. It's worth getting yourself to this trail even if you can do just the first few hundred yards, where it crosses a bridge high above Mill Creek using an old railroad trestle. Two waterfalls gush to the left; on the right, the creek tumbles out of sight. From there, continue on the trail with cliffs to your left and the creek down a bank to your right for two miles at a gradual descent. Morel mushrooms have been spotted here, as well as salamanders and box turtles. If the water level is right, look for kayakers running the steep drops. There are a few steep scrambling paths down to the creek and some wide smooth rocks to sit on when the water levels are low. The wide trail ends at the New River, where it has flattened out into a lake, compliments of Hawks Nest Dam. Jet boat rides leave from here and travel six miles up to see the New River Gorge Bridge. Have a snack, feed the ducks, and watch for osprey. Once you've had your fill of the New, you could ride the Hawks Nest State Park tram back up to the top of the Gorge if you have purchased your tickets in advance and managed to leave a vehicle at Hawks Nest State Park. But then you'd miss half of the trip. Mill Creek is an out-and-back trail. Head back up the hillside for 2.2 miles of moderate but totally doable uphill, and you'll be glad you did. —Cristina Opdahl


Ansted–Hawks Nest Rail Trail Difficulty: Beginner Length: 4.5 miles Recommended By: Cristina Opdahl, Editor and Publisher, New River Gorge Adventure Guide If you like waterfalls and don't mind heights, this trail is for you. If you like the idea of following a creek, listening to the steady rush of water flowing over rocks, yet don't want to be hemmed in by skinny singletrack, you and this trail are a perfect match. The Ansted–Hawks Nest Rail Trail, more commonly known as Mill Creek Trail,

begins just below the town of Ansted, a small stop on Route 60 just down the road from Hawks Nest State Park. Mill Creek Trail is not crowded, but maybe because it is a Rail Trail, it has a welltraveled feel. Built as a narrow gauge railroad by the Ansted-based coal company in 1874, the C&O purchased it 25 years later and upgraded

Cristina Opdahl lives in Fayetteville with her husband and two children. She kayaks, bikes, and runs trails.

Hawks Nest State Park (, 304-658-5212) can give you directions to the Ansted–Hawks Nest Rail Trail and for the tram. For more information on the jetboat rides, go to


800-582-0256 888-488-4836 FAYETTEVILLE'S ORIGINAL BIKE SHOP

Sales, service, tours, rentals 221 North Court Street Fayetteville, WV


CHIMNEY CORNER CAFE Tuesday BIKE NIGHT Drink & Wing Specials 6-10 PM Located on the rim of the New River Gorge, offering an unparalleled atmosphere for relaxation and healing in a unique and comfortable setting of a yurt. • • • •



Find us next to Smokeyʼs Restaurant on the campus of Adventures On The Gorge in Ames Heights.

Wednesday OPEN MIC 7-10 PM Thursday SUSHI NIGHT 6-10 PM



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How To Build an Adventurer Photo By kyle heeter

Step One: Turn off the computers! Put away

the game systems! Get the kids outdoors! You feel better when you get outside. The same goes for your kids.

By Katie Johnson


• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

There's no getting around it: Having kids will change you. Especially if you're used to getting outside for long play days—climbing, biking, kayaking, whatever your method of choice for getting your fix—just about whenever you want. Let’s say you are in your prime, logging two– and three– sport days—the kind of long, wonderful epic series of adventures when you only remember to eat long after dark. And then you become a parent and it hits you: these days are over. I mean, you can't leave your baby tied to the truck with a bowl of water. Those kids need to be fed often and if they don’t, they explode into tantrums without warning. Do you give up? Trade in your lifestyle for parental stability? You could,

Ages 0 to 2 1. Start early and start small. At this age you are really training yourself to get used to all the stuff that comes with being a parent in an active family: diapers, extra clothes, sunscreen, bug spray and snacks. An all-terrain double stroller saved my sanity in those early years. Just getting into the woods or by the river was cathartic for all of us. I'd take their favorite board books and blankets and let nature work its magic.


Sleep in a tent. Put a lifejacket on them and take them for a paddle. Pull them in a sled. Tow them in a bike trailer. There was a time when my babies would only nap when it was on a fourwheel-drive road or rough trail. When they're ready to start walking the outdoors isn't foreign. It's their second home.

3. Think micro. 

Once they're ambulating, they are going to want to stop and examine every dewdrop and insect.

Photo By colleen Laffey

I suppose. But that would be silly. You know how much better you feel when you get out. The same goes for your kids. It's been proven that outdoor experiences make kids smarter, healthier, happier and better behaved. Believe it or not, your greatest adventures are just beginning. I know from experience. My husband and I are paddlers, and in our twenties, it was a rare day that we were not on a river somewhere. We scouted creeks and traveled around the country making first descents. We spent long days surfing the New River Dries. And then along came our children. We also climbed, swam, biked, skied and snowboarded, but we made our living for nearly a decade as professional kayakers, a sport that is admittedly one of the toughest to integrate very young children into. But we were not ready to pack it in, so we did what we could to stay competitive. We took turns with the baby while the other one paddled. Soon there were two babies, and we missed playing together. Our next best option was to get the whole family out together. Twelve years later, our babies are packing their own gear in the morning and toasting the day around the dinner table in the evening. I wouldn't say it has been easy, but the journey has been remarkably rewarding. We have a strong family bond and the kids are exceptional students. Best of all, they have developed a wonderful spirit for adventure. I'm not sure who's learned more along the way, our kids or us parents, but here are some tips from our ongoing adventure:

2. As soon as a child is born they learn from their experiences. 

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Ages 2 to 5 1. Every kid is different. 

Watch them, learn from them. They develop an enormous sense of independence by exploring on their own terms. You are merrily their guide.

2. Good gear is essential.

From base layer to shells, put your kids in what you wear when you are out all day. You have a good sleeping bag and pad; so should they. Teach them the comforts of warm dry clothing after a long day of playing hard. Teach them about wools and wicking synthetics. Soon they'll know what to grab when they're packing their own gear bag. (I promise, one day it will happen.)

3. Get in line for hand me downs. 

From climbing shoes to snow suits, good gear is made to last and kids are made to grow. We recently passed on a favorite snowsuit that had been through seven kids in twelve years.

4. Play in the rain. 

Splash in puddles. Build a foam boat and follow it down the creek. Foam boating is a great lesson in physics and hydrology. The kids are learning to read water without even knowing it, plus it's a blast. We invite friends and have races with one rule: you are only allowed to touch the boat with a stick. Getting up and down the creek hones your bushwhacking skills and no one in your family will ever say there's nothing to do on a rainy day.

5. Teach them how to use the bathroom in the woods.

Photo By Mike turner

6. Let them get dirty. Let them get wet. 

Take a camera. They'll find things you would have missed. When they're tired, put them back in the stroller with a snack. Now you can get in your cardio while they get in their nap.

4. Get in the water with them. Hold them close. Feel them loosen their grip. They are weightless in the water.

Save the nice clothes and fancy shoes for dinner. If your toddler has a passion for fashion let her wear the princess accessories on the trail. It took my daughter one bike trip to learn that those heels were really impractical.

5. Play in the sand. 

Sit in the snow. Sticks and rocks are great toys. Get dirty. You brought clean clothes for everyone. In these years you can tick off some remarkable milestones. Get them on bikes and skis, in harnesses and in their own boats. Pack yourself plenty of patience and you'll all be rewarded.

7. Invite friends.

  Play dates at the river or in the woods are priceless. Find like- minded families to get out with. Kids entertain, inspire and help each other while you get to share the trials and triumphs with your friends. If everyone brings their strengths along, you can achieve so much more.


• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •  The climbers set the ropes, the bikers know the trails, the paddlers know the good water levels and set safety. Everyone brings snacks. Our kids have developed wonderful bonds with my friends. They say they have several "other mothers."

8. Have low expectations.

Instead of thinking, “We're going skiing,” think “We're going to play in the snow.” Instead of thinking, “We are going kayaking,” think, “We're going to mess around with boats.” Mountain biking? Find a trail where training wheels work. Back up and simplify. We taught the kids to swim in the river first. They learned about ferry angles, keeping their feet up and floating through waves before they kayaked. Remember how you learned, how it felt to be scared. Remember how it felt to be fascinated.

12. Start teaching the kids about the dangers. 

Be firm about rules. Tell them that if everyone cooperates then we can have fun. Teach them to respect the rules and the people helping you. Respect the power of nature. To be aware of danger is a huge part of staying out of danger. Have a safety speech before you start.

13. Always bring lots of water. 

Teach the kids about the need to hydrate.

14. Do yoga. 

Yoga seems to be where I draw my patience. Teach the kids to stop and listen. Ask them what they hear around them.

Ages 5 to teens 1. Go out with their friends. 

Friends are still the most important assets in my adventure bag. Every time we ask the kids to do something they ask, "Who's coming?" This seems especially important now that we seem to be less cool then we once were. (Your adult friends will assure you that you still are.) What better way to get to know your kids friends than to have memorable experiences with them? A shared wave, first tracks, fishing from a raft, or a dinner around the campfire brings everyone closer. Even an additional adult friend helps motivate the kids.

9. Remember that kids need breaks.

Photo By katie johnson

Numerous times my kids have started off a ski morning cold and whining. We'd only be a few runs into the day and they were ready to quit. Instead of fighting the misery, what we learned is that a short break, a light snack and hot chocolate does wonders. So does knowing that they have the option to take breaks.

10. Participate.

  They want to be with you. They love to see your inner child. Leave the stress behind. Play!

11. It's okay to bribe them. 

Try, "Let's ride for fifteen more minutes and then we'll stop for chocolate."


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There are a lot of distractions these days. Facebooking is so much easier than getting out the door. My kids have told me that they would love to go paddling; it's just loading the gear that seems exhausting. It is. But teach them that a lot of effort is worth a lot of fun. It's time to pull the parent card and require them to unplug. Give them computer time when they get home. Maybe they'll have a new profile picture to be proud of.


5. Push them if they're feeling lazy.


Challenge them on a different river, a new ski run, a new trail.


4. Take them to new spots.


It builds confidence. Run the same rapid a few times. Do laps on the same route. If it's boring for you, make it a training experience. When the kids want to ski on the green runs, I ride switch on my snowboard.


3. Do the familiar a lot.


Have them look at the maps and guidebooks. See if they can figure out the best way there or alternate routes.


2. Get the kids involved in the decision-making process.

9. Take pictures and shoot video.

Not only are you preserving memories, video is an especially good teacher, particularly if the lesson is that that two feet of air was really just four inches and you fell because you were leaning back.

My kids beg to hear our stories over and over.

11. Packing is still the hardest. Don't be daunted. You get better at it all of the time. Give the kids tasks. Have them make a list of what they need. Get them thinking. My friend taught me to file a list in my computer to pull up for an overnight raft trip or a ski trip. It's easier to get out of the house if your gear is already organized and in a designated area. Make them work at it. It may be easier for you to pack it all up yourself, but if you train them right then one day you can sit in the rocker while they pack your lunch, load your equipment, and maybe even buckle your boots.

12. Have a first aid kit.

Have some emergency training. Get the kids some training.

13. Eat well.

6. Don't push if they're exhausted.

7. Have your friends teach them.

I've tried to teach them to focus on their breath when the adrenaline is pumping. Of course they roll their eyes and say, "Here's Mom lecturing again." It really does sink in, though. My daughter recently decided to run a rapid for the first time, and she was really nervous. I watched her get in her boat, close her eyes, and take several deep breaths before pushing off shore.

Is your kid allergic to your advice? Have one of your friends give them pointers. Get them a lesson. My friends are incredible skiers. When their kids decided they wanted to learn to snowboard, they had to rent their own gear and pay for lessons. Teenagers understand the value of an investment when it's with their own money.

8. Debrief at the dinner table.

It's good to look around at glowing faces and hash out the day. You'll learn how to do things better and what worked well.


10. Tell them stories about your adventures.

Your kids are hungry. Now's the time to sneak in the veggies. Then break out the chocolate.

Has it been a rough week? A heavy load at school? A soccer tournament? Do something simple. A hike or swim in the lake. They need chill time too.


14. Teach them how to breathe when they are nervous.

15. Get out alone.


Remember who you are. My kids know that I'm happier if I can make it out and play on my level. They are proud that I work at what I love and am dedicated to it.

16. Live by example. summer 2011




Fayetteville, WV | 304.574.0735


Come Play with us.

Hundreds of miles of big whitewater and steep creeks, 63,000 acres of national park land, more than 1,400 established climbing routes, one of the most diverse ecosystems of the world, and miles and miles of trails to enjoy it by. Enjoy this issue, and keep your eyes open for the next—we are just getting started.

(Or at least they can tolerate it, because they know where to climb when the weather's spicy)

The water feels fine.






Live it Up Here




Locals Give It Up On Favorite Trails




Where To Eat After Takeout, Hike Out or Bike Out


Look for our next issue in September, justGuide in time for GorGe Gauley season.

New River Gorge Adventure Guide seeks to be the source for information on what to do and where to do it in the new river gorge and gauley river areas. look for your Free copy at restaurants, stores, visitors centers, rest stops, cabins, and hotels everywhere.


NeW riVer

Fall/Gauley Season/Bridge Day issue coming soon!

Live it up Here

To advertise in the fall issue, contact or 304-573-8113

To advertise, contact or 304-573-8113.


By Jay Young



Dan Brayack stays cool on Scenic Adult, 5.11d, at Seven-Eleven Wall, Kaymoor CLIMBERS, TOUGH AS WE ARE, are a bit sensitive to the weather. When the air stays miraculously dry and the mercury hovers in the 60s and 70s, the send tide rises like a tsunami. But when the air grows hot and muggy, it feels like the pull of gravity has doubled, and some of us head indoors to wait out the humidity. 100% recycLed pAper

The Appalachian weather can be a bit trying at the New River Gorge, I’ll admit, because it is so streaky. When humidity hits, it sticks around for a while. It can change the old adage “If you don’t like the weather, stick around for a day” to “If you don’t like the weather, you’ll need to wait two months.”


Like It Hot

We are not without recourse, however. When it’s cold we seek sun and boulders. When it’s rainy, we seek overhangs. And when the house deals us hand after hand of unbearable heat and oppressive humidity, we seek shade and adjacent swimming holes. Spiraling outward from Fayetteville, here’s the beta on where to climb when the Mercury leaves 90 in the dust and the dank turns that same dust to slime.

Kaymoor Kaymoor is actually a collection of several areas that begin under Roger’s Rockytop Retreat and run downstream. Kaymoor proper has The Hole, First Buttress, Rico Suave and White Wall, all of which get either all-day or afternoon shade. Check out the classic Rico Suave Arete (5.10a, which also stays dry in the rain) and any of the stellar 5.11-and-up sport climbs. Climbers think of Kaymoor solely as a sport destination, which is mostly accurate. But if you’re more of a trad climber, you also need to see this place. At 5.10 and above, Kaymoor has outstanding unbolted cracks aplenty.

Butcher's Branch A short walk downstream gets you to Butcher’s Branch and Seven-Eleven Wall, which have a percentage of classics that rival the Beatles, Rolling Stones and Led zeppelin combined. Kaymoor’s north-facing aspect shades mustdos like Flight of the Gumby (5.9), Low Voltage (5.10a), First Steps (5.10c), Hardcore Female Thrash (5.11c), Scenic Adult (5.11d) and Lost Souls (5.12a).

domino point and south Nuttall For the more adventurous among us, a long walk down the gated gravel road from Roger’s will bring you to Domino Point, and an even longer (and much more confusing) walk from Elverton Road. will bring you to South Nuttall. If you want hard trad climbing and unfinished projects, both are excellent choices. If you want the convenient cragging for which the region is known, seek it elsewhere! Domino Point, however, has the long and moderate trad corner, Dominaire (5.7), and South Nuttall is known for The Beckoning, a striking 12a finger crack that’s lured more than one lost soul into the bush.

south side of the meadow river Home to such shady afternoon delights as Area 51, The Other Place, and the Brilliant Pebble, the Meadow River’s north-facing crags make for cooler summer climbing. Add the Meadow River herself a mere hundred yards away and you get the full dog-day package. Traddies shouldn’t miss Machete Arete (5.9) and Delta Star (5.10) on the Pebble, plus Replicant (5.11d) if you’re really cranking these days. Sporties will find several days worth of bolts from 5.9-5.13 at Area 51 and the Other Place. To get there, an, ahem, interesting drive out Propp’s Ridge Road (a little bit of vehicle clearance will be helpful) from Route 60 will get you to the Meadow River rail trail. Walk or drive it downstream to your crag of choice.



summersville Lake The wildly popular Summersville Lake is a mustclimb summer area for one reason: the Lake. Its climbs face south and there isn’t much tree cover, so the routes are better suited for cold-weather cragging. But the clean and rocky Summersville Lake is, in some cases, literally ten feet away. The Coliseum gets some relief from the sun. Add a substantial selection of 5.10 and under climbs and you get an area that may be more crowded than you want on your get-away-from-it-all climbing trip.

Whippoorwill Speaking of Summersville Lake, downstream of the crowds is a small area known for water bouldering. In the approach gully there’s also a selection of sport climbs and one trad route. All of them are shaded by trees, worth doing and rarely climbed. That means cool rock, no lines and great swimming are mere meters away. The gem of the wall is a 5.8 called Whinerlamer, but the 5.10a trad climb, Mythos, is also excellent. That’s the major list, but there are even more options if you're hungry for them. Burning Buttress at Beauty Mountain, Fern Creek Falls between Fern Buttress and Endless Wall and the Gauley Crag below Summersville Dam all get varying degrees of relief. Mike Williams’s New River Gorge Rock Climbs (Wolverine Press) has detailed directions to all of the above, and is available at Water Stone Outdoors in the center of Fayetteville. Of course, you could just wait two months for the weather to change. But that would be no fun at all.

summer 2011




Easy Does It

Sure, you’ve climbed until your fingers are numb. Hiked to every waterfall. Surfed Brain Wave until the moon rises. Cycled every inch of the Gorge r idgelines. But wait: You’re not done yet. By Maura Kistler You've been at the New River Gorge for days. You're hot, sweaty, tired, bug-bit and ready for a break. In short, you have been doing what you came here to do, which is find all the adventure the Gorge has to offer. My advice: Take a break. Slow it down and take a rest day. Continue to explore, but in a slower, more reflective mode. There are some amazing things to see and do without breaking a sweat. Herewith, my list to help you relax. Take your pick:

1.  Spotting Bald Eagles at Sandstone Falls

The quintessential American symbol loves the Gorge, too. In the winter of 2009 a breeding pair of bald eagles built a nest in a big sycamore tree five miles south of the Sandstone Visitor Center. Their home seems to agree with them because they have raised two batches of eaglets. They are frequently spotted from the Brooks overlook on Route 20. How to Get There: Take U.S. Route 19 South to Beckley, then I-64 East to Exit 139 to Route 20 South. Stop in at the Sandstone Visitor Center (304-466-0417) before continuing south past Sandstone Falls overlook to the Brooks Overlook, about 5 miles. A map can be found at www.


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Follow a lush and scenic winding road down to this historic coal town on the banks of the New River. Thurmond, the busiest coal town in the Gorge at the turn of the century, features a terrific National Park Service Visitor Center located in the restored train station (Open 10-5 daily). Plan to hang out for a bit until one of many daily trains rolls through. If you are lucky, it will make a good oldfashioned whistle stop. Vigorous waving is guaranteed to get you more of the same; engineers always wave back. In his memorable film Matewan director John Sayles chose Thurmond as the setting for this compelling look at the early days of the effort to unionize coal mining. Bonus points: watch it when you get home. How to Get There: From the Bridge, take U.S. 19 South to Glen Jean, then follow the signs to Thurmond, East on County Road 25.

Photos By david hypes; christopher danz

2.  Wave at Trains in Thurmond





Body Surf Fayette Station

I float on my back, letting the current carry me up to the top of the eddy where I flip over on my belly, tug my life jacket tighter and ferry out into the powerful current of Fayette Station rapid, the last big hit on the lower New River. My elegant plan is to ferry across the current and slide into another eddy. Right. Instead I take a big face shot, get sucked downstream, tossed about and spat out at the bottom. Epic fail? Epic fun. How to Get There: Take U.S. 19 over the Bridge. Take first right; go past the Visitors Center. The road winds down to the banks of the New River. Cross the small bridge and make your way to Fayette Station.



String a Hammock

The definitive rest day experience gets even better when you hike out the Endless Wall Trail to the rim of the Gorge with your thermos of iced coffee and a copy of The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest. String your hammock between two rim-side trees, climb in, stretch out, and don’t move for hours. No hammock? Water Stone Outdoors in Fayetteville will sell you one. (Full disclosure: I’m co-owner.) How to Get There: National Park Service Trail maps are available at Canyon Rim Visitor Center just north of the Bridge on U.S. 19.

summer 2011



5.  Barrel Rolls over the Bridge No one says your rest day can’t include a little adrenaline rush, so head to the Fayetteville Airport for an aerial tour of the Gorge in a 1940 Stearman Biplane where you will discover how this area is essentially an endless green carpet; how the Endless Wall climbing area lives up to its name; how the Bridge and the Gorge complement and enhance each other to create a truly sublime partnership. Ramp up your sightseeing with some aerobatics. Barrel rolls, stalls and loop-de-loops will probably wrench your attention away from the sights, but who cares? How to Get There: From the Bridge, take U.S. 19 South to Hinkle Road. Look for the signs on the left.

6.  Strike a Pose With a View Early Sunday mornings on the rim of the Gorge, a large deck shaded with oak trees is the site of Yoga on the Gorge, where Kim Maxwell will lead you through an hour of vinyasa flow yoga with her uncanny ability to motivate, soothe, inspire and crack the whip. Lose focus in your third eye and the chirping birds and gentle breezes will bring you back. Your only job is to relax, breathe and bliss out. How to Get There: From U.S. 19 north of the bridge take Ames Heights Road. Follow the signs to Adventures on the Gorge and Class VI. The deck is just past Smokies restaurant.


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6.  Drop a Line in the Water We have world class climbing, paddling, and birding here in the New River Gorge area. Add to that world class smallmouth bass fishing—Bassmasters Magazine rated the New as the #1 smallmouth fishery in the country. Grab your gear and explore the Dries, the scenic section of the New River below Cotton Hill Dam—park in any pull off below Cotton Hill Bridge and walk down the riverpolished sandstone shelves until you find your spot. Local fishing guide Robert Seay says to fish in the current using tubes, grubs or flukes. How to Get There: From U.S. 19, take Route 16 North. Cotton Hill Dam is about 6 miles down this scenic road.


Get a Better Look at the Bridge

If you live around here, it is conceivable that you could overdose on the Bridge. It is on the WV quarter. It is part of every logo, ad, or calendar produced. It is everywhere. But after contemplating it for over 20 years I am not one bit sick of it. In fact, I can’t get enough of the singular jolt I get every time I see it. Spend the afternoon exploring the exploding geometry of the bridge from a variety of vantage points. Start at the NPS Canyon Rim Visitor Center overlook for the standard postcard look, then drive down Fayette Station road until you are directly under the bridge for the stunning oblique angle. Finally, savor the view from the old Fayette Station bridge at the bottom of the Gorge. For the mac daddy Bridge experience take a tour with Bridgewalk out on the airy catwalk. You’ll be all up in it then and glad you are clipped in.


Adventure Calendar Join a race or group ride and you'll find yourself shoulder to shoulder with others who, like you, love to break a sweat outside. Start gathering your gear for the best events our area has to offer.

July 10 Scenic Mountain Triathlon Where: Richwood, WV What: 23.8 miles Run, Bike, Swim

August 13 Wild 100 Backcountry Race Where: Slatyfork, WV What: 100-Kilometer Mountain Bike Marathon

A traditional swim, bike, run triathlon in one of the most beautiful areas of West Virginia. You’ll swim .5 miles in chilly Summit Lake, cycle 17.1 miles over 4,000–foot Kennison Mountain to the Cranberry Mountain Nature Center, then run 6.2 miles of rolling terrain to the Cranberry Glades and back.

July 16 & 17 Wheels of Hope Ride Where: Lewisburg, WV What: Assorted Distances Road Cycling Riders can choose from assorted routes ranging from 20 to 83 miles through the lush and rolling hill countryside of the Greenbrier River Valley. Whichever route you choose, you'll feel good about riding: proceeds benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and local residents fighting cancer. hope


Miles and miles of rooty, twisty, rocky singletrack have been plotted out and linked up with a few short paved sections for this 100 Kilometer backcountry race. You don’t have to do the whole thing—participants can choose their routes and checkpoints. But 100K equals about 62 miles of muddy bliss. Why wouldn’t you do it all? 866-572-3771;

July 30 Ride to Tamarack Where: Oak Hill, WV What: 50-plus miles of Road Cycling Take the best way to Tamarack—a circuitous route along the mountainous backroads from Oak Hill through the tiny towns of Whipple and Mossy, over Haystack Mountain, and past Paint Creek. Shop for West Virginia-made crafts and art, eat at the Greenbrier–run food court, and then haul home a slightly different but equally scenic route. Total elevation gain: 3,700; organizers from the New River Bicycle Union promise you’ll attain it in small doses. For more information on this and other rides, go to New River Bicycle Union’s page on Facebook.

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Adventure Calendar August 13 The Good Bowl Where: Fayetteville, WV What: Skateboard Contest

all Photos on this page and runner on facing page by photo earth

Sure, the concrete of a skateboard bowl is hardly natural, but it is naturally hard. And there’s a lot of crossover between outdoor adventure sports and skateboarding: finesse and grace among them. Fayetteville Skate Park will be home to its first annual skateboard contest this summer dubbed The Good Bowl. Come to watch or come to show off your inverts, aerials and grinds for an audience. The afterparty will be at Cantrell’s Ultimate Rafting with the band 600 lbs. of Sin. For more information, go to Fayetteville Skate Park's Facebook page.

August 20 Captain Thurmond's Challenge Where: Fayetteville, WV What: 28.5 mile Extreme Triathlon Begin at the Fayette County Courthouse with a 12–mile bike that follows the ridgelines of the New River Gorge. You'll descend to riverside at Cunard, then get in your kayak or raft for 8 miles of big water rapids on the Lower New River to Fayette Station. From Fayette Station, it's a steep 8.5 miles back to the finish line in front of the courthouse in Fayetteville.

August 20 Ride to Tamarack Where: Oak Hill, WV What: 50-plus miles of Road Cycling If you missed the July ride–or had a great time and want to do it again–join the New River Bicycle Union for its monthly ride to Tamarack from Oak Hill. You'll travel on (mostly) backroads over mountains and past beautiful scenery to share some great food. It's what cycling is all about. For more information, see New River Bicycle Union's page on Facebook.

August 26 & 27 Cheat Mountain Moonshine Madness Where: Beverly, WV What: 50-mile trail run You’ll begin at 9pm with a gradual climb up Cheat Mountain, then run with the moon along the spine of the ridge at 4000-foot elevation, descend to Shavers Fork, climb through the dark spruce back up Cheat Mountain, drop to Shavers Fork for a second time, then climb gradually once again up the mountain and run the high ridge north as dawn approaches. All in all, you’ll do a 50-mile loop with 6,300 feet of gain and loss. Contact West Virginia Mountain Trail Runners ( to register.


Nature & Culture Calendar

July 8 -30

July 16

August 3-7

Where: Historic Fayette Theatre, Fayetteville, WV

Where: Adventures on the Gorge Ames Heights, WV

Where: Camp Washington Carver, Clifftop, WV

Smoke on the Mountain

On Fridays and Saturdays (plus one Sunday matinee on the final weekend) a play infused with bluegrass gospel comes to our local community theater.

July 16

Bird-Centered Nature Walk

Where: New River Birding & Nature Center, Fayetteville, WV On the second Saturday of every month, walk the boardwalk over a 15–acre wetlands with esteemed naturalist and science writer Bill Hilton, Jr. and avid birders of the area to spy hooded warblers, cedar waxwings, red bellied woodpeckers and assorted other creatures that make their home in this beaver–maintained ecology paradise.


Up In Smoke BBQ Seminar

Acquire some of the finer techniques for cooking meat over fire. Learn all about rubs and sauces, the difference between hot and cold smoking, and the Myron Mixon method of smoking pork ribs. The instructor is Chris Shuff, winner of the People's Choice award at Taste of Bridge Day two years running. The lesson is followed by an all-you-can-eat BBQ dinner.

Appalachian String Band Festival

A five-day gathering of stringed instruments, the musicians who play them, and the people who love to hear them. Fiddling contests and other assorted competitions are held, as well as workshops and square dancing.

August 13-14

Hummingbird Festival

Where: Hawks Nest State Park July 17 + assorted dates

Hatfield & McCoys

Where: Theatre West Virginia, Grandview State Park A classic West Virginia tale of a feud between two families, the Hatfields of West Virginia and the McCoys of Kentucky, at a cliffside amphitheater.

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Only one kind of hummingbird darts around the Eastern U.S. forests—the ruby throated hummingbird, which can be found from Canada to Costa Rica. The bird experts from the New River Birding & Nature Center have put up hummingbird feeders to attract them to Hawks Nest State Park for a fluttery extravaganza in midAugust.


Be Well By Erin Larsen Summertime, and the living is easy, that is, if you don’t stay out in the blazing sun too long and destroy your epidermis with potent UV rays. The rain felt like it was oozing out of my pores for a few weeks this spring. I thought I would never see the sun again. So at first sight of that great star I donned the least amount of clothing allowed in a public setting and draped my body over a hot rock at Summersville Lake. As a health coach, I know the risks of getting too much sun, but I also know the benefits of soaking in the rays. Many Americans are vitamin D deficient and research now indicates that vitamin D3 plays an integral role in our well being. We all know that many children today spend too much time in front of the television or game systems instead of running around outside. Adults also spend too much time inside. Just fifteen minutes a day of unprotected skin exposure to the mid-day sun will allow your body to make about 10,000 IUs (international units) of vitamin D, plenty to get your recommended daily allowance. If you plan on spending more time than that outside, wear a hat to protect your face. Long sleeve light-weight shirts will protect your shoulders and arms from the sun, and also make you feel a little cooler when working outside in the heat of the day. But there are plenty of places where long sleeve shirts aren't all that much fun or convenient to wear, like Summersville Lake, for example. So, we expose our skin to the sun, and apply sunscreen to protect it. You need to be careful here: Your skin is the largest organ of your body and is semi-permeable. That means that whatever you put onto your skin is being absorbed into your body and assimilated into your cells—just like when you eat something. When discussing nutrition with my clients I often teach them to read ingredient labels, and that if they don’t know what an ingredient is, or can’t pronounce it, than they probably shouldn’t be eating it. Your food should not have a paragraph listing its ingredients, and neither should your skin care products. Your skin drinks up whatever

you slather on it. Two nontoxic solutions are the sun blocking minerals zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which have the advantage of deflecting all types of sunrays. Because both are drying to the skin and impart a whitish color when undiluted, you may prefer using them mixed into an herbal sun lotion. If you are interested in making your own sunscreen, you can mix those minerals with a natural moisturizer like raw shea butter. This West African nut butter has some amazing properties, including a natural sunscreen and as a skin saver if you do get a sunburn. Vegetable oil straight from your kitchen offers some sun protection. Sesame oil decreases the impact of burning rays by about 30 percent, while olive, coconut, and peanut oils block out a good 20 percent of the rays. Remember that sunscreens not only block harmful UV radiation, they also block the skin's ability to absorb the muchneeded Vitamin D3. Moderation is the key: strive for not too little sun, and not too much. Recent research shows that antioxidant supplementation may protect our skin. A paper published in a recent issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that supplementation with carotenoids (25 mg/day) and vitamin E (500 IU/day) “may be useful for diminishing sensitivity to ultraviolet light.” Vitamin C is also an important supplement in protecting against free radical damage that can be caused by extensive sun exposure. If you do find yourself with a sunburn, get some aloe on your skin as soon as you can. Aloe is easy to grow on your windowsill. Another sunburn remedy that's quick and easy to carry when traveling is green tea bags. Soak them in cold water and pat them on the burned area. These give good relief to burned eyelids because they won't irritate your eyes.

Hurry! an

Online Auction

to benefit the New River Gorge Learning Co-op, a Montessori-based learning option in Fayette County,

is ending July 15th.

Find cool stuff and great deals on: Cabin rentals • Fitness Memberships • Theater tickets • zipline trips • massage • whitewater rafting • local art • jewelry • yoga • and more! Visit: go to "View An Auction" Auction id: nrglc password: nrglc and place your bids.

To learn more about what you can do to protect your health and live to your fullest, contact Erin Larsen, Holistic Health Coach, at or


The Environment: Losing Ground

By Katie Fallon

consistently falls near the bottom of the list economically, and some argue that mountaintop removal mining is a job-creator. This simply isn’t true. Statistics from the West Virginia Coal Association show that mining jobs have steadily declined with the rise of highly mechanized, largescale surface mining. When my great-great-grandfather William worked as an underground coal miner near Oak Hill in the early part of the twentieth century, there were more than 100,000 mining jobs in West Virginia; by 2007 that number had dropped to 20,000. Coal is a finite resource; it will run out one day. We should preserve our lush, ancient mountains for future generations—not just for visiting hunters, fishermen, Twilight Surface Mine, Boone County, West Virginia on Cherry Pond Mountain. Approximately 3,000 acres of Cherry Pond hikers, and kayakers but also Mountain have been removed and an additional 3,000 more acres have been permitted for mining. Seven miles of streams for the human and nonhuman have been buried. residents of West Virginia, for the generations of families who Something buzzed high above me in the forest permits and determines that coal lies within a have called these hills home. And of course for the canopy. I raised my binoculars, arched my neck, and mountain, it clears away all the trees and other Cerulean Warbler—our neighbor—a creature who, searched the dense green oak leaves for the source vegetation. Sometimes the trees are sold for timber, like me, needs these mountains to survive. of the quick, ascending song. A twig vibrated; a but other times they are simply pushed into a huge shadow flickered; but no bird came into view. When I heard the buzzing again, it came from a different tree. I lowered my binoculars and sighed. A Cerulean Warbler had once again eluded me. This tiny, skyblue creature holds the unfortunate designation of being the fastest-declining songbird species in the United States. According to the US Geological Survey, 80% of the global cerulean population nests and raises its young in Central Appalachia—from southwest Pennsylvania, through all of West Virginia, and into eastern Kentucky and Tennessee. The most serious threat that breeding Cerulean Warblers face is mountaintop removal coal mining. Begun in the late 1970s, this surface mining practice “removes” layers of the mountain to reach the coal within. But I think the term “mountaintop removal” is far too gentle; it reminds me of “pest removal” or “unwanted hair removal.” Not only is the top of the mountain removed, but everything on, in, and around it: forests, birds, bears, deer, homes, flowers, butterflies, streams. Mountaintop removal coal mining is like using a baseball bat to remove a tooth—it may be cheaper, quicker, and require less skill than the dentist, but it leaves behind quite a mess. While the process can vary, mountaintop removal usually goes something like this: Once a company secures the necessary state and federal


pile and burned. Then the coal company drills holes on the mountain’s surface, into which high-powered explosives are dropped; the resulting blasts destroy the top of the mountain to expose thin coal seams. Usually, the former mountaintop (now reduced to dirt and rocks called “spoil”) is pushed into surrounding valleys and hollows. These valley-fills often bury headwater streams and cause problems for nearby communities with increased erosion and runoff; local residents complain of structural damage to their homes from the blasting, contamination of their drinking water because of the landscape changes, and an increase in flooding. Once the top layers of the mountain have been removed, heavy equipment scrapes coal from the now-exposed seam. The coal is then trucked to a processing plant, where it’s cleaned up and ground down to burnable size before being shipped off to power plants, where it (along with coal recovered from deep-mining and other methods) is converted into 50 percent of our nation’s electricity. When an entire Appalachian ridge and its forests are removed, so, of course, is the critical breeding habitat of the rapidly declining Cerulean Warbler. Even with aggressive reforestation efforts, it could take more than a hundred years for a new hardwood forest to mature on a former mountaintop removal site. It’s no secret that the state of West Virginia

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Katie Fallon is the author of the nonfiction book Cerulean Blues: A Personal Search for a Vanishing Songbird to be published in October by Ruka Press. Fallon’s essays have appeared in a variety of literary journals and magazines, including The Bark, Fourth Genre, River Teeth, and Ecotone. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize by the editors of Fourth River for her essay “Lost.” Currently, Katie teaches creative writing at West Virginia University.

Community Page

Mountain Love Mountaintop removal, also known as surface mining, is occurring right at the heart of one of the nation’s main hotspots of biological diversity. The Nature Conservancy cites the mountain region including southwest Virginia, southern West Virginia, eastern Kentucky and northeastern Tennessee as one that contains some of the highest levels of biological diversity in the nation. This region is also at the headwaters of the drinking water supplies of many U.S. cities. According to the West Virginia Office of Miners' Health Safety and Training, as of April 14th, 2011, there are over 200 active surface mine permits in West Virginia, including 23 in Fayette County. Mountaintop removal mines in Appalachia are estimated to produce just 5 to 10 percent of total U.S. coal production, and generate less than 4 percent of our electricity. Is that amount really worth the destruction of so much land and the human and environmental suffering it causes? Many supporters of mountaintop removal mining insist that without it, West Virginia would lose jobs. In fact, underground mines provide 50 percent more jobs than surface mines. Proponents often also say that surface mines create flat land that can be utilized for economic development. The reality is that fewer than 10 percent of all mountaintop removal mine sites have been used for economic development. How can you help? Contact your congressperson and tell them to support the Clean Water Protection Act. To find out how you are connected and how else you can make a difference, check out  —Aimee Rist

The Last Mountain The West Virginia–based grassroots organization Coal River Mountain Watch has been fighting mountaintop removal since 1998. And now they are featured in a Sundance Film Festival documentary called The Last Mountain, which highlights a battle for the future of energy that affects us all. For more information, check out or www.thelastmountainmovie. com. —A.R.

Who's Doing What  •  How to Get Involved Art • Water • Entrepreneurship • Local Food • Learning • Health • Sustainability • Access • Community Theater Create Fayetteville is a volunteer initiative that empowers citizens to build a healthy economy by embracing technology, entrepreneurship, diversity, and quality of place. Fayetteville Arts Coalition’s mission is to create a sustainable arts community that supports local artists, creates arts awareness and fosters artistic growth and education. Our goals include a space in downtown Fayetteville where artists can collaborate and create as well as display and sell artwork, and to create a once monthly Friday evening community gathering in Fayetteville for local artists to showcase their work. For more information contact Fayette County Farmers Market is an outlet for farmers, gardeners, bakers, and farm-based craftspeople in Fayette County. FCFM manages two farmers markets during the summer months: Saturday 7 AM to 11:30 AM at 104 Wiseman Avenue next to the Fayette County Courthouse, and Thursdays 4 PM to 7 PM in downtown Oak Hill on Main Street near BB&T. We accept senior coupons and WIC–FMNP Coupons. New growers and sellers are always welcome; email for more information. The Fayette County Green Advisory Team works to promote social, economic, and environmental health in the communities of Fayette County, West Virginia. Current initiatives are our Annual New River Earth Day Celebration, Greening of Bridge Day and other community events, and our Recycling and Hazardous Waste Committee. The Fayette County Green Advisory Team meets on the last Monday of the month at 6:00 at the Fayetteville Convention and Visitor Bureau. www.greenwv. org, Leadership Fayette County is a program for selected Fayette County high school juniors to promote essential leadership qualities while providing first hand experiences in the business, government, and tourism sectors of Fayette County, West Virginia. Those who successfully complete the curriculum are awarded a $500 college scholarship to the school of their choice. Our goal is to provide Fayette County youth with the information and tools to enable them to make the choice to return to Fayette County to live, learn, work and play upon completion of their higher education. Scholarships are made possible by donations from the local business community through the 501 c3 Fayette County Education Fund, Inc. Leadership Fayette County

on Facebook; Program President Dave Pollard 304-574-4258 Historic Fayette Theatre hosts an average of 5,000 people for the many varied productions each year. Audiences come from the local and regional community as well as tourists in the area. HFT has recently purchased the theatre and is working towards making upgrades such as a downstairs handicapped bathroom. To learn more about how you can help Historic Fayette Theatre and see our schedule, go to New River Alliance of Climbers works to preserve and promote climber access, and to conserve the climbing resources in the New River Gorge and surrounding areas. New River Gorge Learning Co-op is a nonprofit organization formed and run by parents committed to being directly involved in their child’s education. Our goal is to provide a Montessori-based learning option in which children can grow and learn with ample opportunity for experiential outdoor and environmental education. Pre-K through 3rd grade are currently served. For more information, call 304-573-8113. Plateau Action Network is a citizen's coalition working within the community to promote responsible economic development and sustainable environmental management. Since 1998 PAN has been involved in a variety of projects and issues related to watersheds and the communities within them, varying from power line routes through scenic and sensitive areas, proposed gas line routes, water quality issues, long term planning efforts within the county (e.g. land use, zoning and building codes), and responsible economic development. For more information, visit Vibrant Health is a new non-profit organization created to improve the health and fitness of the community and provide additional recreational opportunities through fitness and aquatic programs, nutritional education, senior and youth programs and weight loss and lifestyle management. Vibrant Health’s first project is to build an indoor aquatic center in the Oak Hill/ Fayetteville area. They are seeking funding sources, monetary donations, and people interested in contributing to the success of the project. For additional information contact Debra Fragala Pories or Casey Gioeli at 304-465-3654.


Carnitas, with a Side of Achy Breaky Heart Restaurant


Appalachain Coffee & More 304-465-5000

138 Main St. West Oak H ill

Cathedral Cafe 304-574-0202

134 South Court Street Fayetteville

Chimney Corner 304-632-1230

15303 Midland Trail, 9 miles from Fayetteville on Route 60

Diogi's 304-574-3647

312 North Court Street Fayetteville

Dirty Ernie's Rib Pit 304-574-4822

310 Keller Ave Fayetteville

Gumbo's Cajun Restaurant 304-574-4704

103 South Court Street Fayetteville

Pies and Pints 304-574-2200

Rezan's Restaurant and Lounge 304-574-0848

Secret Sandwich Society 304-574-4777

Sedona Cantina & Tapas 304-574-3411

Clockwise from top: Diogi's dining room, SSS key lime pie, green benches outside Gumbo's, ceiling decorations at Dirty Ernie's, Mista salad from Vandalian, a sense of direction at Diogi's, a pie at Pies and Pints


100% recycled paper

Vandalian 304-574-6912

Wild Flour Bakery 304-574-0001

219 West Maple Ave. Fayetteville

722 Laurel Creek Road Fayetteville

103 1/2 Keller Ave. Fayetteville

Route 16, 1 1/2 miles from Fayetteville town center

101 South Court Street Fayetteville

105 West Maple Fayetteville

Where To Eat, What You Should Get Fare

Which Meals

Don't Miss

After-Meal Treat

Coffee House with sandwiches

breakfast & lunch; closed Sundays

The Coal Miner's Latte: mocha espresso with a surprise at the bottom

Good coffee in Oak Hill — need we say more?

Cafe Fare

breakfast & lunch

Sweet Potato Pancakes

Shopping for funky jewelry upstairs

"Casual Appalachian"

lunch & dinner; closed Mondays

Savory pulled pork sandwich with special sauce

Listening to banjo picking next to Big Creek at their open air amphitheater, without getting out of your seat

Mexican food

lunch & dinner

Carnitas: Deep fried pork with onions

American BBQ


Super tender Braciola, a savory rolled and stuffed filet mignon

Browsing local art across the road at Studio B

Cajun cuisine

lunch & dinner; brunch on Sun; closed Mondays

The Brie-topped Latin Quarter Burger heaped with sautéed onions

Sitting outside on a green bench next to kitschy ceramic frog, soaking in the dusk sky and hooting at your friends as they drive by

Pizza and beer

lunch & dinner

Scallion, bacon, gouda and chicken–topped Chicken Gouda Pie

A totally sweet playground for the kids; a raspberry Framboise for you

American fare, with International specials

lunch & dinner

Buffalo chicken dip—chicken wings without the messy fingers

Watching your main squeeze belt out Achy Breaky Heart at Saturday Night Karaoke

breakfast, lunch & dinner; closed Tuesdays

A key lime pie so wonderfully tart it'll make your jawbone tingle

Being in on the Secret

dinner; closed Wednesdays

Cajun Fire Sticks

A Flirtini

breakfast & lunch; dinner Fri. – Mon.

Chorizo, Egg & Cheese Sandwich

On Saturday mornings: Meeting the local farmer who owns the chickens that laid your eggs at the Farmers Market just down the street

breakfast & lunch; closed Sundays and Mondays

Blueberry cream cheese coffee cake

Sandwiches and homemade soups

Eclectic tapas

Contemporary American


Checking out all the funky dog tchotchkes

Crafts extravaganza at Ben Franklin's next door


Business Listings Art & Artisans

Health & Body  Sue Plumley

Food 

Certified: Energy Healer, Yoga Teacher, and Guided Meditation

Appalachian Coffee & More

Coffee Shop & WV Artisan Gallery 304-465-5000

138 Main St. W Oak Hill, WV 25901

•  • 304-673-4610 call for free consultation and pricing

Mountain Art Glass Stephanie Gasior Danz Stained Glass Artisan 304-574-2244 • (cell) 304-894-7905

Beauty Mountain Shri Yoga




304-574-0848 HOURS TUES–THURS. 10AM—12AM FRI–SAT 10AM—2AM

Custom Designed Panels and Windows Wedding Gifts • Corporate Gifts  Weekend Workshops by Request  • 304.640.2850 Still Life, Landscape, Abstracts Commissions Accepted

Outdoor Recreation

Erin Larsen


Holistic Health Coach &Yoga Instructor Personal and Group Yoga Instruction and Individualized Health Coaching 970-708-7947

Ocean's Massage Therapy Healing Body, Mind, & Spirit "Ocean"–Heather M. Terrio WV LMT # 2006-2249

P.O. Box 114 Fayetteville WV 25840

• Work for yourself? An ad in the Business Listings is an inexpensive way to get the word out about what you do. •






Ginger Danz ~ Artist

Country Antiques  Appalachian Crafts Gifts  Handmade Candles  and More! Carrying Gauley River Rustic Candles Rt. 129 W. off Rt. 19 • 535 Summersville Lake Rd. Mt. Nebo, WV 26679

(304) 872-4132 Open Sat. 11–6 or by appointment

To advertise in the New River Gorge Adventure Guide, contact or 304-573-8113.

Hundreds of miles of big whitewater and steep creeks, 63,000 acres of national park land, more than 1,400 established climbing routes, one of the most diverse ecosystems of the world, and miles and miles of trails to enjoy it by. Enjoy this issue, and keep your eyes open for the next—we are just getting started.

Business Listings






Live it Up Here




Professional Services

Locals Give It Up On Favorite Trails




(304) 465-1407 phone (304) 465-1491 fax

We ♥

the New River Gorge

Where To Eat After Takeout, Hike Out or Bike Out


New River Gorge Adventure Guide seeks to be the source for information on what to do and where to do it in the new river gorge and gauley river areas. look for your Free copy at restaurants, stores, visitors centers, rest stops, cabins, and hotels everywhere.

Fall/Gauley Season/Bridge Day issue coming soon!

GorGe Guide AdVeNTure

813 Main Street Oak Hill, WV

NeW riVer

Action Printing


Live it up Here

To advertise in the fall issue, contact or 304-573-8113

faxing • business cards • printing • copying • books • laminating

Rist Law Offices Fayetteville, WV

The New River Gorge Adventure Guide is written and published by local outdoor enthusiasts. Our audience is all those who love the outdoors and either live or play in the New and Gauley Rivers area or both. Looking for publishing experience? The Gorge Guide is seeking a part-time work-athome intern for 6 weeks in July and August, 2011. Email Editorial and Photo queries are welcome. Please send a brief description of your story idea or jpeg of photo you are submitting to

Help Wanted

Position: Preschool Teacher. A parent-run learning center in the New River Gorge Area is looking for an individual to serve as one of several children's guides in a Montessori-based experiential program. The ideal candidate loves children and has teaching experience with pre-K or early elementary age groups. He or she is curious about the world and is excited to work with children who are even more curious. This position is part-time only. Montessori training opportunities are provided. Interested parties contact: 304573-8113. 

1 million people visit the New River Gorge National River every year. Some come to look at the Bridge. Some come to paddle whitewater. Others come to climb the rocks. And still others come to commune with the barred owls and cedar waxwings. All want to know about your business. To advertise in the New River Gorge Adventure Guide, contact or 304-573-8113.


The New River begins in Watauga County, North Carolina, and flows north to Gauley Bridge, West Virginia, where it joins the Gauley River to form the Kanawha. It is considered by many to be the oldest river in North America. To submit a photograph for the Gallery, email a jpeg to

Photograph by Mike Turner

Hundreds of miles of big whitewater and steep creeks, 63,000 acres of national park land, more than 1,400 established climbing routes, one of the most diverse ecosystems of the world, and miles and miles of trails to enjoy it by. Enjoy this issue, and keep your eyes open for the next—we are just getting started.






Live it Up Here




Locals Give It Up On Favorite Trails




FILL THE VOID Where To Eat After Takeout, Hike Out or Bike Out


New River Gorge Adventure Guide seeks to be the source for information on what to do and where to do it in the new river gorge and gauley river areas. look for your Free copy at restaurants, stores, visitors centers, rest stops, cabins, and hotels everywhere.

Fall/Gauley Season/Bridge Day issue coming soon! AdVeNTure

NeW riVer

GorGe Guide Live it up Here

To advertise in the fall issue, contact or 304-573-8113

New River Gorge Adventure Guide  

what to do and where to do it in the New River Gorge and Gauley River recreational area of West Virginia

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