Pipestem Resort State Park is beefing up its lineup of outdoor adventure activities by adding kayak and stand-up paddleboard tours, innertube float trips, and developing a new zip line that descends Bluestone Gorge, crossing the Bluestone River three times at heights of more than 300 feet.
The new offerings are part of an $11 million investment package for the 4,050-acre park announced on Thursday by Gov. Jim Justice.
Other new Pipestem adventure amenities scheduled to open this spring include rock climbing, rappelling and fly-fishing instruction, guided mountain bike rides and trout fishing trips. A portion of the $11 million will be used to modernize Pipestem’s cabins, upgrade its campground, renovate its tramway and replace its water and wastewater plants.
The new activities will be made available through a partnership with ACE Adventure Resort in Oak Hill, which will provide the staff and equipment needed for the new guided activities and instruction. ACE staff will also operate the zip line, to be designed and built by Colorado-based Bonsai Design, which developed the zip lines in use at the Summit Bechtel Scouting Reserve at Mount Hope.
Most of the $11 million destined for Pipestem comes from a $55 million bond sale last October to fund state park maintenance and improvements, according to State Parks Chief Sam England.
Pipestem’s new nine-station zip line and canopy tour should be ready to test by April, and open by May 1, England said, while a new splash park should be kid-ready by June.
The new whitewater and tubing activities will take place on the Bluestone River, which from Pipestem, flows into Bluestone Lake at Bluestone State Park. The river activities will be accessible via Pipestem’s tramway, which will also take zip line riders back to the rim of the canyon.
Justice said Thursday’s announcement of the new Pipestem improvements “was just one more step in making West Virginia a world-class tourism destination.”
Adventure activities already offered by Pipestem include mountain biking, horseback riding, fishing and nature-themed hikes led by the park’s naturalist.