JULIAN — Are you looking for outdoor adventures for you or your family, but aren’t quite sure where to get the most activities and best deal? Or would you like to add something new to your outdoor experience?
Boone County’s Rivers n Ridges Community Adventure Group has put together its first annual “Rivers n Ridges” adventure weekend, set to begin on Saturday, Oct. 5.
“This is an exciting time in Boone County, West Virginia,” said Bill Cook, managing member of the Rivers n Ridges Adventure Group and also the director of the Boone/Lincoln Campus of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College. “We are inviting everyone to come to this event and see all of the wonderful outdoor adventures and activities offered in Boone County, West Virginia.”
The weekend will feature ATV riding on the popular Hatfield-McCoy Trails, fishing, kayaking, rock climbing, hiking, mountain biking, archery, a 5K run/walk, a concealed weapons certification class, riverside yoga, a poker run, trap and skeet shooting, a concert and more.
“We have activities for children, adults, families and seniors,” Cook added.
Cook will even host a Sunday school service on the riverbank on Sunday, Oct. 6.
Jeff Nelson, also a managing member of the Rivers n Ridges Adventure Group and director of the Boone Career and Technical Center, says he expects at least 2,000 people to attend the weekend event.
“There is so much to do and most of the activities are free or have a very small fee,” he said. “The Hatfield-McCoy Trails are opening up the HMT downhill mountain biking, or the ATV poker run or ATV Dice run for just the cost of a $5 wristband. We are bringing in professionals, like Frank Addington and ACE Adventure, to bring adventure to Boone County.”
Nelson said those attending will join many other families taking part in workshops presented by expert instructors providing basic hands on experience for a variety of topics including river fishing secrets, kayaking tips, archery gurus, rock climbing, shooting secrets, river fishing secrets, how to protect yourself and your property workshops and much, much more.
“There will be 1,000 pounds of trout in the Little Coal River,” Nelson said. “It all begins Saturday, Oct. 5, at 8 a.m. at the entry way to Boone County at Pinnacle Rock, where you can see over 100 species of trees and float down a unique stretch of river that ties back into its self.”
Boone County Economic Development Director Larry Lodato said this type of event is just what the county needs.
“This is a perfect example of economic diversification needed,” he said. “This is why is has been supported by the Boone County Commission and so many other groups and businesses in the area. I hope it becomes an annual event.”
The event will also offer business opportunities, like how to get enrolled in the local truck driving academy and how to get enrolled in the ATV industry, as well as the travel and tourism industries.
“We are hoping this event also opens the channels of economic development,” Nelson added. “This event shows the positive aspects of Boone County. We want our young people to get addicted to adventure and this is a great weekend outdoor adventures event to get started.”
The event is also sponsored or supported by Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, Boone County Schools, and several local businesses, including Alpha Natural Resources, Boone Memorial Hospital, Cabelas, Suddenlink, Hatfield-McCoy Trails and others.
Check in for the event will be at the Waterways entrance at 628 Water Ways Drive in Julian. There will be limited parking at Waterways and Hatfield-McCoy trailhead building.
“You may use your own equipment in all events, however, there will be rental packages available as well,” Nelson said. “Do not bring a weapon for the concealed weapons certification class as handgun demos will be provided.”
Nelson says to bring a lawn chair, adventure equipment and an appetite.
“Breakfast, lunch and supper, along with interesting food items will be available for purchase from various vendors,” he said. “Also a limited number of souvenirs will be offered for sale.”
The heavy rain date for the event will be the following weekend, starting Saturday, Oct. 12.
For more information, visit the Web site at www.riversandridges.org or visit the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/events/166175866912527/