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America’s Newest National Park!

Hey fellow adventurers! 🌲 Are you ready to explore one of America’s newest national parks? Nestled in the heart of West Virginia, New River Gorge National Park is a dream come true for thrill-seekers and nature lovers alike. With jaw-dropping landscapes, adrenaline-pumping activities, and a rich cultural history, this park is definitely one for the bucket list. So, let’s dive into all the exciting details!

Hiking Trails

Put on your hiking boots and get ready to hit the trails! 🥾 New River Gorge has over 100 miles of hiking paths, ranging from easy strolls to challenging treks. Here are my top picks for trails you shouldn’t miss:

  1. Long Point Trail (3.2 miles round-trip, Moderate) – Snap a selfie at the iconic Long Point rock outcrop with the New River Gorge Bridge in the background!
  2. Endless Wall Trail (2.4 miles round-trip, Moderate) – Discover breathtaking views of the gorge and climbers scaling the towering cliffs.
  3. Grandview Rim Trail (1.6 miles round-trip, Easy) – Perfect for families, this easy trail offers stunning vistas and wildlife spotting opportunities.
  4. Fayetteville Trail (2.4 miles round-trip, Moderate) – A local favorite, this trail meanders through lush forests and historic sites.
  5. Kaymoor Miner’s Trail (1.6 miles round-trip, Strenuous) – Prepare for a workout as you navigate steep steps to uncover remnants of West Virginia’s mining past.

Getting There

New River Gorge is easily accessible from major cities and transportation hubs in the region:

  • Approximate driving distances:
    • Charleston, WV: 60 miles (1 hour)
    • Roanoke, VA: 120 miles (2 hours)
    • Charlotte, NC: 270 miles (4.5 hours)
    • Washington, D.C.: 300 miles (5 hours)
  • Airports with commercial service:
    • Yeager Airport (CRW) in Charleston, WV
    • Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport (ROA) in Roanoke, VA
  • Amtrak adventures:
    • The Amtrak Cardinal (Chicago – New York) line stops at Prince, WV, just a short 10-minute drive from the park. The station is small but charming, with the platform nestled among the trees. Service runs three days a week, so plan accordingly. From the station, you can rent a car or arrange a shuttle to reach the park.


Here are some must-see attractions that’ll make your Instagram feed the envy of all your friends:

  1. New River Gorge Bridge – Strike a pose with the third-highest bridge in the U.S. as your backdrop!
  2. Sandstone Falls – Marvel at the cascading waters and capture the perfect long-exposure shot.
  3. Nuttallburg Coal Mining Complex – Immerse yourself in the region’s mining history and explore the hauntingly beautiful ruins.
  4. Grandview Overlook – Soak in panoramic views of the gorge and New River, and snap that iconic photo to remember your visit.
  5. Thurmond Historic District – Step back in time in this well-preserved railroad town and feel the spirit of the early 20th century.


Why not turn your adventure into an epic camping trip? 🏕️ Pitch your tent at one of these fantastic campgrounds:

  1. Army Camp Campground – A rustic experience with 11 first-come, first-served sites and a true taste of the wilderness.
  2. Stone Cliff Beach Campground – Enjoy riverside camping at one of the 21 sites and wake up to the
  3. sound of the water gently flowing by. 3. Glade Creek Campground – Escape the crowds with 6 secluded sites, perfect for reconnecting with nature.
  4. Grandview Sandbar Campground – Set up camp near the New River, where you’ll find 10 sites and plenty of fishing opportunities.
  5. Remember to check the park website for the latest information on camping availability and restrictions.

Nearby Attractions and NPS Sites

  1. Extend your adventure by exploring some of the incredible attractions and National Park Service sites nearby:
  2. Summersville Lake: Just an hour’s drive north, this crystal-clear lake offers boating, swimming, and cliff jumping for thrill-seekers.
  3. Babcock State Park: A picturesque park featuring the iconic Glade Creek Grist Mill, great for photography enthusiasts and only a 45-minute drive away.
  4. Tamarack: A unique artisan center showcasing West Virginia’s finest crafts, arts, and cuisine, located just off I-64 near Beckley (about 30 minutes away).
  5. Gauley River National Recreation Area: Managed by the NPS, this area is famous for its world-class whitewater rafting during the fall Gauley Season, approximately a 50-minute drive from New River Gorge.
  6. Blue Ridge Parkway: A scenic 469-mile drive connecting Shenandoah National Park in Virginia to Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina, the closest access point is about 2 hours away.
  7. So there you have it, fellow explorers! 🌄 With so many hiking trails, picturesque attractions, camping options, and nearby sites to visit, New River Gorge National Park is a must-see destination for anyone seeking adventure and natural beauty. Pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready to make memories that’ll last a lifetime. Happy trails! ✌️

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