(WOWK) — As the Mountain State starts to slowly open back up after taking serious precautions due to COVID-19, this week we’ll be bringing you 13 different ways you can spend your weekend!

Please remember to follow social distancing and CDC guidelines.

1.) White-water rafting


However, there are some strict guidelines to be followed, per West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice:

  • The maximum number of 18 guests allowed on a 55-passenger bus at one time with space between groups.
  • Masks must be worn on the bus, and windows will remain open. We will provide masks for anybody who does not have one.
  • The bus will be disinfected between uses. 
  • The maximum number of guests per raft will be six. 
  • All guests in each raft must reside together or have traveled to Adventures on the Gorge together. We are not going to mix groups. 
  • Paddles, helmets, and personal floatation devices will be disinfected between each use.
  • Guides will wear masks or other face coverings when safe and practical to do so. Guests are encouraged to do the same.
  • Social distancing protocols will be followed at river put-ins and take-outs.

2.) Enjoy some outdoor dining

As part of phase two of Gov. Justice’s plan to reopen the state of West Virginia, restaurants are now allowed to serve patrons in outdoor dining areas – as long as they are far enough apart – which is helping a lot of people feel like things are “getting back to normal.”

Our own 13 News Reporter Hannah Goetz gives us a look at how people in our region re-act to the re-opening.

3.) Visit a state park

On last weeks segment of ’13 things to do this weekend’ we brought you 13 different state parks that are available for visiting and outdoor recreational activities. If you haven’t gotten the chance to go last weekend – the forecast is looking pretty good for some outdoor activity. Keep an eye on the radar and weather patterns with the StormTracker 13 App!

4.) Hatfield-McCoy Trail System

Gov. Justice says the Hatfield-McCoy trail system will be opened Thursday, May 21, 2020, prior to Memorial Day weekend.

He says the following guidelines will be enforced on the trails:

  • Riders are encouraged to wear face masks or face shields while stopped. All riders are required by law to wear a helmet while riding.
  • Riders are encouraged to self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms according to the CDC guidelines.
  • The state is asking riders to take their temperatures prior to arrival. Anyone with a temperature of 100 degrees or higher will not be permitted to enter the trails.
  • Visitors exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 must leave the trails immediately and must seek care and/or COVID-19 testing.
  • Congregating on trails is prohibited.
  • Visitors are required to follow social distancing guidelines, remaining six feet apart where practical and safe to do so.
  • Riders are discouraged from sharing a UTV, ATV or Off-Road dirt bike with anyone outside their immediate group.
  • The state also discourages riders from sharing safety equipment or masks.

All public buildings and public restrooms along the trail system will remain closed until further notice.

Gov. Justice says the state will continue to monitor to make certain the trails remain safe. Additional guidance will be made available on the governor’s website.

5.) Hit the gym


Gov. Justice also announced that all gyms and fitness centers could open on Monday, May 18, 2020. Previously only medically supervised exercise businesses were allowed to open.

He also reminded West Virginians to remain cautious as more activities, businesses and organizations reopen.

“Be prepared that if absolutely we get ‘blips’ on the screen, that are not good, we’re going to slow down, stop or pull back,” Justice said. “We continue to try as best we possibly can on the guidence of those experts to address this really fluid situation. I’m telling you there’s no playbook here; there’s no guarantee any of us have this absolutely down pat.”

Justice says the state’s cumulative percent positive test results continue to drop. He also mentioned the number of active cases in the states continues to drop as more people are recovering.

6.) Go fishing

Photo courtesy of the West Virginia Department of Commerce

DNR Law Enforcement will continue to patrol all state waterways, and officers may still require proof of West Virginia residency, driver’s license, or a state-issued ID.

All fishing regulations remain in effect for both residents and non-residents, including bag limits, slot limits, catch-and-release areas, and fly-fishing-only areas.

7.) Guided rock climbing

Set upon the backdrop of the New River Gorge, you are sure to get amazing views as you climb up rocks and rappel down. You can get guides at Adventures on the Gorge and other venues in the Mountain State.

“In an effort to promote more recreational activities, Governor Justice said outdoor guided fishing, and outdoor guided rock climbing could resume in the Mountain State on Friday May 15th,” said Mark Curtis, 13 News Chief Political Reporter.

8.) Go golfing

With the weather starting to heat up and sporting venues shut down, area golf courses are gearing up for what could be an unusually busy season. Local players have already started to pack one local country club.

With West Virginia courses allowed to remain open during the COVID-19 outbreak, getting a tee-time could get a whole lot tougher.

9.) Attend a church/religious service

With more West Virginia businesses being allowed to re-open, houses of worship are also preparing to reopen their doors to the faithful this weekend.

Starting this Sunday, in-person services will resume at Sacred Heart Co-Cathedral Charleston but not at full capacity. While the church can hold up to 350 worshipers, attendance will be capped at 75 people.

Congregation members can call or email ahead and reserve a pew for their family. And virtual mass will remain an option for those who are still uneasy with the idea of attending in person.

“The bishop is asking those 65 and older to stay home and to watch the mass online,” said Father Higgs. “They’re still receiving the word and inspiration and comfort, and we still continue prayer even when we’re apart.”

10.) Watch true-crime documentaries

Including one of our own, watch Jennifer Abney’s Unsolved: The Search for a Killer.

True crime podcasts and YouTube videos have become extremely popular in the last few years. And in some cases, they have even helped solve crimes. Now, one local family needs your help. They’ve waited over four decades for answers and they still don’t know what happened to their loved one. They’re hoping someone will help change that.

11.) Visit the mall

Some mall’s in your area might be up and running again!

“A number of protocols have already been established and put into place and as this is a gradual process we anticipate even more directives will be issues in the days and weeks to come.” said Charleston Town Center consultant Lisa McCracken.

The gradual reopening of Charleston Town Center will take around two to three weeks. Each store and restaurant is taking things day-by-day and opening as they see fit.

Chick-Fil-A plans to open up on Tuesday, May 26, 2020. Starbucks plans to reopen within 10 to 12 days. While it’s a gradual process, shoppers are encouraged with how it’s going so far.

“I feel pretty safe and people are social distancing. I feel like the mall is doing the right thing.” according to one shopper.

Mall officials say the reopening will include limited operational hours of 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 12:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

12.) Play a game of tennis

The City of Charleston will reopen tennis courts at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center, Kanawha City Community Center and Edgewood Tuesday, May 19, 2020 (Photo Courtesy: City of Charleston)

The City of Charleston will reopen tennis courts at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center, Kanawha City Community Center and Edgewood.

Mayor Amy Schuler Goodwin said the courts will be open every day from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m.

“As things begin to reopen across our state, it is important that we provide safe outdoor recreational opportunities,” Goodwin said. “We are excited to open our tennis courts with strict social distancing guidelines in place.”

The city has implemented the following additional guidelines for staff and players:

  • Tennis play will be limited to singles matches only. There will be no doubles tennis at this time.
  • Matches will be limited to “best of three” if others are waiting to play.
  • Staff will monitor courts and clean frequently touched surfaces.
  • Signage will be posted throughout court areas to encourage social distancing guidelines.

13.) Stay at home

A “Stay Home, Stay Safe” sign on a Portland balcony during the pandemic, April 2020 (KOIN)

We want you to know by posting these activities, we don’t mean that staying at home can’t be fun! Just know that you have options. If you are starting to go a little stir-crazy there are plenty of recreational activities in our region that you can partake in.

As always, stay safe, and go through everything at your own discretion.

We’ll see you here next week of ’13 things to do this weekend!’