Just in case you missed it, the summer solstice happened the other day making it officially summertime! You know, that time of year when ice cream and watermelon are consumed daily, where lazy days are spent lounging by the water and drinking up the sun, and where family, friends, and loads of fun go hand in hand. Read on for a few of our favorite ways to enjoy summertime in Summers County.
First up we’re talking water! Summer gets hot, but no worries. From float trips, to tubing, waterslides to waterfalls, swimming holes and swimming pools, we have plenty of ways to stay cool. How about a river float trip down the New, the Greenbrier or the Bluestone? That’s right, three rivers to choose from! Try Cantrell's or Pipestem Adventures for a guided trip. If you’d like to go it alone, Waterdawg Outdoors will supply you with a tube and shuttle. Or, rent a paddle board from Otter & Oak and head to Bluestone Lake. If you’d prefer a motor to a paddle, Bluestone Marina has you covered. If you’re looking for something a little different, then look no further than Adventure Lake at Pipestem Resort State Park with inflatable obstacles and a splash pad complete with a giant water dumping bucket! Waterslides scream summer, and Wildwater Express in the Hinton Historic District has a couple of great ones complete with a train shaped pool.
We love to hike, even in the summer, maybe especially in the summer! Okay we do admit that it can get a bit sticky, so it’s always nice to pick a trail that has a bit of water nearby. Might we suggest a few? Island Loop Trail and the boardwalk at Sandstone Falls is an easy one for most. The mist from the falls cools you down nicely. Big Branch Trail is a two-mile loop through the woods and along the creek with multiple little cascades along the way that are oh, so nice for toe dips! Looking for a longer trail, or one that you can bike? The Bluestone Turnpike Trail is the answer. Here you can hike or bike from park to park! This 9.5-mile trail follows the riverbed between Pipestem Resort State Park and Bluestone State Park along the Bluestone National Scenic River, and you may just feel like you’re the only one on it.
Speaking of ice cream, (we were, weren’t we?) we know a place or two… How about a freshly made waffle cone topped with a view of the Bluestone Gorge? Find yours at Sweets & Treats located at Pipestem Resort State Park’s Canyon Rim. Like a little history with your ice cream? If so then grab a Gelato from the Market and enjoy a Walking Tour of the Hinton Historic District. While there you can also step back in time with a root beer float from the soda fountain at the Big 4 Drugstore. And let’s not forget the Hinton Dairy Queen, where you can delight in your favorite frozen treat while taking in the beauty of the New River.