How to use this site
The purpose of this web site is to provide information about outdoor recreation activities that are in West Virginia or in close proximity to WV communities. The information provided is basic in form and is not intended to take the place of detailed guide books or personal knowledge. Instead, this information is meant to give insight to residents and those traveling to WV about all of the great outdoor recreation opportunities available to them. More detailed information that can be used to do trip planning may be found in many of the books and web sites included in this guide.
The majority of locations included are public land (national forest, national park, state parks and forests, and city or county parks), but there are some private business locations included (ski resorts, commercial caverns). These business are included based on the reality that, for the most part, the activity can only take place in this commercial setting.
Web Site Navigation
There are two main ways to navigate throughout this site. The first is by the activity lists (on the left side of this page). If you know you want to do a specific activity and want to see all of the locations for that activity located in the site, this is the way you will want to navigate. There are 12 activity categories (Backpacking, Bicycling, Camping, Canoeing, Caving, Cross Country Skiing, Downhill Skiing, Hiking, Mountain Biking, Rock Climbing, Swimming Holes, Whitewater).
The second way to navigate this site is by the Maps Page (on the right side of this page). If you are going to visit a specific area (The Eastern Panhandle of WV) and you want to see what activities are in that area, this is the way for you to navigate this site. The Google Map allows you to see the whole area – West Virginia, Western Maryland and Southwest Pennsylvania, or “zoom in” to more specific locations to see detail. If you want to navigate specific activities, just click on the name of the activity you are interested in on the bottom of the page. When you click on an icon, a box appears that has a link to the text page for that specific activity and location.
Each site specific page has basic information including a description, directions, address, phone, email, web resources, and book resources for that specific site.
If there are any comments, if any information is found to be incorrect on this site or if anyone has pictures of specific locations that they would like to donate to be used, email Serena at Alex.Kew@mail.wvu.edu
Traveling to Outdoor Locations
(mountain road navigation)
The directions to each site are located in this web guide, however, it is important that anyone driving to these sites takes the time and effort to look at road maps for navigation purposes. Do not just rely on Google directions. The official state maps will not be sufficient for navigating to many of the outdoor locations. Country roads (one lane paved roads), and gravel roads are common and will be necessary to travel on to get to many of the sites in this guide. There are also a few 4×4 roads as well. Most of these roads will not have good signs (if any at all), so it is important to bring along good maps. The DeLorme Gazetteer is available for each state and includes all of these small roads. USGS topographic maps are even more detailed and can be handy in the trickiest road navigation situations.
Knowledge, Skills and Preparation
The information in this guide is offered so that people who are interested in doing private outdoor trips can get the information that they need to make good judgments about visiting a specific spot and to help plan a trip. It is important that people who do private outdoor trips have knowledge of and experience with the skills needed to participate in an activity and understand that it is their responsibility to make appropriate decisions based on these skills. This guide and other guide resources (web sites and books) include information pertaining to the difficulty level (ie whitewater class system I-V+) of a specific site. Please take into account the difficulty level when deciding to take part in a specific activity. If you are unsure of the skills needed to participate in an activity, then you should either find another person who can teach you or go to a professional guide service to learn these skills. Reference the Education & Safety Resources page for helpful links.