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AN ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT TO THE WASHINGTON POST


SUNDAY, AUGUST 15, 2010 Come Out and Play in West Virginia


For starters, the state’s whitewater is in top form in September and October. The rapids of the upper Gauley River, ranked as one of the best whitewater runs in the world, are at their most extreme during Gauley Season, the six weekends after Labor Day. Less experienced river riders should opt for the lower section of the Gauley or trips on the New River. Rafting season in southern West Virginia ends with New River Gorge Bridge Day in Fayetteville on Oct. 16. It’s the only time of year BASE jumpers are allowed to plunge off the bridge.


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For those who prefer softer adventures, a jaunt along the 78-mile Greenbrier River Trail could fit the bill. Originally part of the C&O rail system, the route now provides opportunities for hiking, biking and horseback riding. There is also river access from the trail for fishing and canoeing.


With elevations ranging from mountaintops to stream-lined valleys, West Virginia’s forests and state parks present a large palette of fall colors come mid-September through most of October. Two recommended leaf peeping parks within easy driving distance of Washington are Cacapon State Park near Berkeley Springs and Blackwater Falls State Park near Davis. A bit farther away, but well worth the journey, is the Cass Scenic Railroad. Beginning in mid-September through Oct. 31, fall foliage trains travel through some of the state’s highest elevations.


The Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia is another fine place to view the changing seasons. Harpers Ferry is perfect for leaf peeping, rafting, hiking and biking. Of course, those interested in America’s past can have a field day exploring the sites of Harpers Ferry National Historical Park.


Harpers Ferry is just one of the state’s many picturesque, small towns. Nearby Shepherdstown, the oldest town in the state, is nestled in the lower Shenandoah Valley. Charles Town is filled with Washington family lore. While a historic walking tour is a popular activity, the biggest game in town is Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races. Just this summer, table games were rolled out, adding to the existing mix of slots and horse racing.


Historic Lewisburg has become a renowned haven for artists, with its antebellum mansions giving it a unique, historical flair. A good time to explore this National Trust for Historic Preservation Distinctive Destination is Oct. 9, when the Taste of Our Town Food Festival takes over downtown.


Many of the small towns along the state’s Coal Heritage Trail feature National Historic Districts and physical remnants of the coal boom. Both Bluefield and Bramwell in Mercer County feature mansions built by coal barons. Bramwell, at the southern end of the Coal Heritage Trail, also has a museum that provides a history lesson on coal mining and life in the coal fields. For more on the lives of miners, there’s a guided tour of the Pocahontas Exhibition Coal Mine, located just over the state border.


Charleston, the state’s largest city, is a perfect hub for exploring western West Virginia’s history and recreational options. The state capital also has a number of its own attractions, including the Clay Center for the Arts & Sciences of West Virginia, the West Virginia Cultural Center and, of course, the West Virginia State Capitol. Kanawha State Forest, just seven miles from the city, is noted for its diverse wildflower and bird populations, and is yet another prime place to view fall colors.


About this section: This special advertising section was written by Laura Powell, a Washington-based journalist, and produced by the Special Sections department of The Washington Post and did not involve the news staff of this newspaper. Special Sections Manager Julie Gunderson 202-334-6163 • Account Manager Ellen Gerhard 202-334-7762 • Section Designer Willie Joyner 202-334-5237


est Virginia calls itself the recreation capital of the East. Come late summer and early fall, it is particularly difficult to dispute that claim. That’s prime time for the Mountaineer State’s mother lode of outdoor adventure options.


Photos from left to right: Jefferson Rock, Harper’s Ferry,WV. Harper’s Ferry Historic District. Shepherdstown,WV. Gauley River Rafting. Glade Creek Grist Mill Fall. Clock in BlueField,WV. Downtown Shops LewisburgWV. Cass Scenic Railroad. Goodwill House, Bramwell,WV.


State Parksand Forests


Less rush. Slowerpace. West Virginia State Parks


•MtHeritage Arts &Crafts Festival Sept 24th-26th


•African American Cultural &Heritage Festival Aug 20th-22nd


•Freedom’sRun Marathon Oct 2nd •Charles Town Heritage Festival Sept 18th


•Fishing,Tubing •Hiking, Biking •John Brown’sRaid •CivilWarSesquicentennial •Harpers FerryPark •Shopping, Museums •Dining and much more


Our colonial gentlemen enjoyed their horse races and card playing just as you can do today at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races.


LANDOFADVENTURE


Leavework behind and take time to enjoyWVStateParks: accommodations,scenery, activities and events.


Crisp mountain air and vibrant fall foliage await you in SouthernWestVirginia. Autumn is the perfect time to experience the whitewater rafting, rock climbing, mountain biking, championship golf andATVtrails the area has to offer. Coupled with fabulous resorts, unique festivals and great food and shopping, Southern WestVirginia is truly the Land of Adventure.


1.800.VisitWV •VisitWV.com


Get yourFREE visitors guide today!


 Cass Scenic Railroad trips through October  Blennerhassett Island Mansion by Candlelight  Classic fly-fishing at Pipestem Resort  Cacapon golf and horseback riding  Greenbrier RiverTrail  TygartLake fishing  Camping  Getaways to alodge or cabin


Moretosee and do year-round. Call 304–558–2764 forWVState Park Guide. www.wvstateparks.com


WVCommerce – State Parks


timeshare


Whether you’re shopping, dining, enjoying the arts or the breathtaking landscape, every moment spent inWest Virginia’s Greenbrier Valley is cherished.


To plan your escape, visitwww.greenbrierwv.com or call 1-800-833-2068 today.


LEWISBURG WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS RONCEVERTE ALDERSON RAINELLE


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