New River Gorge
1978: National River
Rating (1-5): Unrated
About the SiteNew River Gorge National River protects 53 miles of whitewater river and 70,000 acres of land rich in cultural heritage and natural history. The area spans land between the towns of Hinton and Fayetteville in West Virginia, offering an abundance of recreational and scenic opportunities. These 53 miles are a free-flowing waterway and as such preserve a way of life that is quickly disappearing.
A National River is a special classification used by the National Park Service to designate riverways that contain significant cultural and natural resources. It's protected and preserved by the National Park Service just like other National Parks and Monuments.
What You're Going to SeeThe New River is a rugged, wild river, winding through deep canyons, and is among the oldest rivers on the continent. As always with a National Park site, you should start with the visitors center, and New River Gorge has four: Canyon Rim, Thurmond Historic District, Grandview, and Sandstone Visitors Centers. Exhibits, displays, and audio visual presentations offer information about the site. Rangers are available to answer more questions, of course.
Personal ObservationsThe bridge sounds interesting. But, it's a river, right?
Getting ThereTo get to the downstream part of the River, and the Gorge Bridge, from Charleston take U.S. 60 east for 43 miles to the junction with Highway 16. Take that south for 9 miles to the junction with U.S. 19. The Visitor Center is one mile to the east.
Nearby AttractionsTen miles to the north of the Bridge is Gauley River National Recreation Area. About 15 miles south of the Sandstone Visitors Center is Bluestone National Scenic River. The Appalachian National Scenic Trail runs about 30 miles southeast of the Sandstone Visitors Center.