Unbelievable Fall Foliage and Adventures Await on the Latest Nationwide Park


New River Gorge Nationwide Park and Protect in West Virginia tops many bucket lists. It’s our latest nationwide park, and it’s overflowing with outside adventures of all types, from mountain climbing to scenic overlooks to high-flying ziplines with foliage-filled views. In fact, world-class whitewater rafting on the swiftly flowing New River can be an enormous draw.

Greater than 70,000 acres of rugged terrain sidle up towards one of many oldest rivers on the earth on this mountainous nationwide park. The slim 53-mile slice of parkland stretches north from Hinton to Ansted, intertwining pure magnificence with an extended and illustrious mining historical past.

There are a number of cities east and west of the park that function base camps, together with Beckley and Mount Hope, however Fayetteville is the place to be, if solely as a result of it’s a stone’s throw from the New River Gorge Bridge, an iconic crossing that was as soon as the longest metal arch bridge on the earth.

bridge walk
Photograph courtesy Adventures on the Gorge

Accomplished in 1977, the 876-foot-tall bridge connects Fayetteville to the west with Lansing to the east. Bridge Stroll presents three-hour guided excursions that lead guests throughout a 2-foot-wide catwalk that’s 25 toes underneath the bridge. For sure, this tour is just not for these with a concern of heights.

To not fear: A security harness and a safety railing maintain guests on the iron catwalk. Look down and also you’ll turn out to be entranced by the views throughout the curious north-flowing river. From April to mid-October, look ahead to helmet-clad rafters furiously paddling the frenetic rapids under.

For these desirous to ogle the span from terra firma, there are alternatives, together with viewing platforms on the park’s Canyon Rim Customer Heart in Lansing. There may be an accessible overlook, in addition to a decrease overlook that requires guests to descend 178 steps (then climb again up 178 steps).

A second choice is a forested hike alongside the park’s Lengthy Level Path. A straightforward 1.5-mile stroll results in dramatic Lengthy Level for sweeping views of the historic bridge and the breathtaking gorge. Pack a snack and settle in on the rocky outcrop to absorb spectacular vistas.

For nonetheless extra views, motor alongside Fayette Station Highway. As soon as the one technique to cross the gorge on one- and two-way roads, together with hairpin turns, there are quite a few spots to drag over and snap pictures of the bridge. Obtain the self-driven audio tour from the park’s web site for historic narration that takes guests again to a time when greater than 40 coal mining cities lined the gorge.

white water rafting
Photograph courtesy Adventures on the Gorge

No journey to could be full with out an exhilarating whitewater rafting journey on frenzied, heart-pumping rapids. Ebook a day on the Decrease New River with Adventures on the Gorge to furiously paddle Class II to Class IV rapids. Break up the day with a riverside buffet-style picnic lunch and a leap off of Bounce Rock into the free-flowing New River.

“We now have seen renewed curiosity in outside adventures the previous two years,” says Roger Wilson, CEO of Adventures on the Gorge. “A lot of our company have mentioned they need to make rafting an everyday prevalence. We’re right here for them, even into the autumn.”

Adventures on the Gorge additionally presents lodging choices that vary from deluxe cabins to glamping tents to tenting websites for tents and RVs. In fall, two onsite eating places and a takeaway espresso store are open to company and guests.

Bridge Day

For the last word adrenaline rush, Bridge Day is the granddaddy of all adventures at New River Gorge. That is the oldest and largest organized BASE leaping occasion on the earth, happening annually in October. This yr’s competition takes place on October 15.

The one-day competition attracts in 100,000 guests to catch sight of parachute-fitted thrill-seekers as they toss themselves off the historic New River Gorge Bridge. Particular actions usually embody a 5K race, tandem jumps, a meals competition, and rappelling from the New River Gorge Bridge.

The place to Eat

When it’s time to eat, there are alternatives. Even higher, they’re actually good choices. When your tummy begins to rumble, right here’s the place to go in Fayetteville.

Cathedral Café is a former church that’s been transformed into an eatery serving up breakfast sammies and grilled paninis. 134 S. Court docket St.

Tucked away on the decrease degree of a High quality Inn, Elliott’s Whitewater Bar & Grill has surprisingly good fare, together with burgers and salads. It’s additionally a terrific recreation day sports activities bar. 103 Elliott’s Wy.

Tudor’s Biscuit World is a part of a sequence, however it might even be one of the simplest ways to start out your day. There are practically 20 breakfast sandwiches on the menu. 323 N. Court docket St.

Finest Hikes

Greater than 100 mountain climbing trails crisscross New River Gorge Nationwide Park and Protect. Trails vary in size from 0.25 to 7 miles. Listed below are three can’t-miss hikes on the nationwide park.

Lengthy Level Path: This simple 3-mile round-trip hike begins 5 miles south of the Canyon Rim Customer Heart, rewarding hikers with a rocky overlook and massive bridge views.

Countless Wall Path: The 1.6-mile Countless Wall Path (which is one-way) is wildly standard due to a stroll alongside unbroken sandstone cliffs and far-reaching gorge views from Diamond Level.

Kaymoor Miners Path: This strenuous 2-mile hike guides guests alongside a forested path, previous a flowing waterfall, after which down 821 steps to the stays of coal processing crops.

What Else to Do

Out of doors adventurers, the New River Gorge space is a wonderland. When you’ve checked off rafting, mountain climbing, and taking within the bridge from each angle, right here’s what else to tee up.

Ziplines: Fly throughout an japanese hemlock forest on the TreeTops Zipline Cover Tour at Adventures on the Gorge. Get psyched as much as conquer 10 ziplines and 5 sky bridges.

Horseback Driving: Ebook a 2.5-hour sundown path journey with Equestrian Adventures in Fayetteville. What a technique to wind down after a day spent splashing and paddling within the New River.

Kayaking: Lease a kayak from Summersville Lake Retreat for a flatwater paddle on Summersville Lake, West Virginia’s largest lake. The clothes shop additionally rents canoes and stand-up paddleboards.

This story initially ran in our September situation. For extra tales like this, subscribe to our month-to-month journal.





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