Eric Douglas Published

New River Gorge Honored By Outside Magazine

Group of paddlers in a whitewater raft.
Whitewater rafting is just one attraction that brought attention to the New River Gorge Park and Preserve.
Courtesy West Virginia Tourism

Every year, Outside Magazine selects a winning destination and a runner-up for various travel categories. This year, West Virginia came out on top for Family Trips. 

Editors from the magazine visited dozens of locations in their process. They then compiled a 117-page research report and began whittling down the choices into one winner and one runner-up in each of the categories.

Final decisions were based on factors including new travel options, improved-upon classics, accessibility and sustainability. The winning locations highlight a variety of geographic locales, activities and price points.

West Virginia Department of Tourism Secretary Chelsea Ruby announced the recognition during the Wednesday Justice Administration briefing. 

“For those of you who may not know Outside, they are the premier publication for outdoor enthusiasts,” she said. “They have over 50 million in reach each month. So, this is a big, big deal.”

The runner up in the same category was Phillipsburg, Montana for its Discovery Ski Area. 

“West Virginia’s slogan more than lives up to its name,” Outside’s deputy editor and travel director Mary Turner said. “There’s an abundance of spectacular public lands to explore all over the state, including the New River Gorge, America’s 63rd national park. We chose the park as the winner for best family adventure in the U.S. because it has so many recreational opportunities for every age and expertise level.”