NEW RIVER GORGE, WV – How much fear fun can you handle when forests become primeval, distressed ghouls linger in the thickets and overall, for four late October nights, the hair on the back of everyone’s neck will rise?
Nightmare in the Gorge Haunted Trail is the grand finale of a fun-laden season at ACE Adventure Resort on 1,500 acres in West Virginia’s southern hills. Here Nightmare in the Gorge Haunted Hike takes place from 7:30 p.m. to 11:45 p.m. Oct. 21 and 22 and again on Oct. 28 and 29, 2016. To participate, the per person rate is $13 for adults and $10 for youth. Visitors can combine the walk with a Night Sky Zip Line Tour and the rate is $99 for adults, $89 for youth. Add a 5K Zombie Run on Oct. 22 only at $129 for adults and $119 for youth.
And over these two weekends the resort’s cabins can be rented for half price.
The resort comes by its haunting naturally, locals say. There’s an old story from 1960’s about a mad butcher and a number of murders that occurred in the area. The mad butcher, never convicted, has been in and out of mental institutions, while rumors of dismembered heads stayed put. The murders were never solved.
ACE Adventure Resort’s (https://aceraft.com/) designer of fear is Chris Colin, who also stages the resort’s annual music festival. He explained that this year the haunted trail plays off the mad butcher story with a butcher shop with a hillbilly kitchen, a maze through a hillbilly workshop garage, a haunted house – or two – and the introduction of new fear-inspiring characters to the scene.
“We had 1,500 people over four days last year,” Colin said. “We expect to double that number this year.”
The nighttime zip line, a year-round staple, is enhanced by spooky qualities in deference to the season. West Virginia’s New River Gorge becomes a blur as shadows lengthen and people begin to soar like bats through the treetops and moving shadows. Senses leap into overdrive over seven zips and a sky bridge that keeps participants enthralled for over two hours. Adventurers must be 13 years or older and weigh at least 100 pounds (but not over 200).
The 5KM Zombie Run on the first weekend works like flag football. The runners, laden with flags, have to keep their flags away from the aggressive zombies. If they lose their flags, they become zombies too.
Fall colors at ACE Adventure Resort peak mid to late October depending on the weather. However, the protected depths of the New River Gorge can keep colors longer than usual along the river bottom. Prime foliage viewing is best from secluded overlooks which include the Endless Wall Trail, named the best national park hike in the United States by the readers of USA Today. ACE’s popular New River Bridge Catwalk Tour that takes adventurers under the longest single arch bridge in the western hemisphere spans 1.5 miles on a 24-inch wide catwalk (with railings). The fall colors can be truly spectacular with the right timing (this can be coupled with a raft trip).
Most of the activities that have made ACE Adventure Resort a #1 Outfitter in West Virginia continue through fall as well: zip lining, mountain biking, disc golf, stand up paddle boarding and rock climbing. The adjacent 70,000-acre New River Gorge National River is an option for miles of wilderness exploring afoot and on horseback or fat tire bike. Guests may also enjoy world class fishing on the New River for small mouth bass. Conditions for rock climbing and mountain biking are usually optimal this time of year.
ACE Adventure Resort is the East Coast’s largest mountain hideaway exclusively focused on world-class whitewater rafting along with guided adventures, outdoor sports and activities, lodging, camping and other amenities. The nearby New River Gorge National River is affectionately known as the “Grand Canyon of the East” and features rafting from April to October. The New and Gauley Rivers combined offer over 100 miles of rapids all within 30 minutes of the resort. Both rivers are administered by the National Park Service. ACE’s passion since 1980 has been to create vacations wrapped around these rivers and other outdoor adventures so that guests can experience “a world of adventure in one place.” The 1,500 acres here encompass both forest and a 5-acre lake plus a series of ponds, a mining-era ghost town and spectacular cliffs for rock climbing, waterfalls and overlooks.
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