Explore the New River Gorge while becoming a New River Gorge National Junior Ranger! Start your adventures at any national park visitor center where you can pick up a Junior Ranger book. Once you have your book there are a few requirements you must complete in order to earn a New River Gorge National River Junior Ranger badge. When you are finished with your book you can turn it into a park ranger. This is a fun hands-on way for kids to learn about the national river. Check and see if there are any special activities planned while you are visiting.
A favorite activity for all ages is the Hawks Nest Jet Boat ride with Captain Rick. Enjoy a scenic tram ride down into the gorge and check out the waterfalls on the Hawks Nest Rail Trail. Stop by the nature center and get hands with animal tracks. Speak with the parks onsite naturalist and check for daily programs and activities. After your jet boat adventures travel just a few miles down the road and defy gravity at the Mystery Hole.
Play a round of mini-golf, grab some ice cream and mine for gemstones all at one stop at Mountain Lake Campground.
If you have children who are too young to join you for adventure activities, you can sign them up for Kids Camp where they can play, do arts and crafts, go on scavenger hunts, and swim while you are adventuring. Children as young as 4 years old can participate on Timber Trek, a high ropes course/ challenge course with varying levels for all ages. Older kids will love the Tree Tops Canopy Tour and Gravity Zipline tours.
The Historic Ansted Roller Rink is one of the region’s best-kept secrets. Climb down 78 stairs to this hidden gem. This open-air rink has been named one of the most unique skating rinks in the U.S.
6.Explore Around Town
Enjoy a stroll around town and stop by The Stache for ice cream or cool toys. If you work up an appetite Pies & Pints is a favorite family restaurant with a playground and arcade games on site. Burn off some energy at the Fayetteville Town Park. Enjoy a family hike on one of the nature trails or check out the skate park. The kids will love Playetteville, a nature-themed playground with a spinning mushroom, an ant hill, and beehives to climb on.
7.Hit the water
You need to get your feet wet. Most of the rafting companies have trips on the Upper New where children 6 and up can join in on the fun. Children 10 and up can step up the adventure with a family raft trip on the Lower New making whitewater memories that will last a lifetime. For laid back fun, take the kids for a day at the beach at Summersville Lake. There are lots of places to fish along the New River and several area streams. Stand Up Paddle Boarding is fun for all ages with Mountain Surf Paddle Sports.
Arrowhead bike farm is designed as a rolling loop trail system ranging in difficulty from easy to more advanced trails. This is a great place for beginners to try mountain biking on their beginner trails. Arrowhead also offers mountain bike rentals and instruction on site.
Fayetteville and the New River Gorge area are a hiker’s paradise. Stop by the Fayetteville Visitors Center and we will hook you up with a trail guide and point you in the right direction for trails that match your families pace.
ACE Adventure Resort is home of the Wonderland Waterpark. Climb giant inflatables and jump into the lake, ride waterslides, zip over the lake, or launch your family of the giant BLOB. There is also a beach area for younger children and relaxing.
11. Rock Climbing
The New River Gorge is known for phenomenal rock climbing with a variety of routes for different skill levels making it a great place to learn how to rock climb.
Looking for some rainy day fun? Take a 30-minute drive to Beckley to visit the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine and Youth Museum. You can tour an underground mine and experience the rich history of coal in West Virginia. The youth museum houses several interactive exhibits and a planetarium.
Check our events page for family friendly events, camps, and activities happening in Fayetteville.