10 Best Adventure Resolutions to Try in 2014

2013 is nearly gone; time to start looking ahead. Bridge Day fans, are you ready for a little adventure this year?

Of course you are. Adventure is what it’s all about. Break out from the crowd and seek some thrills of your own this year, from a simple challenge to a heart-racing expedition.

Rappel in 2014

Rappelling at Bridge Day.

Pick and choose the challenges that suit your skills or courage levels, or complete them all here in the New River Gorge Bridge area.

Here are the top 10 adventures to try this year:

10. Explore a New Town

Start simple by stepping out of your comfort zone. Find somewhere new and intriguing to discover. How about a spot with some character? Wander through downtown Fayetteville. Challenge yourself to chat with some locals at your lunch stop. Ask them what to see, and let their suggestions guide your afternoon.

9. Slide Down the Appalachian Range

Meet the mountains in the wintertime! Once the snow starts falling, the sportsmen strap on skis and snowboards and take on WV’s wild terrain with fluid precision. Join them on the slopes at Winterplace and tackle some of the most challenging runs. Or, if you’re new to snow sliding, take beginners lessons to learn all you need to slip round on the bunny slopes.

8. Skydive Solo

Taking a tandem leap from a plane hundreds of feet to the ground takes guts enough, but if you’re game, you can follow that up with a solo jump. With the right training (and of course a trial run strapped to a pro), many skydiving schools will let you parachute without being strapped on.

7. Flip a full 180 above the clouds

Of course, you don’t have to be leaping from the plane to have a thrill ride. Wild Blue’s WWII biplanes will take you on a stunt-filled soar through the skies. Strap in and enjoy flips and loops right from your seat, no jump required.

6. Hit 60 mph on a Zipline

There’s nothing like whipping across the skyline with no engine, and no seat. Just you and a harness. Did you know that you can even fly at 60 mph or more, only 5 minutes or so from the Bridge Day site? The longest zipline on the East Coast is the Gravity Adrena-Line at Adventures on the Gorge. It’s got a double line, so race your friends, then reward yourself with a gourmet meal overlooking the New River Gorge Bridge.

5. Take on a Class V Whitewater Rapid

Some of the best whitewater in the world churns right below Bridge Day’s BASE jumpers. In fact, some of them land right in it. The New River’s intense Lower run will challenge beginners and skilled rafters alike, hitting a few of the highest-ranked rapids you’ll find, class V’s. Up the ante with a small, swifter raft.

Or go really, really big. The Gauley River, also here in the New River Gorge, is one of the world’s top 10 rafting rivers. It’s only open in September and October, and only for a few days oaf each month. The Summersville dam releases a raging flow of water that swells the rapids into the monsters known as the “Big 5″ class 5 rapids, world-renowned for their unique and challenging waves.

4. Mountain Bike Wild Forest Terrain

Just like riding a bike… but not like you’re used to. At all. Taking your wheels off-road and into the root-mangled trails of the West Virginia wilderness is something else entirely. You’ll want to gear up, ’cause the downhill terrain flies at you, the uphill is pedaling through the sifting dirt, and both are littered with natural obstacles to overcome.

3. Highline into a National Treasure

Think you like zip lining? What about taking off from an iconic architectural marvel and into a nationally-cherished landscape? The highline from the New River Gorge Bridge swoops steeply into the canyon below for a flight you won’t forget.

2. Rappel from the Hemisphere’s 2nd Biggest

The New River Gorge Bridge is the 2nd largest single-span steel arch bridge in the Western hemisphere. Imagine what it’s like to climb down from that, into the sweeping New River Gorge below. Every year, Bridge Day rappellers get the unique chance to do just that. You have to round up some experience, and be ready for such a long fall, but if you started now, you could be one of the very few to experience this one-of-a-kind rappel this October.

1. Get your BASE “S”

There’s nothing quite as intense, or as rewarding, as BASE jumping. Of the 4 types of objects you can jump from, S, span (bridges!), is one of the more difficult to achieve. Bridge Day only happens once a year, but it’s an opportunity for many jumpers to knock out their span leap, and for many new jumpers to take a safe first jump.

Again, a lot goes into this resolution if you decide to go for it this year. You’ll need at least 100 parachutes under your belt first. But you can make it before October if you plan now!

What adventures are you resolving to try in 2014?

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Justin Ferrell