Stephen McDaniel, director of the state Division of Natural Resources, heralded the zip-line network as among the world's most fantastic canopy-tour venues and thanked the state's governor for emphasizing tourism as a leading industry.
"Thanks to his leadership, we’re able to diversify our parks system and add out-of-this-world recreation opportunities for our park visitors and guests.”
McDaniel joined in a ribbon-cutting with Tourism Commissioner Chelsea Ruby, State Parks Chief Sam England, and Paul Buechler of ACE Adventure Resort, which operates the zipline.
“Since Day One on the job, Governor Justice has charged me with finding ways to improve our parks, and he has been involved every step of the way in this project," McDaniel said.
The partnership with the resort, based on the New River Gorge, represents a new era in recreation at West Virginia State Parks that focuses on family-friendly activities to draw a new generation of visitors.
ACE has other projects in the works at Pipestem, including an adventure lake and splash park, rock climbing and rappelling instruction, kayaking and paddle-board tours, guided mountain bike excursions, and tubing and whitewater adventures. Guided fishing trips on the Bluestone River began earlier this spring.
Tourism Commissioner Chelsea Ruby said the partnership demonstrates the state's commitment to bolstering tourism.
“This world-class zipline will make this beloved park into an even more popular tourist destination," Ruby said, "and I can’t wait to get more visitors to come and experience these almost-heaven adventures.”
The Pipestem Peaks canopy tour spans more than 1.5 miles of ziplines and crosses the Bluestone Gorge three times. The tour soars more than 300 feet above the river valley and can reach speeds up to 50 miles per hour. At the end of the tour, riders can return from the gorge via the park’s iconic tram.
Overall, the adventure takes between 2 to 3.5 hours to complete, including the gear-up process, training, and transportation. This one-of-a-kind course was designed by Bonsai Design of Grand Junction, Colorado, a leading company in zipline construction.
The zipline is just one part of an $11 million investment at Pipestem Resort State Park. Pipestem is also undergoing extensive improvements to its cabins, lodge, campgrounds, water treatment facility and tram, all designed to improve the visitor experience.
Guests can reserve their room, cabin, campsite, and zipline tour on the recently launched online booking engine at wvstateparks.com.
The zipline is set to officially open for public tours Saturday, May 11. To celebrate the grand opening, customers can receive $15 off a zipline tour when they book online with the code ZIPLINE15.
For more details and to sign up to receive additional offers and promotions, visit wvstateparks.com.