Confirmed: NRG is Definitely a "Best of the Blue Ridge"

When Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine asked its readers to chime in on the best local hotspots, adrenaline-pumping adventures and secret sunset spots, they heard a whole lot of “New River Gorge!” Rivaling a 10-state region, the NRG definitely proved itself as a Blue Ridge favorite.

Paddling WV

Locals have endless admiration for the centerpiece of our lovely gorge; but it turns out we aren’t the only ones making eyes at the Gauley River. Its out-of-this-world hydraulics framed by stunning cliff lines earned it the title of Best Paddling River.

A giant party celebrating said river, Gauley Fest, was also crowned the Rowdiest Fest. What can we say? Wild water draws out some wild people.

Speaking of wild people, the folks at Adventures on the Gorge sure know how to have some fun. They came in 2nd as the Best Raft Guide Company and the Best Zipline.

If you’re some sort of superhuman and want to bike 15 miles to the river, where you will find 3 Class 5 rapids over a 7-mile paddle, and THEN run 6.5 miles back up the steep gorge walls, then the Captain Thurmond’s New River Gorge Challenge is all yours. It was voted Best Triathlon for producing an insane amount of blood, sweat, tears and cries of joys (at the finish line, of course).

The unusually clear Summersville Lake raked in title of Best Flatwater, and for good reason. Summersville Lake has got it all: kayaking, SUP, boating, swimming, camping, rock climbing, SCUBA diving and a lighthouse. Yeah, you read that right. Summersville Lake is home to the only working lighthouse in West Virginia.

Our tiny towns have developed quite an elite taste, churning out some of the best food in the entire mid-Atlantic. The small and evidently not-so-secret sandwich shop, Secret Sandwich Society, took home Best Restaurant and Best Lunch.

Vandal’s Kitchen, which boasts “honest food,” was awarded Best Breakfast. You might want to stop in after a long night engaging in Fayetteville’s award-winning “nefarious activities” for a locally-sourced hangover cure.

And would you believe the Best Burritos in an entire 10-state region were hiding right under your nose at The Burrito Bar in Lansing? Well, we’d venture to say that if you’ve eaten there, you’d wholeheartedly agree.

As a whole, the New River Gorge was voted Best Place to Play Hooky. After reviewing our accolades, we think you’re going to need to call in a lot longer than one day to pack in all the fun.

Sam Babcock