Stop to smell the flowers, literally, on our New River Gorge Side by Side Nature Tour! Use our Side by Sides to get to remote areas and spend six hours deep in the woods with one of our local naturalists and learn about the birds, trees, bugs, and critters. Your guide will show you the way to some of their favorite spots in our area and explore with you while sharing their knowledge of the interesting and special things about the ecosystems here at the New River Gorge. Water and snacks are provided, but feel free to bring your own muchies too!
All passengers must be 12 years or older with a parent or guardian present. Drivers must be at least 25 years old with a valid driver’s license. Rates are per unit. Units have a maximum of 4 occupants.
Itinerary: Meet your guide at our facility half an hour prior to your trip time. Your guide will walk you through filling out and signing your liability waiver, equipment rental agreement, and your equipment deposits. After that, your guide will fit you with helmets, provide eye protection upon request, and give you basic instruction on Side by Side operation. If all goes well, you’ll be departing for your trip about 30 minutes after arriving. For the next 6 hours, you’ll be out on the trails with your guide learning about the natural things that make the New River Gorge such a beautiful place!
What is Provided? New River ATV will provide your machine and safety equipment. Each Side by Side will have a field pack that contains 2 pairs of binoculars, water, snacks, and the following National Audubon Society Pocket Guides:
- Familiar Birds of North America
- Familiar Animal Tracks of North America
- Familiar Flowers of North America
- Familiar Trees of North America, East
Your naturalist guide will carry additional field guides to share with the group.
What to Bring: The day is spent outdoors at various elevations and physical environments; you can expect cool mornings, warmer afternoons, and pop-up spring showers. We recommend wearing layers that are easy to remove, easy to stow and tie down. Expect everything you bring to get bumped around and dirty. We also recommend bringing:
- allergy medicine
- binoculars (2 pairs per Side by Side will be provided)
- camera / cell phone
- personal field guide(s) (checklists will be provided when possible)
- gloves (lightweight)
- hiking shoes or boots (closed toe shoes required)
- insect repellant
- long and short sleeved shirts (layered)
- pants (required)
- rain jacket with hood or hooded jacket
Meet Our Program Director: Rachel Davis is a lifelong Appalachian and avid naturalist dedicated to seeking and sharing a better understanding of wildlife through observation and research. She believes that curiosity leads to understanding, and understanding to appreciation, and ultimately nature’s survival through a human desire to coexist. Since 2007, she’s been with the New River Birding & Nature Festival as the Marketing Director, Co-coordinator, Co-host, and Local Guide; and in the outdoor classroom of the New River Birding & Nature Center organizing and leading environmental education field trips for students, youth organizations, families, and adults.