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Aerial adventures available

Jul. 15, 2013 @ 12:15 AM

AMES HEIGHTS, W.Va. -- Adventures On The Gorge outdoor recreation resort has reached an aerial milestone.

The resort has hosted 100,000 guests on its four aerial adventure activities. When the 100,000th guest stepped onto the platform at the end of the final zip, the total number of miles for Adventures On The Gorge zip line tours reached 150,000 miles. That's equivalent to six times around the world.

"To my knowledge, we are the first resort with zip lines in the United States to reach this milestone," said Dave Arnold, founder/managing member of Adventures On The Gorge. "The aerial adventure industry, while still young in our country, is growing faster than any other outdoor recreation sport, including rafting and skiing." By comparison, Arnold said that it took 10 years for the company to hit 100,000 rafters.

"When we opened TreeTops Canopy Tour in 2009, I am not sure what we expected guests' reactions to be," said Arnold. "We wanted to offer our visitors an option for outdoor recreation that they could enjoy when they weren't on the river. From that first summer, we knew we had a hit."

TreeTops was named one of the United States' top 10 zip lines by USA Today in 2010. Following on its success, the company began operating Gravity Zip Lines in 2010. A high adventure zip line course built on a reclaimed mining site, Gravity was named one of the world's coolest zip lines by Travel and Leisure. In 2012, the outdoor recreation resort added a third aerial adventure, TimberTrek Aerial Park. This aerial playground, popularized in Europe, lets guests balance, swing, climb and zip. The company's fourth aerial adventure option is New River Gorge BridgeWalk, a one-of-a-kind stroll on the catwalk under the New River Gorge Bridge.

"Combined with our whitewater rafting and other outdoor activities, the zip lines fit well into our mission of offering great outdoor recreation at the New River Gorge," Arnold said. "Whether our guests are here for a weekend getaway, a family vacation or a class reunion, they have choices for beginning to advanced adventures along with lodging and dining options."

Adventures On The Gorge (www.adventurewestvirginia.com) is located on the New River Gorge in Ames Heights, W.Va., and borders three miles of the New River Gorge National River. The destination covers more than 1,000 acres where guests can rent cabins, vacation homes and campsites. Amenities include whitewater rafting on the New and Gauley Rivers, TreeTops Canopy Tour, Gravity Zip Lines, TimberTrek Aerial Adventure Park, kayaking, fishing, mountain biking, hiking, mountain climbing, disc golf, paintball, and Canyon Falls Swimming Hole. The campus includes four restaurants.