Adrena-love: Aerial dates that might literally make you fall in love (maybe!)
West Virginia is the place for adventure— which is great for a budding romance!
After all, it is said that doing adventurous activities with someone can trick you into thinking the excitement you feel comes from the company, rather than the activity itself.
This was famously tested: In 1974, 2 curious psychologists performed an experiment to see how a man’s anxiety-ridden brain performed when presented with a woman (versus a calm male presented with the same female). This is commonly known as the “Capilano Suspension Bridge experiment.”
It turns out the men who were presented with the woman on a rickety, swaying and creaking bridge 230 feet off the ground were much more interested in her than the ones who ran into her on a sturdy, wooden bridge only a couple of feet high.
Want to try your own suspension bridge experiment? Check out these 7 adrenaline-inducing bridge activities right here in the Mountain State:
1. Stroll this picturesque suspension bridge
The 150-foot long Greenbrier Suspension Bridge sits in the sleepy town of Hosterman, near the scenic and rugged Cheat Mountain and the historic railroad town of Cass. The cable suspension bridge is open to pedestrian traffic only and offers a beautiful view of the stony-bottomed Greenbrier River below.
Its location at a trailhead in the Monongahela National Forest makes this charming spot in the woods accessible to just about anyone.
2. Scale a catwalk 851-feet above the New River
Imagine walking underneath a massive, nearly 900-foot-high structure, with cars roaring above, on nothing but a 24-inch catwalk. Is your heart pounding now?
Bridge Walk gives guests a very unique perspective of the longest steel arch bridge in the Western Hemisphere. Bridge walkers are securely fastened onto a safety cable to walk the entire 3,030-foot length of the bridge at 851 feet above the New River’s churning rapids.
The trip lasts 2 to 3 hours. As you can imagine, guests aren’t exactly keen to walking at a fast pace hundreds of feet in the air. This allows plenty of time to indulge in great photo opportunities, and learn about the bridge and surrounding New River Gorge.
3. Explore the Indian Creek Covered Bridge
West Virginia has several covered bridges, but the Indian Creek Covered Bridge in Monroe County is one of the most photographed. And for good reason: It’s rustic wooden shell and cobbled stone supports are quite charming. The bench inside is a great place to sit down and read the notes and plaques left behind by previous visitors.
This pedestrian bridge is not only beautiful, it has also landed on the National Register of Historic Places for its storied past. The almost 50-foot span was built in 1903 by 2 young builders, aged 16 and 18. The structure only cost $400 to build and was used for about 30 years. It was restored in 2002.
4. Zip over the trees
Cruise above the Moundsville forests on Grand Vue Park’s world-class ziplines. The course features 3 suspension bridges, and dual zips that let you race other adventurers— or your date— down the mountains. The final zip extends 2,100 feet, giving you time to take in the aerial view of downtown Moundsville.
5. Tip-toe over sky bridges
Harpers Ferry Adventure Park is a playground in the trees for all ages to enjoy. Visitors work at their own pace to climb, balance and hop their way through 5 different courses with 60 unique obstacles, including ziplines and shaky sky bridges.
The highest obstacle is a nerve-wracking 75 feet up in the trees! And there are challenges fit for every skill level. The course is self-guided, but there are park monitors on scene to encourage and help you along your way.
6. Get a heart pounding perspective of Nelson Rocks
Nelson Rocks is located just a few miles south of Pendleton County’s iconic rock crag, Seneca Rocks. Nelson Rocks offers a unique rock climbing experience called Via Ferrata. Via Ferrata is a fixed-anchor, professionally guided rock climb, so no previous climbing experience is necessary. The system was initially designed to transport troops in Italy during World War I.
The climb gains 1,085 feet in elevation. One of the most breathtaking parts of the trip is the suspension bridge, which is 200 feet long and swings 150 feet above the ground.
7. Check out Wheeling from the town’s iconic suspension bridge
The 1,010-foot Wheeling Suspension Bridge, the first bridge ever built over the Ohio River, is the nation’s oldest surviving suspension bridge built as a vehicular bridge. The uniquely artistic bridge opened in 1949; at that time, it was the longest clear span bridge in the world.
Today, the extraordinary vintage bridge still hosts both vehicular and pedestrian traffic. This traffic is supported by a steel grate, which gives you a noteworthy view of the Ohio River flowing below.
Which of these wild, wonderful aerial bridges have you crossed?