WHAT TO DO FOR FUN
OVERVIEW OF THE AREA
Carnifex Ferry Cabins is located two minutes from Summerville Lake. It is an ideal jumping-off point for outdoor adventure, fun in the lake and rivers, and dining destinations. The cabins are ideally situated between the towns of Summersville and Fayetteville. These towns provide everything you need to have a great vacation in our quiet forest setting.
There are so many things to do in the New River Gorge! From our famous white-water rafting to sunbathing by the lake, you’ll never run out of hiking trails or outdoor fun. Here are some of our favorites.
We’re lucky to have two rivers featuring world-class white-water rafting right on our doorstep. The New River is calmer and more suited to beginners and those looking for a fun but not-too-crazy time. The Gauley (particularly the Upper Gauley) is famous for its Class III to V rapids. Check out the trips offered by:
River Expeditions: https://raftinginfo.com/adventures/white-water-rafting-west-virginia/
1-(800)-463-9873. 900 Broadway Ave, Oak Hill, WV 25901.
Adventures on the Gorge: https://adventuresonthegorge.com/adventures/whitewater-rafting/
If you’ve brought your own boat, the closest ramp from which to launch your boat is in Battleground Campground, about 2 minutes drive from the cabins. The address is 2981 Summersville Lake Rd, Summersville, and customer service can be reached at 1-(888)-445-1474.
The closest place to rent a boat is at Summersville Lake Retreat. They’ve got pontoon boats, single kayaks, tandem kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddleboards for rent.
1-(304)-872-5975.278 Summersville Lake Road, Mt. Nebo, WV 26679.
You can also head over to Sarge’s Dive Shop at the Summersville Lake Marina.
For serious adrenaline junkies, the bridge-walk is a must-do. Bridge Walk offers guided tours of the New River Gorge Bridge (876 feet above the New River) from the catwalk beneath the Bridge.
The catwalk is a mere 24 inches wide! Bridge Walk guests walk the entire 3,030-foot length of the Bridge. https://bridgewalk.com/
1-(304)-574-1300.57 Fayette Mine Road, Lansing, West Virginia 25862.
WEST VIRGINIA - MADE SHOPPING
Just outside the downtown area of Fayetteville is Dove’s Village, a collection of lovely shops featuring charming home decor of all sorts. Within the same complex is a shop featuring WV-made products, as well as the Wild Mountain Soap Company.
Gauley River Pottery is a working pottery studio where hand-crafted pieces of art are made and sold. Hours vary, so call ahead.
1-(304)-872-2841.526 W. Mount Lookout Road, Mount Lookout, WV 26678.
Tamarack is a unique shopping destination featuring the best of West Virginia artisans at work.It contains thousands of hand-crafted works of art, along with a popular cafeteria-style food hall.It’s a bit of a drive, but worth a visit.
1-(888)-262-7225.1 Tamarack Pl, Beckley, WV 25801.
WINE TASTING AND WHISKEY TOUR
Kirkwood Winery offers tours and tastings of traditional grape varietal wine, as well as fruit and vegetable wines. Isaiah Morgan Distillery, home of West Virginia’s first mini-distillery, is available for touring as well.
In the heart of Fayetteville lies the home of terrifying Escape Games. Test your skills against the clock…and the monsters.
SCUBA DIVING AND SNORKELING
Summersville Lake is sometimes known as “The Little Bahamas of the East.” Sarge’s Dive Shop will take you on scuba, snorkeling and swimming trips. You can also rent pontoon boats, kayaks, and paddle boards here.
Zip lining is a popular and thrilling way to see the scenery. If you’re feeling brave, you can try the Gravity Zipline, which is longer than the New River Gorge bridge and routinely reaches speeds of 60 mph. Take a look at:
Adventures on the Gorge: https://adventuresonthegorge.com/adventures/zip-line-aerial-adventures/gravity-zip-lines/
1-(855)-379-8738. 219 Co Rte. 60/5, Lansing, WV 25862.
- Ace Adventures: https://aceraft.com/product/zip-line-canopy-tour/
1-(877)-787-3982. 1 Concho road, Oak Hill, WV 25901.
To understand the history of West Virginia, learning about coal mining is a must. Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine is listed on the National Register of Historic Sites. The main attraction is a ride on a “man car” 1500 feet beneath the hillside of the New River Park to the old working areas of the coal mine and back. Tour guides are experienced veteran coal miners that explain the history of coal mining.
1-(304)-256-1747.513 Ewart Ave., Beckley, WV 25801.
Carnifex Ferry Battleground State Park is walking distance from the cabins, right up Carnifex Ferry Road. The park is recognized as part of the Civil War Discovery Trail which links more than 300 sites in 16 states. In addition to miles of hiking trails, the park contains the Patterson House Museum.
The museum was built in the 1850s by Mr. Henry Patterson, whose house was caught between two opposing armies during the Battle of Carnifex Ferry.
The museum houses relics relating to the Civil War and period life and a small gift shop. The structure still bears scars of the small but significant Civil War battle.
1-(304)-872-0825. 1194 Carnifex Ferry Rd, Summersville, WV 26651.
See the spectacular New River Gorge Bridge from below in a breath-taking fast jet boat ride. As a bonus, you get to ride a tram in Hawk’s Nest State Park to the jet boat launch site.
Want to view the New River Gorge from the sky? Why not enjoy a thrilling bi-plane ride with Wild Blue Adventures? Five minutes from the New River Gorge Bridge.
BEAUTIFUL PARKS AND VIEWS
Canyon Rim Visitors Center is a must-do for anyone visiting the New River Gorge. This stunning site offers views of the gorge stretching for miles, as well as an unparalleled view of the New River Gorge Bridge (pictured below). Videos explain the creation of the bridge, and the experienced staff will answer any question you have about the Gorge.
1-(304)-574-2115.162 Visitor Center Road, Lansing, WV 25862.
Hawk’s Nest State Park is a 270-acre recreational area with a nature museum, aerial tramway, jet boat rides, hiking trails and one of the most challenging white-water boating waterways in the nation. Located about 10 miles north of the New River Gorge Bridge, Hawks Nest is known for its scenic overlook, which provides a bird’s eye view of the rugged New River Gorge National River below.
Babcock State Park, with its4,127 acres of rhododendron-lined trails and rippling, rock-strewn streams, is one of West Virginia’s most iconic locations. Located 20 miles south of the New River Gorge Bridge, the park is most known for the Glade Creek Grist Mill (pictured below), a fully functional replica of the original Cooper’s Mill, located nearby. Other attractions include recreational activities like hiking, fishing, and boating.
1-(304)-438-3004. 486 Babcock Road, Clifftop, WV 25831.