October in the New River Gorge means many things: vibrant fall foliage, thrilling whitewater rafting trips, and West Virginia’s largest, most exciting one-day festival: Bridge Day.What’s Bridge Day?The New River Gorge Bridge is an iconic West Virginia landmark – and every third weekend in October, it’s closed for Bridge Day, the oldest and largest BASE jumping event in the world. Serious BASE jumpers get their chance to fly 876 feet off the bridge into the Gorge below, and rappellers will ascend and descend from the catwalk. Thousands of spectators watch as those daredevils leap off the bridge, sometimes performing exciting tricks before they pull their chutes and sail into the Gorge. Plus, this is the only chance each year you have to walk on and take in the view from the longest steel arch bridge in the western hemisphere.Want to get in on the action?There’s still time to register to BASE jump! If you have made at least 200 skydives, you can purchase a jumper pass. 400 jumpers are allowed to register each year. Are you an experienced BASE jumper? If you have made at least 50 BASE jumps and are the proud owner of a helmet, you can also add a Rastapult launch pass! With the Rastapult, you’ll be launched off the bridge like a human cannonball, making this experience perfect for jumpers who want an extra thrill to their Bridge Day experience. If you prefer to keep your feet firmly planted on the ground, don’t worry. Come as a spectator, or participate in one of these exciting adventures!If you prefer to keep your feet firmly planted on the ground, don’t worry. Come as a spectator, or participate in one of these exciting adventures!Into the Gorge Shuttles: Ride a bus to the bottom of the Gorge to experience Bridge Day from an entirely new perspective! From here, you can see BASE jumpers fly towards the landing zone and witness rappellers in action. Tickets are still available, but hurry – they will sell out!Bridge Day 5k: Be one of the first people on the bridge when you run across it during the Bridge Day 5k! Registration is still open.Highline: Think of the Highline as a zip line – you’ll slide 700 feet from the catwalk of the bridge down to the road below attached to a sturdy harness and cable as a belayer controls your speed. There’s no experience necessary, so hurry up and reserve your spot!Ready to go? Make your Bridge Day trip even more memorable when you stay a little longer in Southern West Virginia. Come early to take in the flavor of the region at Taste of Bridge Day the night before, or spend your weekend jamming out at Bridge Jam, Bridge Day’s official music festival.If you want even more adventure, book a whitewater rafting trip to ride the thrilling New or Gauley Rivers, or go rock climbing on the sandstone cliffs of the New River Gorge. When it’s time to relax, choose a cozy cabin or campsite, tucked away in the forest.This is Bridge Day – and it’s unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. So mark your calendars for Saturday, October 20, 2018; see you on the bridge!
Happening now:A Florida Panther, or large cat of some sort, is sitting on a pole along Alligator Alley.It is unclear how the animal got there but reports say officials are in the process of trying to remove it.This story is developing.