A new rock climbing area is drawing more outdoor recreation to New Martinsville, West Virginia, and Wetzel County, already known for their fishing, kayaking, and recreational boating.
Tourism officials in northern West Virginia say the climbing area, on which 22 routes have been established, is a sign of increased outdoor-adventure energy in the upper valley of the Ohio River.
Known as the Kiedasch Wall, the climbing area is part of the largest sheer rock face in the region and has long been known for its views of the valley, afforded from Kiedasch Point, a favorite overlook and picnic area for generations.
Holly Morgan, president of the Wetzel County Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the community looks forward to welcoming more climbers and other adventurers.
"A day of climbing, a visit to the Wetzel County Museum, maybe some fishing on the Ohio, then dinner at one of our restaurants or dessert at the new Stalder Family Creamery—we'd be happy to help make this an outstanding outdoor-adventure experience," Morgan said.
Jesse Mestrovic, parks and recreation director for the City of Wheeling and a member of the advisory committee for West Virginia Explorer Magazine, says the Kiedaisch Wall is one of the most inviting climbing areas in the region, only an hour-and-forty-five minutes southwest of Pittsburgh, Pa.
"Climbing is gaining popularity, thanks to the rise of outdoor recreation. Millennials are experience-driven creatures, and this sport fits that niche. The Adventure Park at Grand Vue Park in Moundsville and Ascend Climbing Gym in Pittsburgh have really energized the industry in this region, Mestrovic wrote in an article about the wall at Ohio Valley Adventure.
The “Mountain Project” app shows 22 routes of various levels and climbing styles, 4.3 percent of which are top-rope, 52.2 percent of which are traditional routes, and 43.5 percent of which are sport routes.
The wall is accessible from Ohio Route 7, on which plenty of space for parking is afforded. Climbers should follow the marked Kiedaisch Wall Trail for about a quarter-mile uphill to the crag.
The trail splits at the cliff, Mestrovic said. The right side follows the rock face, and the left gently climbs uphill, providing excellent access for securing top ropes above the cliff.
For more information on visiting New Martinsville and exploring Wetzel County, visit Visit Wetzel County.
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