OAK HILL, W.Va. (WFXR) — If you’re looking for a fun family vacation filled with a whole lot of adventure, look no further than Ace Adventure Resort in Oak Hill, West Virginia!
“It’s a really good way to get out and do stuff that’s fun but at the same time safe,” said Liam Harrington, a child who came out to the resort from Chantilly, Virginia.
When you step enter the resort, you are welcomed to Ace’s newest waterpark, a welcome center, cabins, a dining hall, and more.
“It was really fun to experience it and be out in the woods,” said Addie Bauer, a Massachusetts child visiting the resort.
However, beyond the resort is where the real fun begins.
Ace offers endless adventures, like whitewater rafting, ziplining, ATV riding, mountain biking, and kayaking, but what makes it truly special?
Many visitors say it’s the family-oriented feeling you get from the adventure guides and staff. Others say it’s walking the sky bridge while getting up close and personal views of the New River Gorge National Park.
There is no correct answer, but WFXR News’ Kelsey Jean-Baptiste got the chance to witness the magic of Ace Adventure Resort firsthand.
The adventure started by rappelling 100 feet over the New River Gorge.
According to adventure sports guide Laurel Harrington, it’s really magical when you can take someone out on an activity they’ve never experienced before.
Harrington, who has spent four years teaching people to literally jump off a cliff, says her goal is to make sure that the person rappelling is comfortable because she understands how nervous people can get.
She tells WFXR News that it’s fun to be outside in an environment where she feels people can thrive and accomplish a goal for themselves.
Harrington’s love for pushing herself actually started when she was a teenager.
“I was about 16, I had gotten really sick, and I wasn’t sure if I was going to survive it, and I had promised myself at one point that I would do whatever I could to push my physical capabilities,” said Harrington.
The adventure continued by throwing caution to the wind and crashing into intense waves by whitewater rafting on the New River.
The resort offers kid-friendly trips on the upper part of the New River, where children are free to raft all day. If you’re feeling a little bit more confident, though, you can also raft the Lower New River or Lower Gauley River.
Experienced rafters can face 16-foot waves and intense rapid on the Upper Gauley River.
“If it’s not scary, it’s not that much fun,” said Kevin Terrell, the river operations manager and whitewater rafting guide at Ace Adventure Resort.
Terrell says he has spent 14 summers taking people on the river. His love for whitewater rafting started when he worked for outdoor and environmental education centers.
“I like to think of my job as managing risk. There is a risk, but there’s risk in getting in your car and driving down the highway,” Terrell explained. “There’s risk in getting in a boat and paddling through white water, but that’s why you do it with a guide.”
While recovering from the adventures, Ace Adventures offers various cabins and camping spaces for families to relax.
Many of the cabins are equipped with beds, televisions, heating and air conditioning, a hot tub, a kitchenette, and full bathrooms.
On top of that, the dining center offers paid breakfast buffets every morning,
After a well-needed break, Ace Adventure Resort continues to offer more family fun.
Visitors can take their balance to new heights while walking through the obstacle course on the resort’s new Aerial Adventure Park.
The first level is the easiest and perfect for children as young as 5 years old. The second level is also good for beginners who are looking to test their comfort zone.
However, the real challenge is on the third level which sits 45 feet above the ground. According to Ace, this level requires grit, strength, and determination.
If you’re still not convinced that Ace is the place for you, there’s more!
Many people enjoy the land adventures, like ziplining, where you can take both night and day tours.
The beauty of this adventure is zooming through trees while overlooking the New River Gorge, as well as trapezing across a swinging rope bridge.
Zipline guides Justin Starcher, Jordan Lilley, and Carlee Evans say the best part about their job is meeting people from different cultures.
“I met a lot of people from India last year, which was really cool,” said Lilley.
Just like the rappelling instructor Harrington, Evans says she enjoys breaking down the safety tips to ensure visitors feel comfortable with ziplining and know that they’re gong to be okay.
Although, all guides admit that the best way to get over the fear is to just go!
So, what is the best part about Ace Adventure Resort?
Every staff member, adventure guide, and guest says it’s family-oriented feeling coursing through the resort.
“I’ve met a lot of people that I may not have known them forever, but I know that I will know them forever,” said Justin.
For more information on how to book a vacation or become an adventure guide, visit Ace Adventure Resort’s website or call 800-787-3982 to speak with a vacation specialist.