With the abnormal warm temperatures in the Ohio Valley this December, it is hard not to have that desire to be outdoors. Making the best of this weather is an absolute must. Might as well get a jump start on those New Year’s fitness resolutions too. The holiday season brings a lot of family and friends back into town, so why not ask them to join you on an outdoor excursion? Take that long lost friend on a great local hike and catch up with some much needed conversation. Restring that fishing pole, gear up that old canoe, and head out to one of our many reservoirs. Fun Fact: West Virginia only has one natural lake called Trout Pond in the Eastern Panhandle. The tri-state area is riddled with public land for whatever adventure that tickles your fancy.
If you are looking for a new place to get outside, check out www.OhioValleyAdventure.com. This website has been compiled to identify all the outdoor recreation locations in the Ohio Valley. A broad range of activities have been identified for your convenience. The Ohio Valley has a lot of recreational opportunities and probably more than you ever imagined.
In 2009, Backpacker Magazine named Wheeling as the 25th Best City to Raise an Outdoor Kid – http://www.backpacker.com/trips/washington/the-best-cities-to-raise-an-outdoor-kid-the-winning-25/5/#bp=0/img2. I think that says a lot for our area and what we really have to offer. We truly are situated in a great location. The article spoke briefly about our local amenities and accentuated our proximity to the Laurel Highlands, as well as the Wayne and Monongahela National Forests. These areas do offer excellent and unique worthwhile opportunities, but for the most part we have a majority of these resources in our backyard. More and more of our local gems are becoming known or developed even further. Great strides are being made locally to develop our natural resources. Grand Vue Park is building more mountain bike trails and just scheduled their first sanctioned West Virginia Mountain Bike Association race, July 3, 2016. They are also planning to open a new High Adventure Course to improve upon their zip lines.
Our local paddling group, the Creek Yakkers Facebook Group, are currently identifying water access points along the creek to develop the Wheeling Creek Water Trail. The yakkers are working on water access signage to promote awareness for these locations. The group is also conducting roll classes for a small fee at the Four Seasons Pool in Moundsville on Sundays (10am to noon), and Brooke High School in Wellsburg on Tuesdays starting in January (5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.). We also have a local entrepreneur, Victor Breazzeal, building miniature wooden yachts with dreams of capitalizing on waterfront’s tourism potential. He hopes to obtain the desired funding through advertising to build capital to construct a fleet of watercraft.
The Ohio Valley is our playground and our backyard. Please aspire to view our Valley with a new set of eyes. Have you ever wondered what was down that road or over that next hill? There is always a new experience waiting for you around the bend. Happy wandering!