WEST VIRGINIA: The Resort at Glade Springs
Brad Auerbach discovers year-round adventure and fun at this hidden gem in West Virginia.
Here are a few things we bet you don’t know about West Virginia: It’s the birthplace of Mother’s Day; home to the world’s largest sycamore tree; the location of the first steamboat launching on the Potomac River in 1787; and the setting of the country’s first spa–Berkeley Springs–which opened to the public in 1756. Don Knotts, Chuck Yaeger and Mary Lou Retton were born there. Nearly 75% percent of the state is covered in forests, so folks traveling the dramatic Appalachian Mountain ranges see many a beautiful thing, but too few have discovered the gracious splendor of The Resort at Glade Springs.
Passionate entrepreneur Elmer Coppoolse purchased the resort development about a decade ago, and recently worked with Jim Justice, the owner of West Virginia’s historic and most revered resort, The Greenbrier, to forge a co-ownership arrangement. Justice has added fresh funds to “The Glade” and the results are delightful. It shouldn’t be long until the secret is out that The Glade is a captivating destination for golfers, river rafters, snow skiers and family gatherings.
Set on 4,100 acres in Daniels,WV., the resort has over 200 guest rooms that include standard hotel rooms and suites, villas and small lodges. Myriad lodging options cater well to a variety of visitors from couples seeking tasteful suites to extended families wanting to take over one of the Chestnut Hill Lodges for a reunion. The colonial exterior of the Manor House accommodations belie the sleek and modern interiors. Inside, you’ll find two spacious bedroom suites, a common kitchen and great room whose high ceilings provide an expansive feel. The wraparound porch is perfect for early evening relaxation. Ski groups wanting to bunk affordably can also head to The Glade as the Winterplace Ski Resort is only eight miles down the road, adding to The Glade’s year round appeal.
In the summer, white water rafting proves to be the big draw. The resort offers shuttles to the New River, an easy 40-minute drive to the nation’s most ironically named waterway, the New River, which happens to be the second oldest river in the world (after the Nile). Both of these ancient rivers flow north, an anomaly for their regions. The ever professional Class VI Tours offers trips through what has been deemed “American’s best whitewater” along the New River or Gauley River with varying levels of adrenaline. Inevitably, there will be at least one city slicker with a T-shirt that’s says “Paddle faster, I hear banjo music.”
During fall, an equestrian ride through the plentiful wooded forests is another compelling diversion, especially with the changing autumnal leaves above and underfoot. For guests visiting the third weekend in October, Bridge Day is a major sporting event in West Virginia as parachutists and bungee jumpers hurl themselves off the famous New River Gorge Bridge in front of 100,000 cheering spectators.
The Glade sports three championship golf courses, each consistently ranking in the State’s Top 5. These courses afford golfers of all stripes beautiful and challenging holes with elevation changes and strategic bunkers abound. Other Glade activities include spa-ing, paintball, ziplines, fishing, canoeing, geocaching, sporting clays, cave tours, ATV tours, rock climbing, rappelling and fun at their newly installed laser tag field.
But at the heart of it all, friendly Southern hospitality reigns. Coppoolse has instilled his welcoming demeanor in his staff. The one word to describe The Resort at Glade Springs is unexpected. And what owner Coppoolse believes rings true—once guests experience his resort they are easily converted. Whether it’s for a wedding, golf getaway, family reunion or whitewater weekend, a stay at The Resort at Glade Springs will surely make guests remember many wonderful things about West Virginia.
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