Outdoor Pursuit Center

New River Gorge Fall Break Trip

Have  you ever wanted to brave class 5 rapids, hike to gorgeous sunset views, and experience the third tallest bridge in the United States all in one weekend?  Well that’s just what the folks from the New River Gorge Fall Break Trip were able to accomplish.  The participants of this Outdoor Pursuit Center trip took full advantage of their time in the area considered the Grand Canyon of the East.

While its name suggests youth, the New River is actually one of North America’s oldest rivers and its banks are home to ancient boulders.  This is where participants tried their hand (and feet) at bouldering-rock climbing at low heights without harnesses or ropes.   Later in the day, they experienced these rock formations in another way while on the water.  They loaded rafts with some of the most entertaining raft guides they could find and powered their way down the rapids of the Lower New River.  With the sun overhead and not a cloud in the sky, it was perfect weather for rafting and occasional swimming in the river.   the next day allowed participants to experience the river from high above.  They found multiple hikes around the rim of the gorge with picturesque overlooks and breath-taking views.   The highlight of day two was the hike to Long Point to watch the sunset behind the trees just beyond the 876ft. tall New River Gorge Bridge.

After each day filled with adventures, each night concluded around a campfire with stories and laughter under the stars.  Participants walked away from this trip with new skills, new and deepened friendships, and new memories of a beautiful land not so far away.

 

By Bridget Oliver

 


Backpacking The Cranberry Wilderness 

The Cranberry Wilderness. The crown jewel of West Virginia’s 919,000 acre Monongahela National Forest. It’s like stepping back in time: trails are small and unmarked, wildlife are not habituated to humans, and cell phones are useless due to the dense canopy overhead. This is the site of one the Outdoor Pursuit Center’s Fall Break trips that ran this past weekend. Did it live up to the hype?

“There is something about being out in the middle of nowhere that refreshes my soul.” – Cole Baker

Participants hiked a total of 23.5 miles over 2.5 days. The days were long and challenging, but participants were rewarded with beautiful backcountry campsites near waterfalls and trickling streams. We spent time on the trail getting to know each other, playing games, and telling stories. Our nightly entertainment was sitting around a campfire, with our dinner in hand, telling more stories and playing card games.

Luckily the weather was perfect, with only rain on the night we arrived which didn’t affect us. There were no bugs the entire trip too.

The students got a chance to explore a new place and a new activity. They developed old friendships and started new ones. They’re leaving with a truly unique experience.

By Zach Cross