Finally— early spring adventures are here!

Winter is slacking off, and none too soon. The earliest whitewater trips and aerial activities are either here (right now!) or around the corner, so grab a calendar. Spring break starts now!

Early spring

Whitewater rafting ranks as Southern West Virginia’s top recreational pursuit, and no wonder. Folks travel the world to play on the New and Gauley Rivers.

Now is the earliest you can sign up for guided trips, too.  ACE Adventure Resort greets the season with its Rapid Run Special — a half-day tour on the feisty Lower New River. This is a real treat; thunderous Class III-V waves and tricky currents make this stretch one of America’s best. And for $59, you can ride the first waves of the season, too.

April whitewater previews

As the season progresses, so do the rapids — and the trips!

ACE’s Spring Double Dare Package takes advantage of the Lower New’s increasing force. In fact, the waves are so deliciously rambunctious, you get to ride ‘em twice! In between, you’ll camp deep in the canyon and get satisfying meals, too. Trips in April cost $139.

The Midweek Adventure Special from ACE is even more affordable. For a full or half day, pound through the Lower New or enjoy the milder Upper New. Then, go ziplining! This $89 offer is good Tues-Thurs from April 1-May 14.

Adventures on the Gorge (AOTG) inaugurates its whitewater season with trips in the Lower New, too. Guided adventures cost $99 in April, when spring rains swell the rapids. Now that’s real bang for your buck!

Adrena-line – Adventures on the Gorge Photo: Facebook

Air-to-air adrenaline

Some zip lines stay open all year, but some of the best rides are seasonal.

Starting April 1, Gravity Zip Lines at AOTG rushes to the scene. It’s the home of Adrena-Line, one of the East Coast’s fastest. You’ll probably hit 60+ mph as you flash along its 3,150-foot length. That’s not all, either. Try the 1.5-mile-long course and see which zip is your favorite!

AOTG’s TimberTrek Adventure Park also opens in April. Jiggly bridges, platforms, ladders, zips, and swings fill the aerial complex. As you pick your way above the forest floor, see if you can detect the most efficient way to the end. Not everything is what it appears to be.

For a taste of everything, check out River Expeditions. Its canopy tours combine thrills with serene forest overlooks. With a guide, you’ll clamber over net climbs, sky bridges, and aerial platforms. There’s also a rappel station and several zip lines, including The Ridges — one of the region’s newest. Along the way, you’ll probably spot wildlife from your sky-high perches.

How do you like to spend spring break in Southern West Virginia?