West Virginia is cementing its position as a leader in outdoor recreation by hosting two world-class events this September.

Gauley Season features some of the best whitewater rafting in the world, while the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Finals bring mountain bikers together from all across the globe. Both events began in earnest on September 6.

Every September, the Summersville Dam executes a series of scheduled releases into the Gauley River, creating action-packed whitewater rafting conditions for 23 days during the fall. An extra hour of release is scheduled for Sept. 21-23.

“Whitewater Rafting in West Virginia is truly almost heaven,” said Chelsea Ruby, tourism commissioner.  “To celebrate Gauley Season, I invite everyone to come experience the adventure for yourself by taking on Class V rapids. For those looking for a more relaxed whitewater rafting experience, try the New River with one of our local outfitters, who are offering discounts all season long.”

Snowshoe Mountain hosted the Mercedes-Benz UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Finals from Sept. 6-8, where athletes from around the world fought for the gold. This year marked the first time since 2015 the event was held in the United States.

Snowshoe is a world-class mountain biking destination and recently received the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) Ride Center designation. The Snowshoe Highlands Ride Center has been awarded the designation in recognition of its exceptional mountain biking experience, which makes it one of just 40 IMBA Ride Centers in the world.

“Unique trails, unmatched beauty and an adventure of a lifetime await athletes at the Mercedes-Benz UCI Mountain Bike World Cup,” Ruby said. “We’re excited to welcome mountain bikers 4,848 feet into the mountains to find their own version of Almost Heaven.”