WVU/Big 12 Visitor's Guide Part III: Attractions

QUEENSTOWN, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 12: (L-R) Ben Foden, Nick Easter, Simon Shaw and Chris Ashton of England shoot the rapids during a white water raft run during an England IRB Rugby World Cup 2011 team visit on September 12, 2011 in Queenstown, New Zealand. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Greetings again, travelers from the West. We have reached September and thus finally broken into the threshold of college football (Amen.) With this arrival, autumn is soon around the corner and, with it, conference play. We're all very excited to welcome you into our state and have prepared you with a bit of a guide to steer you toward the finer parts of our home, this article being the third and final edition. Part I and Part II focus mainly on the eateries and watering holes of the Morgantown area, but this write-up shall give you a few ideas on what you should do before leaving the Mountain State if you have some time on your hands. Morgan Morgan picked a helluva spot to settle with his sons David and Zackquill, so I'd like to give you six things that you should check out (outside of the obvious FOOTBAWWLLL) before getting on your wagons and going West until you hit corn.

Coopers Rock

http://www.coopersrockstateforest.com/

Google Maps: http://goo.gl/maps/FOHck

There is a reason why this is first. If you happen to be traveling to West Virginia during the heart of autumn, you gotta check this out. I don't know the actual mileage you see from the top, but it certainly spans from Preston County into Monongalia. When the leaves have changed colors, it looks like something out of a Bob Ross painting. Should be quite a stir for you flatlanders. Pretty cool and it's honestly not more than twenty minutes away from Morgantown.


WVU Downtown Campus

Google Maps: http://goo.gl/maps/trXsT

In Morgantown, there are a few different campuses that make up West Virginia University and the heart and soul is Downtown. The Mountainlair, library, and a plethora of lecture halls and dorms including the infamous Woodburn Circle (which annually gets a holiday facelift) is all within walking distance. With that, right outside the Mountainlair is the Mountaineer Statue. Yes, links, links and more links. With is mostly a testament of how much there is in that area. It is certainly worth a walk around and the "local talent" doesn't look too bad when the weather gets hot and it's shorts and tank top weather.

SIDE QUEST: Go to the valley between the Life Science Building and the Business and Economics Building to find a plaque of where Old Mountaineer Field used to stand. After that, take the Business and Economics steps back up the hill. You will then understand why we are known as the Mountaineers.

There are other spots on campus you should check out if you get the chance like the Jerry West statue outside the Coliseum and view on top of Law School hill on Gameday.


West Virginia Rail Trail

http://www.wvrtc.org/

Google Maps: http://goo.gl/maps/FOHck

The state of West Virginia a few successes and this is one of them. A paved trail system that routes all throughout the state suitable for "non-motorized use, primarily walking, cycling, jogging, and cross-country skiing with a smooth, durable surface for wheel-chair use and all types of bicycles." In the Morgantown area there are "eight miles of trail are paved, allowing for in-line skating. The rail-trail connects three counties, Marion, Monongalia, and Preston Counties in North Central West Virginia." If you are the outdoor running/biking/blading type, this is the set up you're looking for.


White Water Rafting on the Gauley River

http://www.gauley.com/whitewater_rafting.htm

Google Maps: http://goo.gl/maps/QP4UL

It was only a matter of time until I dived into the outdoors, adventurous type stuff West Virginia is famous for. White Water rafting seems to be a huge hit with tourists coming to our state and the Gauley River is what they seek. Class VI rapids and, evidently, the whole season starts on Sept. 7th. I'm not one to do that kinda thing, but here's a taste of it.


New River Gorge

http://www.nps.gov/neri/index.htm

Google Maps: http://goo.gl/maps/ll934

The New River Gorge in Fayetteville isn't a big deal other than the fact it's on our god damn quarter. "With an arch 1,700 feet (518 m) long, the New River Gorge Bridge was for many years the world's longest steel single-span arch bridge"... but now it's the third largest.... but that's still pretty damn cool. About 80,000 people will come here for Bridge Day on October 20th to bungee jump, parachute, and BASE jump off the massive structure. Not even joking. Like I said, I'm not into that kinda thing, but you're more than welcome.


The Greenbrier

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Greenbrier

http://www.greenbrier.com/

Google Maps: http://goo.gl/maps/ll934

As if The Greenbrier needs an introduction. "The Greenbrier is a Forbes four-star and AAA Five Diamond Award winning luxury resort located just outside the town of White Sulphur Springs in Greenbrier County, West Virginia." I have had the privilege of staying at this prestigious resort once a year while working as a student IT technician for WVU. Let's just say I might have put up with a little extra as an IT guy just to make my final rounds on the Old White Golf Course. The only problem with The Greenbrier is that it is on the other part of the state away from Morgantown. If you're driving through this area for any reason, college football or not, make a stop and check it out. Truly a magnificent place.


There you have it, children. As always, leave any questions or personal recommendations in the comments and TSM will certainly be more than happy to converse. As I bring this three part series to a close, I leave you with THIS.

Let's Go Mountaineers and ESP.

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