Southern WV in 2015 Best of the Blue Ridge

Southern West Virginia provides an enriching experience for you to explore and play, and our area is being recognized by Blue Ridge Outdoor Magazine’s annual list for Best of the Blue Ridge.

This list covers all the states in the Blue Ridge Mountains, stretching from Georgia to Pennsylvania. Southern West Virginia received 6 “Best Of” awards and 14 runner up awards for a total of 20 recognitions!

A "Grandview" of the New River

A “Grandview” of the New River

Here’s what made the spotlight:

Best River: New River

One of the oldest rivers in the world, the New River cuts through the Appalachian Mountains to create some of the best scenic views to be seen in West Virginia. These waters dig their way through the New River Gorge and churn downstream to provide some amazing water-based recreational fun. Fishing, swimming, boating and whitewater rafting are all things for you to enjoy along this natural, wild river.

Best Outfitter: Adventures on the Gorge

Adventures on the Gorge  will set you up for a great experience in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Get paired up with guides to show you some true hospitality around the area. They will make sure you are well-equipped by providing gear, food and a place to stay at the ready as you set out to conquer the mountains for sport or fun!

Best Climbing Guide: Elaina Arenz

Elaina Arenz, has scaled her way to the top as a climbing icon at home and worldwide. She has pushed her passion and come to be known widely as female climbing icon through her work and ability to teach others. As the owner and operator of New River Mountain Guides, Arenz works hard to motivate and teach students on how to be well-rounded climbers through a professional and warm approach. The “Coolest Small Town” of Fayetteville is one of her hometowns and where she spends her summers.

Best Restaurant: Pies and Pints

If you’re hungry and tired of exploring, then you should sit yourself down at this gourmet pizza place called Pies & Pints in Fayetteville, W.Va. They have the best original selections to settle your stomach, and also a good selection of craft brews to complement them. Some of their specialty selections include the Chicken Gouda and the Grape Gorgonzola.

Best Paddling Event: GauleyFest

For one weekend, paddlers from all across the country travel to the Gauley River to celebrate GauleyFest, an event that highlights the river’s whitewater. It has grown to be one of the largest paddling festivals in the world! Paddlers of all sorts jump into this river for a chance to rock over the lower class III-IV and the upper class IV-V rapids.

Wildest Outdoor Event: GauleyFest

As the night comes to a close, paddlers and many other visitors take part in a loud and rowdy event that includes live entertainment, drinking and plenty of other fun activities to get involved in!

Runner Ups

While these were considered the best of the Blue Ridge, there were plenty of other runner ups from southern West Virginia. These 14 runner up titles prove how much Southern West Virginia has to offer:



For what other reasons do you think these destinations, businesses, people, foods, and events deserve to be recognized?