Locals Know Best Podcast Ep. 006: Fayetteville, West Virginia

Last updated on April 23rd, 2024 at 01:38 pm

Cindy Scott

Introduction to Episode 006: Fayetteville, West Virginia America’s Best Kept Secret

Cindy rafting on the New River

Welcome to the sixth episode of Locals Know Best! I’m your host, Cindy. I’m a full-time RVer and lover of all things travel-related. Years of adventuring on the road have taught me one fundamental lesson; locals ALWAYS know best! Every episode of this podcast will dive into one local’s perfect day of outdoor adventure in their town!

In this episode, I’ll be talking with local business owner Heather Johnson about the perfect day of outdoor adventure in Fayetteville, West Virginia.

You may or may not know this, but Fayetteville has some of the best rafting in the United States.


The town of Fayetteville has been named best Rivertown in 2013 by Blue Ridge Outdoor Magazine, and one of the 2006 Top 10 Coolest Small Towns in America by Budget Travel Magazine.

Today’s episode is going to be a little bit of a unique one because it’s entirely possible to have an incredible day of outdoor adventure at River Expeditions without ever even leaving their campus. But don’t worry, we’ll still touch on some of the local spots in town that are not to be missed!

Join Heather and me as we tackle rafting trips down the New River and the Gauley River, explore the surrounding neighborhood, and wrap up our day in one of the best ways possible!

About Heather Johnson

Heather Johnson

Check out Heather’s Company – River Expeditions

Heather is a native West Virginian who co-owns, along with her husband, an adventure outfitter business that primarily focuses on rafting trips, known as River Expeditions. She’s a second-generation rafting outfitter, who’s been in the business for 24 years.

Listen to the Episode

Click here to listen to this episode of Locals Know Best!

On this episode of the Locals Know Best travel podcast, we'll be visiting Fayetteville, West Virginia through the eyes of local adventure outfitter business owner, Heather Johnson.

What We Cover in This Episode

  • The best time of year to visit Fayetteville, West Virginia. 
  • The difference between the three distinct whitewater rafting seasons in West Virginia.
  • A West Virginia river that people come from all around the globe to raft.
  • What a multi-day rafting trip in West Virginia is like.
  • All of the other activities you can do in town, beyond rafting.
  • What a full day rafting trip in West Virginia is like.
  • Jump rock, threading the needle & surfing the rapids!
  • The number one thing that leads to a successful day on the rapids.
  • The best places to get a meal in Fayetteville, WV.
  • Where to go for all of the best hiking, mountain biking, and climbing route recommendations in Fayetteville.
  • One Fayetteville, WV spot that’s not to be missed.
  • What makes River Expeditions stand apart from the competition.
  • The best way to unwind after a long day of rafting.
Barrett floating in the New River


[River Expeditions runs] the Gauley River, which is world-class. So people come from literally all around the globe to experience the whitewater from the Gauley River.

Heather Johnson

I would encourage everybody just to give it a try. Start off with the low impact, gentle float trip. And, yeah, if you like that you can work your way up to the whitewater.

Heather Johnson

We end up beneath the world-famous New River Gorge Bridge, and you can’t beat that for spectacular scenery and just the awe-inspiring views that you’ll see in the Gorge.

Heather Johnson

Everything’s more fun in a 55 passenger bus.

Heather Johnson

[West Viriginia] was once known as America’s Best Kept Secret. We don’t want it to be secret anymore.

Heather Johnson

Fayetteville, West Virginia Map

Links to Places Mentioned in this Episode

Where to Stay in Fayetteville, West Virginia:

Fayetteville, West Virginia Outdoor Destinations Mentioned:

The view from the Long Point Trail
The view from the Long Point Trail

Fayetteville, West Virginia Area Destinations Mentioned:

Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine Tour
Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine Tour

Fayetteville, West Virginia Restaurants Mentioned:

Thanks for Listening!

We love our listeners! If you enjoyed this episode, please leave me a comment below and let me know about your favorite part!

If you’ve been enjoying the show, please also consider leaving me a review in Apple Podcasts. It’s super easy; click here and go to “ratings and reviews.” I read and appreciate every single one! Each review helps new listeners find the podcast. Thank you!!

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