Wheeling West Virginia Adventures
Go with the Flow in Wheeling, West Virginia
By Phyllis Sigal
From the peaceful streams of Wheeling Creek to downtown’s Heritage Port with the Ohio River as its backdrop to the lakes, pools and rolling hills of Oglebay, Wheeling, West Virginia, is a place to go with the flow.
STREAMING A PEACEFUL VIBE
Ray McKee may be a “southpaw,” but he’ll take his kayak- and canoe-loving adventurers north, east, west, as well as south for a pleasant, and energizing, trip along Ohio Valley waterways. McKee, his wife Lisa, his cousin Dan Oliver and Dan’s wife Becky, are the owners of Southpaw Outfitters based in the Elm Grove section of Wheeling. All told, they are the owners of 28 kayaks, 2 canoes and 8 inner tubes, all available for hourly and weekend trips.
Wheeling streams have “good water movement,” he noted, with no rapids, which makes it safe for kids (age 6 and up) and no need for special equipment such as helmets. Boaters don’t have to worry about waters that are too swift or deep. McKee transports customers from his shop to several Big Wheeling Creek public access points, and then they can happily paddle their way back to Southpaw. Or, paddlers can start at Southpaw and travel downstream a few miles to Kroger, where he’ll pick them up.
He also transports boaters to Middle Wheeling Creek Dam or the Ohio River for an outing. If you have your own canoe, he’ll shuttle you to the put-in spot. Staying at an area hotel? He’ll pick you up there and take you back to your lodging after the float. “We get people from all over,” McKee noted.
When you work up an appetite on the water, Southpaw Outfitters can provide a bit of sustenance from the recently opened “Southpaw Eatz” food truck. The food truck also will travel to area events. For information, visit southpaw-outfitters-llc.business.site or call 304-905-2628.
FLOAT, SPLASH, PADDLE AT OGLEBAY
Just a few miles from the interstate, nestled in the rolling hills off West Virginia 88, is Oglebay, a municipal park that has a little bit of everything for every member of the family. Oglebay boasts 258 rooms at Wilson Lodge and 54 cottages. “From single rooms to eight-bedroom estate houses, Oglebay provides all the amenities you need to make you feel right at home,” said Wendy Hodorowski, Oglebay Marketing Manager.
While visiting the park, there is no shortage of dining options, including the Ihlenfeld Dining Room in Wilson Lodge that overlooks Schenk Lake; the Glassworks Grill; the Garden Bistro; and the Route 88 BBQ & Brew. “And new this year is the Lakeview Cantina at Oglebay located on The West Spa patio. The alfresco dining option … features table service with signature cocktails and south of the border favorites including nachos, burritos, chips, salsa, guacamole and of course, tacos,” Hodorowski said.
Once you’ve figured out lodging and dining, it’s time to get out there and enjoy the dozens of activities!
“Oglebay has numerous outdoor recreational options to make your stay exciting. Spanning 3 acres, Schenk Lake offers pedal boating, aqua cycles, kayaking and fishing. And a short walk across the playground, guests can challenge friends or family with a round of mini-golf or test their skills on the aerial challenge course and rock-climbing wall,” said Herb Faulkenberry, Oglebay Vice President of Sales and Marketing.
“Crispin Center offers guests a chance to cool down at the pool and Fountains of Fun Splash & Spray. This exciting attraction features water sprays, fountains, cannons, and a giant Oglebay tree which rains down water,” he added.
“Outside, there are Segway tours to explore. The Tennis Center features 10 Har-Tru outdoor tennis courts, and offers Team Tennis, Drop ‘N Tennis, round robins and even pickleball,” Hodorowski said. Oglebay has 4.5 miles of paved trails that weave throughout the park. The Bissonnette Gardens include more than 30 flower beds, dozens of colorful hanging baskets and multiple fountains. “Guests can stroll down the red brick path and enjoy this re-creation of the gardens which existed at the summer home of Earl Oglebay in the early 1900s,” she noted.
There are also over 15 miles of unpaved trails to conquer. Many of the original trails traveled by Earl Oglebay in the early 1900s have been restored and groomed into hiking trails for guests.
“If golf is your game, guests can visit the Speidel Golf Club featuring the popular Robert Trent Jones Sr. Course or the ever-challenging Arnold Palmer Course. Oglebay also offers an 18-hole regulation Crispin Course and a 9-hole Par 3 course, complete with a lighted, 30-tee driving range,” Faulkenberry said.
Need a little “me time”? The West Spa offers massages therapy, body and facial treatments as well as manicures and pedicures.
Visit oglebay.com for more information on any of these activities, events and experiences.
Wheeling is easily accessible via Interstate 70, about two hours due east from Columbus, Ohio. For a list of area events, visit WheelingCVB.com. The Wheeling Convention and Visitors Bureau has an abundance of pamphlets and materials on places to eat, visit and stay, while in Wheeling. Call 304-233-7709 for a “things to do” packet.
Wheeling West Virginia Adventures