Trail weekend at Gorge resort attracting more participants

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New River overlook at ACE Adventure Resort, New River Gorge
New River overlook at ACE Adventure Resort

OAK HILL, W.Va. — Now in its eleventh year, the annual trail maintenance weekend at ACE Adventure Resort on April 26-27 is attracting more participants than ever, in large part because the event has become a tradition, officials say. Sixty-six volunteers and counting are signed up to prep the trails for another season of hiking, biking, and racing, but additional help is welcome, event organizers say.

Volunteers who register in advance receive free cabin lodging on Saturday and Sunday nights and complimentary rental bikes for evening rides.

More than 25 miles of trail network within the 1,500-acre resort wander across upland ridges and descend the flanks of the New River Gorge, and maintaining them is no easy task, according to Daniel Rieger, organizer of the trail maintenance event.

Adding more emphasis to its hiking and biking programs, Rieger said, the resort has allocated additional resources to the effort, including the rebuild of the resort’s infamous rim-to-river Rigormortis Trail, which plunges nearly headlong down into the gorge.

“It’s an incredibly steep trail, but there are a lot of hardcore mountain bikers who have ridden it, and I know they’ve been waiting to see it re-opened,” Rieger said.

Beth Gill, communications director for the resort, said the decade-long tradition of opening the trails with a fun weekend outdoors has made it an event, dramatically increasing attendance.

Gill said volunteers will be expected to work Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., during which lunch will be provided, and Sunday 9 a.m. to noon.

Established in 1980 as American-Canadian Expeditions, ACE hosts more than 50,000 rafters annually on the New and Gauley rivers and offers more than a dozen additional outdoor recreation venues, including zip lining, rock climbing and paintball.

The resort was designated the largest adventure resort in North America by The Travel Channel based on the number of guests it accommodates, the number of adventures it provides and the size of its facility. For more information or to register for the program, call 1-800-787-3982 or visit ACERaft.com.