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New Bluestone Gorge zipline among $11M in improvements set for Pipestem

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.

Reach Rick Steelhammer at, 304-348-5169 or follow

@rsteelhammer on Twitter.

Funerals for Saturday, August 24, 2019

Barron, Dennis - 11 a.m., Airborne Church, Martinsburg.
Baylor, Elizabeth - 1 p.m., Snodgrass Funeral Home, South Charleston.
Bonds Jr., Patrick - 1 p.m., King of Glory International Ministries, Charleston.
Burgess, Corey - 5 p.m., Aldersgate United Methodist Church.
Burns, Helen - 11 a.m., Stump Funeral Home & Cremation, Inc., Grantsville.
Caldwell, Gary - 6 p.m., Long & Fisher Funeral Home, Sissonville.
Casto, Carroll - 1 p.m., Raynes Funeral Home, Eleanor.
Casto, Roger - 2 p.m., Chapman Funeral Home, Winfield.
Duty, Fred - 2 p.m., Handley Funeral Home, Danville.
Fisher, Bernard - 2 p.m., Waybright Funeral Home, Ripley.
Gwinn, Lloyd - Noon, Church of Christ, Craigsville.  
Habjan, Nathan - 1 p.m., Wilson-Smith Funeral Home, Clay. 
Hall, Daniel - Noon, Witcher Baptist Church.
Hinkle, Ethel - Noon, Church of Christ, Craigsville.  
Hoffman, Bruce - 2 p.m., Foglesong - Casto Funeral Home, Mason.  
Kinder, Siegel - 1 p.m., Leonard Johnson Funeral Home, Marmet.
Kyler, Virgil - 11 a.m., Pleasant Grove Cemetery, Reedy.
Palmer, William - 1 p.m., Barlow Bonsall Funeral Home, Charleston. 
Raynes Sr., Steven - 1 p.m., Tyree Funeral Home, Oak Hill.
Truman, James - 2 p.m., Newton Baptist Church, Newton.
Turner, Keith - Noon, Full Gospel Assembly,  Huntington. 
Webb, Antoinette - 11 a.m., SS Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Oak Hill.
Wilson, Greg - Noon, Roach Funeral Home, Gassaway.
Withrow, James - 1 p.m., Cooke Funeral Home Chapel, Cedar Grove.