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Give the gift of a memory.

No More Stuff! Give the Gift of an Experience this Holiday Season

The holiday season is upon us, and everyone is scurrying to make sure there’s a little something for everyone under the tree. Yet, the trend these days is in tidying up, simplifying, and decluttering. And, the last thing many people want is another Christmas haul of stuff to tuck in the corner, on the shelf or away in a cupboard. With that in mind, we say: Make this the year you give experiences not stuff! 

If there’s one thing you’ll find plenty of in Summers County, West Virginia, it’s outdoor adventure and historic jaunts—in other words, experiences! Here we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of the best experiences to give your loved ones this season. 

Down the River

Sure, it’s a bit blustery out right now and spending a day on the New River is probably the last thing on your mind. But when you’re considering the sort of gift that will be remembered years to come, planning an adventure months in advance is an excellent idea. Not only will you extend the merriment of the season right into summer, but booking your trip now means you have time to get the details right. 

For the angler on your list, consider a gift certificate for a guided fishing trip on the New River. Check out New River Trophy Outfitters in Meadow Creak, WV to book a half-day, full-day, or overnight fishing trip. The tackle box you were thinking about buying will pale in comparison. 

Visit for more information. 

If you’re looking for an activity the entire family will enjoy come warmer weather, a float down the upper section of the New River might be the perfect plan-ahead venture. The section of the New River that flows through Hinton, WV is perfect for those wishing to float lazily down the river. Give Cantrell Ultimate Rafting a call at (304) 228-4285. They can help you design the sort of adventure you’ll be proud to give this Christmas.

To the Sky

If there aren’t any water lovers on your gift-giving list this year, maybe you should shoot for the sky. Believe it or not, there’s more to find above the tree canopy in Summers County than you might imagine. Whether you’re seeking a unique gift for a wild risk-taker or mild bird-watcher, we have the experience to fit the bill. 

One of the most extensive aerial tours in the eastern United States is available at Pipestem Resort State Park. Pipestem Peaks Zipline Tour invites brave guests to soar 300 feet above Bluestone River. The nine ziplines reach speeds of up to 50 miles per hour. And, if that’s not enough, a cable bridge and belay are also part of the park. For those who prefer to take in the scenery at a slower pace, there’s an aerial tram that provides expansive views of the Bluestone River Gorge. Click here for more information on Pipestem Peaks Zipline Tour.  

Perhaps your special someone prefers to leave the soaring to the birds. Plan a visit to Three Rivers Avian Center in Hinton, WV for a public tour on a Saturday between May and October. Visitors will have the opportunity to see birds of prey up close and personal as well as learn about the organization’s bird conservation efforts. Visit to find our more about planning a visit. 

Back in Time 

For the history buff on your list, you can build out a very full weekend itinerary of historical sites and museums. There are so many possibilities, in fact, we’ll just list them here. 

Hinton Historic District: Take in the grand architecture or drop in one of the antique shops in Hinton’s downtown district. Residents and business owners have carefully maintained the historic integrity of this beautiful little town.

Campbell-Flanagan-Murrell House Museum: Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this is Hinton’s oldest standing residence, built in 1875. It was also operated as a general store. The history of the three generations to inhabit the home as well as the history of the southern West Virginia railroad town in which it stands has been meticulously captured. 


Graham House: The Graham House built in 1770 has been preserved in its original location in nearby Lowell, WV. Visitors will learn about the lives of early settlers to the area and their frequent run-ins with the local Shawnee tribes. 

Hinton Railroad Museum: In its heyday, the C&O Railroad ran through Hinton, WV bringing prosperity to the region. The Hinton Railroad Museum tells the story in vivid detail. 

John Henry Historical Park: No exploration of the railway history of the area is complete without a visit to John Henry Historical Park. This park is dedicated to the legend of freed African-American steel driver John Henry. 

No matter how you spend the holidays, giving the gift of a rich Summers County experience is the gift of life-long memories made with loved ones. We hope these tried and true recommendations will help you cross a few names off your long holiday list.

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