The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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November 12, 2013

‘Best River Town 2013’ — Magazine poll selects Fayetteville

BECKLEY — While the residents and locals have been privileged to the secret of Fayetteville’s beauty and unique offerings for decades now, it seems as though the word is officially out — and it’s traveling through the grapevine at rapid speeds.

With the establishment of the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve and the national press coverage associated with the complex, Bridge Day and the New River Gorge National River, the coveted beauty and qualities of Fayetteville have been uncovered by the nation.

Most recently, the historic Town of Fayetteville was recognized for a new distinction: The Best River Town of 2013.

Awarded by Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine, the reader-based poll garnered 30,000 votes. The tally revealed Fayetteville to have stolen the top spot, ranking above the well-known cities of Asheville, N.C., Richmond, Va., and others.  

Blue Ridge Outdoors Online Editor Jack Murray said Fayetteville has the key ingredient for ranking first above other river towns: convenient river access.

What sets Fayetteville apart, he added, is that not only one river is easily accessed, but two.

“Fayetteville is right there in the heart of two of the most well-known whitewater hot spots on the East Coast, if not the entire U.S.,” Murray said, citing the Gauley and New rivers.

Blue Ridge Outdoors applauded the town not only for being a destination for both expert kayakers and amateur rafters around the globe, but also for its year-round whitewater community that separates the ’Ville from other river towns across the U.S.

“The nature of the community reflects Fayetteville as being a top river town,” Murray said, paying homage to the town’s retailers, proprietors, river guides and avid outdoorsmen.

“Aside from world-class whitewater, Fayetteville is also a great place for rock climbers, anglers, mountain bikers and trail runners,” the article stated. “The trail system in the New River Gorge is one of the finest in the country, and the gorge walls and cliffs are world-renowned for their epic sandstone routes.”

The award isn’t the first recognition of Fayetteville’s cool factor, however. Budget Travel named Fayetteville as one of the Coolest Small Towns in the U.S.A. in 2006.

Copies of the Blue Ridge Outdoors November edition are available at Marathon Bike Company and Water Stone Outdoors, both located within the downtown district of Fayetteville. The article can be viewed online at www.blueridgeoutdoors.com.

— E-mail: bunderwood@register-herald.com

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