New River Gorge growing more popular as winter retreat

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Beneath a blanket of new-fallen snow, a cabin at River Expeditions’s outdoor-adventure resort awaits guests.

In search of a cozy cabin? The New River Gorge has become an increasingly popular winter retreat for travelers in search of cabin lodging, natural beauty, and plenty of great food.

Off-season rates combined with world-renowned hiking trails, rock-climbing areas, and restaurants are attracting more vacationers every year, says Heather Johnson of River Expeditions, an outdoor-adventure resort that’s also among the Mountain State’s chief whitewater-rafting outfitters.

River Expeditions ideal for family fun.

Johnson’s 100-acre resort in the woodlands near Fayetteville, West Virginia, has become a destination for off-season getaways, especially where outdoor recreation is concerned. “People are discovering the New River region in West Virginia as a winter destination in a way they hadn’t before, and we’re more than happy to tuck them into a cozy cabin here at the resort for the week,” Johnson said.

More than a hundred miles of trail wander through the gorge’s snowy uplands and warmer lowlands in winter — including the National Park Service’s Endless Wall Trail, which was ranked No. 1 in the nation by USA Today.

Award-winning, independent restaurants in the Fayetteville area are also a strong draw. Ten remarkable restaurants operate within ten miles of River Expeditions, Johnson said, while the area is also peppered with most national fast-food and sit-down restaurants. “At least as far as our resort goes, you’re very centrally located, and you’re less than a mile off the U.S. 19 expressway,” she said.

at the resort are within a stone’s throw of its Fire Creek Lodge & Conference Center, tucked into woodland coves away from the resort center. They are available at 50 percent off the regular rates November through March, and vacations receive the fourth consecutive night free. The resort’s meeting facilities, ideal for parties and business retreats, are open through the winter, and its massage studio is open year-round by appointment.

Johnson says she expects the New River Gorge region to continue to attract off-season lodging, especially in light of the potential for the National Park Service to designate the New River Gorge National River as a national park.

Family relaxes in private hot tub

“So if you’re hoping to enjoy the intimacy of the national parkland here in winter, make sure to put a vacation on your bucket list now.”

For more information on the resort and its amenities, visit their website at .

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