10 Winter ‘Hot Spots’ in the New River Gorge

When the swell of whitewater settles and the river tourists head home, some of the doors around the Gorge swing closed for the season. But most knuckle down for the long haul, and some are even excited to usher in the winter chills. Here are 10 of the wintertime hotspots that keep the fire burning when the Gorge cools down.

10. Historic Fayette Theater

An award-winning cast of characters regularly take the stage, reawakening the vigor of the aging 30's film house. The Historic Fayette Theater's season lasts well into the winter months, with Christmas and New Year's Eve events on the calendar every year.

9. Ziplining

A summer or fall zip is nothing compared to flying above the powder-capped wilderness. It's the frosting atop your visual treat of outdoor gorge-ousness— zooming through the frozen branches, overlooking the white-glazed landscape. Take in the whole scene with a multi-zip tour on Treetops Canopy Tour or Ace's zip tour.

8. Whipple Company Store

Step inside the wooden bones of a coal community— the most telling remains of a lifestyle bound  to an employer. The only resource offered to the mining families, the Whipple Company Store was the sole provider of everything from candy to caskets, making it the most telling picture of the mining family existence. Check for reduced hours in the winter.

7.  Diogi's

Delight your dog by adding a pooch-friendly eatery to your itinerary. Diogi's (D-O-G, get it?) artfully blends the finest ingredients into Latin cuisine even your most obedient four-legged friend will beg for. The pup-themed margaritas include jalapeno or the special K-9 recipe, served in a dog bowl for sharing. You'll often find live music and dancing lessons here in the winter as well.

6. BridgeWalk

Bridge Day isn't the only time you can get an aerial view of the Gorge. Strap in and stroll the catwalk that stretches across the bridge's underbelly, and feel the vibrations of passing traffic as you take in the scene safely from more than 800 feet in the air.

5.  Burning Rock

The mountain terrain is always a perfect place to play! Get your 4-wheels spinning and hit the trails! Rev up on your off-road adventure through Burning Rock's extensive trail system. Trails have been under rehab, but will be reopening soon.

4. Tamarack

Mountain State ingenuity always keeps the creativity pumping. Tamarack showcases the state's most artful innovations, with top crafters coming together in one spot to share their work. Find the most unique of West Virginia, including the top-tier of traditional Appalachian crafts like woven baskets and hand-blown glass.

3. Wild Blue Adventure Company

Because the overview of the Gorge is so breathtaking, there are several ways, and several heights, to choose from. Get over the trees, above the bridge and atop the skies with Wild Blue Adventure Company. Get the real bird's eye view from a WWII biplane, and fuel your winter warm up with adrenaline-inducing aviation acrobatics.

2. Blue Smoke Salsa

Peek behind the curtain of WV's tastiest attraction, Blue Smoke Salsa. When soon-to-be entrepreneur Robin Hildebrand started selling out of her kettle-cooked salsas, she decided she was on to something. Now a state staple, Blue Smoke offers tours where you can learn their story, watch the team in action, and get a sample of the delicious results.

1.  Winterplace Ski Resort

We couldn't talk about wintertime at the Gorge without mentioning its central snowy season hub. Winterplace Ski Resort not only boasts slopes to suit any skill level, but also activities for any level of adventurer. Up the ante with a snowboard, or calm it down with a snow-tubing ride. There's something for everyone in the family.

What's your favorite winter 'hotspot' in the New River Gorge?