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Destination Running in the New River Gorge


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The New River Gorge National Park is a favorite destination for trail runners and adventures alike. This wild river gorge features classic trail running following miles of rocky and root lined paths that will keep runners grinning the entire way. ACE Adventure Resort is smack in the middle of this National Park and boosts over 35 miles of trails. This makes for a prime location to host a trail running race. Wonderland Mountain Challenge gives racers the opportunity to take part in a half marathon, 10K run or a 5-mile mountain hike this Memorial Day weekend. Turn your race weekend into an adventure in the mountains of West Virginia with ACE this May.

Group looking at one look at WMC Race

Running in the Mountain State

If you’re talking about the best places for trail running than West Virginia has to be high on that list. Our nickname is “The Mountain State” which means there are miles trails and lots of elevation to keep you going up, down, up, down, down, up! The trails at ACE Adventure Resort feature grand views, towering cliffs, waterfalls, wildlife and more. Some of the best views of the New River Gorge can be found from our property including Concho Overlook and along the Erskine Trail. As the river bends 180 degrees in front of you the town of Thurmond looks like a toy train set 500 feet below. The beautiful sandstone that forms the cliffs lining the gorge also create fun terrain for running where sections of boulder gardens keep runners in the zone. All in all these groomed and well marked trails make for exciting race conditions.

Destination running at WMC

Best Friends Made on the Trails

One of the best parts of trail running is the people you find on the trails. Some are great runners that you find yourself on pace with race after race. Others are the smiling faces you encounter at water stations or spectators cheering you on as you pound the trail and count the miles to the finish line. It is always fantastic to see our regional race community come together for events at ACE Adventure Resort. With free camping, waterpark fun and nightlife at The Lost Paddle there is plenty of time to hang with race buddies new and old race in the gorge.

Group of runners posing for camera

Epic Adventure Resort

When you’re not on the trails kick back in on of the resorts cabins, cabin tents of campsites and find out why they call West Virginia Almost Heaven! Rest up those muscles after the race by soaking in a hot tub on your back porch. There is more than a weekend’s worth of fun at ACE Adventure Resort including the best whitewater rafting in the country. The Lower New River Gorge is the most popular trip treating paddlers with views of the iconic arch bridge after rafting through the best rapids on the river. ACE offers adventures in not only rafting but zip lines, rock climbing, paintball, stand up paddle boarding, kayaking and more. This is a great opportunity to bring your family and friends for a weekend of running and adventuring in the mountains.

Guests rafting the Lower New

Run Wild Memorial Day Weekend

Every Memorial Day weekend runners lace up to compete in the Wonderland Mountain Challenge featuring a half marathon, 10K run and 5 mile mountain hike. Registration is now open to take part in the race into the New River Gorge. Sign up before the end of February and save $10 with early bird registration. Not only does your race registration get you a spot in this amazing race but there is free camping Saturday night, burrito lunch after the run, race t-shirt (when you sign up before the end of April), finisher medals all included under one price. Not to mention cash prizes for overall finishers in both the half marathon and 10K run we could end up paying you! See you May 28th for a wild and wonderful run in the gorge at ACE Adventure Resort.

Destination running at WMC

Chris Colin author at aceraft.com
BY Chris Colin

Chris Colin is a raft guide, whitewater kayaker, active caver, and as Special Events Coordinator at ACE he manages, promotes, and executes special events like the Mountain Music Festival.