It's officially summertime; 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.
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. Rent a paddle board from Otter & Oak and head to Bluestone Lake. If you’d prefer a motor over 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 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 is easily accessed from the boardwalk at Sandstone Falls. It is a quarter mile loop trail that takes you around a small island and along the river. Big Branch Trail is a two-mile loop through the woods and along Big Branch 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 Center, open Wednesdays through Sundaays. Like a little history with your ice cream? If so then step back in time with a root beer float from the soda fountain at the Big 4 Drugstore, and take a Walking Tour of the Hinton Historic District. 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.
We could go on forever talking about our favorite summertime activities, but instead we’ll just invite you to come and explore, and create your own favorites.