Trip Details

  • Saturday, July 13-      Sunday, July 21
  • 9 days
  • Ages 13- 14
  • Cost- $1,890*
  • *Scholarships available, contact us for more information

Trip Highlights

  • Explore “The Mountain State” of WV
  • Backpack in the Otter Creek Wilderness Area
  • Canoe the Cheat River
  • Check out Davis, WV and Blackwater Falls State Park

Trip Overview

Did you know that the Appalachian Mountains may have once been as tall as the Himalayas? The Appalachians are the oldest mountains on the North American continent and are home to fascinating and unique ecosystems. For example, have you ever heard of the Cheat Mountain Salamander? Did you know that the only place they are found is on the high mountain peaks in northeastern West Virginia? If you are interested in exploring this awesome area, the WV Highlands Adventure is for you!

Over the course of this nine-day adventure, you will have the chance to try out the activities that make West Virginia such an awesome outdoor playground. We will hike, canoe, raft and explore, while spending nights under the stars with awesome new friends. On a three-day backpacking trip in the Otter Creek Wilderness Area, we follow the creek past waterfalls, over bridges, searching for salamanders, native trout, and other creatures along the way. Next we will canoe the Cheat River, a beautiful section of river with exciting riffles and plenty of swimming holes. On the closing day our group will celebrate our challenges and successes!

No experience is necessary to join the trip. The only things you need are a sense of curiosity about this unique and little explored region of the country, the willingness to learn about yourself, and an open mind. We are confident that when you “drive off the mountain” and head home, you will have a greater sense of yourself, how you work with your peers, and an appreciation for this unique place in “almost heaven” West Virginia.

Trip FAQ's

Do I need to have prior experience backpacking or canoeing to do this trip?

No prior experience backpacking or canoeing is necessary to join an Appalachian Expeditions trip, but participants should be in good physical condition. No matter how physically fit you are, we do encourage participants to train for the expedition. It is important that participants want to join the trip and come with an open mind!

What is the hiking like? What is the river like? Can you tell me about the camping?

Hiking in West Virginia is gorgeous! Picture yourself in a tunnel of flowering Rhododendrons with creeks and waterfalls gushing nearby. The trails are remote and sometimes rugged with rocks, roots, and water on the trail. We will teach you the skills you need to navigate and camp comfortably, and will celebrate the sense of accomplishment we feel at the end!

The section of the Cheat River we will be canoeing is mostly flatwater, with occasional riffles. The river flows through a deep, wooded gorge punctuated with swimming holes, side hikes, and wildflowers.

We will camp each night under the stars, in a tent provided by Appalachian Expeditions. Participants, separated by gender, will share a tent with their 3-4 “tent mates.” We will spend four nights in the front country, where we will have access to bathrooms and running water, and four nights in the backcountry. We will prepare all of our meals on a camp stove.

What is the total cost of the trip?

The tuition is $1,890. This covers meals, accomodations, and all other trip costs. Participants families will have to pay for transportation to and from Davis, WV, hiking boots, and rental equipment such as backpacks, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, etc.

Where will my child meet the group on arrival day? Where will I pick them up on the final day?

Apex staff will meet you at a designated campsite in Blackwater Falls State Park on both arrival and pick up day between 11am- 3pm. More details to come.