If you love outdoor activities, Lansing, WV, is probably on your radar. Especially known for its white water rafting, the area is filled with both light adventure and adrenaline-filled fun. Now, add in the fact that, during autumn, the colors are spectacular and the scenery gorgeous and you’ve got yourself a winning combination to visit. From breathtaking views to adventure, both on the ground and above, here are the 6 best things to do in Lansing, WV, in fall.
As a gal that lives right on the Ohio-Pennsylvania-West Virginia border, I know just how beautiful the Mountain State can be, especially in fall. The mountains get filled with gorgeous shades of crimson, tangerine, and gold, and the view can be jaw dropping.
It’s been four years since Mr. Locke and I had the pleasure of visiting Lansing and Adventures on the Gorge in the summertime. Thankfully, a recent visit gave me beautiful insight into the top attractions and activities when visiting and I’m happy to share with you the must-dos.
1. Tour the Colorful Trees
On our first day at Adventures on the Gorge, we had the true pleasure of stepping into a harness and hitting the tree canopy in its TreeTops Zipline Canopy Tour. Mostly a zip line tour through the forest, with a five aerial bridges to split up the lines, it’s fun no matter what time of year.
But, hit the canopy in autumn and it’s even better, in my opinion. The leaf colors, mixed with the cooler weather, is ideal for a girl that doesn’t dig getting super sweaty. There’s a light hike in the middle of the tour and a repel down to the ground at the end, but other than that it’s easy to let the guides do all of the hard work and relax.
TreeTops Zipline Canopy Tour Tips: You’ll need to be between 90 and 250 pounds to participate. Booking a time slot in advance is highly recommended, too.
2. See the White Water from 851 Feet in the Air
If you’ve ever driven across the New River Gorge Bridge in Lansing and thought, “Man, I’d love to stop and see the view but I can’t.”, you’d be correct. But happily, about 10 years ago, Bridge Walk was founded for folks just like you and me that want to see the “gorge”ous views of the mountains and river below.
If you like numbers, the Bridge Walk is 25 feet below the driving deck, offers a 24-inch platform to walk on, is over 1/2 mile long, and is 851 feet in the air.
But what those numbers don’t give you is the thrill of being up that high. Yes, it’s very safe (a continuous belay system ensures you’ll stay on that 24 inch-wide platform), too. If you happen to hit the timing right, you’ll see rafters way down below, or even bald eagles and other birds of prey.
Bridge Walk Tips: In fall, the weather can be unpredictable in the area. There’s also at least a heavy breeze to moderate winds at all times, so make sure to dress appropriately. Even if you think it’s warm-ish, you’ll need a dependable coat. Think gloves and a warm hat, too. You’ll be holding onto metal railings during the walk.
Also, if you plan on taking your phone or camera (or even sunglasses) with you on the walk, you’ll need to make sure they are safely secured to you. The gift shop offers affordable phone cases just in case you forget yours or don’t have one.
3. Best Things to Do in Lansing, WV in Fall: Take a Hike – Literally
Hiking, especially during fall, is an easy (and free) way to see the Lansing landscape. There are plenty of places to hike in and around the area, so look for well-trafficked paths, especially if you’re not familiar with the land.
If I may suggest, head to the Canyon Rim Visitor’s Center (very close to Bridge Walk) and get the lay of the land there. You’ll be able to chat with experts as to the best path for your hiking ability/style and ask any questions as well.
Having written that, Diamond Point, Long Point, and and Bridge Buttress are really good trails to see the WV beauty.
4. Get Down to Water Level Without Getting Wet
Lansing has amazing white water rafting opportunities, especially during Gauley season when Summersville Dam has scheduled water releases. But, during autumn when it begins to wind down, there’s still beauty at the water’s edge.
During our visit, we headed to the New River area to catch a few rafters having a ball. Not only was the view amazing (again), but being near the water was a beautiful respite. We sat on a few giant rocks for hours and it was nice to just… be. FYI: rafting season is well into November this year, so if you didn’t have a chance to try it in summer, autumn is a fine time.
If I may, I’d like to thank the photography team from Adventures on the Gorge for letting us tag along with Jay for the day. We were shown beautiful spots to photograph and right where to catch the rafters in action.
New River Photography Tip: Make sure to wear dependable hiking boots or shoes, especially if you’re wanting to walk cross rocks. And down water banks. Also, please be safe and take all safety precautions.
5. Best Things to Do in Lansing, WV in Fall: Test Your Strength High in The Sky
If an adventure park trekking session through the canopy is more your style, check out TimberTrek at Adventures on the Gorge. You’ll get three hours of climbing time per session, so it’s a good bang for your buck.
On the paths are over 60 platforms, nets, a few ziplines, and some other cool obstacles to show your agility. But, during the Halloween season, the Spooktrekular TimberTrek is all decked out with spooky lights and decorations. We were set up to try the course on our last night, but high winds forced it closed. Ahh, next time.
6. Get Your Adrenaline Pumping
What are your thoughts about zipping 3,150 feet while being 200 feet in the air?
Quite the adrenaline rush, right?
That’s the ultimate zip line for Gravity Zip, the thrilling zipping course at Adventures on the Gorge. Personally, I like to think of Gravity Zip as a zipline course on steroids. The lines begin at 500 feet in length, then increase until you’re hitting speeds of 60 miles per hour or more. If you like high-in-the-sky thrills, this one’s for you. Oh, and you can race another zipliner, too.
Gravity Zip Tips: You’ll want to bring water and sunscreen with you. Also make sure to dress appropriately – it can get windy up there.
Where to Stay in Lansing, WV
If you’re looking for lovely lodging, Adventures on the Gorge is the way to go. If you’re the super outdoorsy type, it offers camping lots for tents. Like your creature comforts? Look into a Kaymoor Cabin. Ours had the perfect amount of space for the two of us and included a living area, full bathroom, king bed, and even a mini fridge and microwave.
Of course, there are plenty of other options, both more luxurious budget-friendly. Personally, I like calling AotG our home base for a weekend. It’s only a mile or so off the main highway, so I didn’t feel like I was far away from civilization.