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New River Gorge National Park and Preserve

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Overview

Established in 1978, New River Gorge National River is home to the spectacular landscape carved by the New River which is among the oldest rivers in the world. The park, which spans over 70,000 acres, stretches 53 miles along the New River from Bluestone Dam to Hawk's Nest Lake. A rugged, whitewater river, the New River has carved and continues to carve the longest and deepest river gorge in the Appalachian Mountains. The park is home to a varied and beautiful woodland surrounding the river that is rich in natural history and offers a variety of scenic and recreational opportunities for visitors to enjoy.

To learn more about New River Gorge National River, visit www.nps.gov.

Local Info

Visitor Centers:
Hours of operation for certain visitor centers vary by season. To see current hours of operation, visit the park's website.
  • Canyon Rim Visitor Center: Open daily from 9 am to 5 pm. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day.
  • Sandstone Visitor Center: Open daily from 9 am to 5 pm. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day.
  • Thurmond Depot Visitor Center: Open daily June through August from 10 am to 5 pm.
  • Grandview Visitor Center: Open daily June through August from 12 pm to 5 pm.

Visiting Tips

New River Gorge National River is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The weather in the Appalachian Mountains can be unpredictable, and visitors are advised to be prepared for the possibility of sudden storms. The mountains are typically wetter and cooler than the surrounding area.

Fees & Passes:
There is no entrance fee for New River Gorge National River.

Camping & Lodging

Camping:
The park offers a choice of seven primitive campgrounds, most of which are located near the river. All sites are filled on a first-come, first-served basis and reservations are not accepted. There are no fees for camping and stays are limited to 14 days in the same campground. For more information on camping in the park, click here.

  • Stone Cliff Beach: Six walk-in and one vehicle site.
  • Army Camp: Eleven drive-in tent and RV sites.
  • Grandview Sandbar: Ten sites for tents and small-medium sized RVs, six walk-in tents sites, and two accessible sites (with handicapped permit displayed).
  • Glade Creek: Six walk-in tent sites and five drive-in sites for tents or small-medium RVs. One accessible site (with handicapped permit displayed).
  • War Ridge/Backus Mountain: Eight drive-in sites for tents or small RVs.
  • Brooklyn: Four walk-in sites and one drive-in site for tents only.
  • Thayer: Tent sites only.

Backcountry Camping:
Backcountry camping is permitted in areas adjacent to trails such as Glade Creek, Brooklyn-Southside Junction, and Stone Cliff trails. Other sites are along the river, accessible by boat. Camping is prohibited within 100 feet of developed trails and at Grandview, Brookside Island, day-use areas, and within Bluestone National Scenic River.

Lodging:
There is no lodging within the park, but visitors looking to extend their stay nearby have their choice of cabins, motels, and bed and breakfasts in the nearby towns of Hawk's Nest, Pipestem Resort State Parks, Babcock, and Bluestone. For a listing of accommodations, call the West Virginia Division of Tourism at 1-800-CALLWVA, the Southern West Virginia Convention and Visitors Bureau at 1-800-VISITWV, or the New River CVB at 1-800-927-0263.

Food & Drink

There are no restaurants or food vendors located within the park. Visitors should come prepared with the necessary food and drink for their stay. A variety of dining options can be found in the nearby towns outside of the park.

Outfitters, Tours, & Shuttles

New River Gorge National River offers a variety of ranger-led programs that vary by season. All programs, unless otherwise specified, are free and open to the public. To learn more about these ranger-led programs and to see the current events calendar, click here.

Other Activities

New River Gorge National River is renowned for its excellent variety of recreational opportunities. Whether you are interested in hiking, biking, fishing, whitewater rafting, canoeing, rock climbing, mountain biking, hunting, bird watching, camping, picnicking, or just taking in the stunning scenery, the park has something for everyone to enjoy. Commercial outfitters conduct trips down the river from April through October. The upper part of the river offers somewhat less challenging Class I to Class III rapids for whitewater canoeing. The Lower Gorge of the New River is a premier whitewater rafting location with rugged rapids ranging in difficulty from Class III to Class V. Also be sure to check out the great opportunities for rock climbing and mountain biking in the area.

Maps & Guidebooks

To download a variety of free brochures to help plan your visit, click here.

If you're interested in purchasing a guidebook that encompasses NRG as well as its surrounds, look no further than Hiking and Biking in the New River Gorge, A Trail User's Guide. It includes elevation charts and maps for hikes, as well as historical context for the area.

Gems in New River Gorge National Park and Preserve - 3

Hiking Project is built by hikers like you. Add Your Gems

gem Favorite A typical West Virginia fall day, wet and foggy!

Long Point Overlook

(20) Fayette…, WV
gem Favorite Just a fraction of Sandstone Falls.

Sandstone Falls

(10) Hinton, WV
gem Favorite Nuttallburg coal chute.

Nuttallburg

(6) Fayette…, WV

Recommended Routes in New River Gorge National Park and Preserve - 4

Hiking Project is built by hikers like you. Add Your Recommended Routes

Favorite Beautiful easy trail, wildflowers, river views, birds.  Very enjoyable.
Easy Easy

Sandstone Falls Loop

1.1 mi 1.7 km 31' Up 9.42 m Up 31' Down 9.4 m Down

Hinton, WV
Explore in 3D
Favorite Gorg view of new river from the Grandview Overlook
Intermediate Intermediate

Grandview Rim Loop

3.2 mi 5.1 km 420' Up 127.96 m Up 420' Down 127.93 m Down

Stanaford, WV
Explore in 3D
Favorite A walk in the Little Beaver State Park (WV).
Intermediate Intermediate

Little Bear State Park Loop

6.0 mi 9.7 km 374' Up 113.94 m Up 374' Down 113.95 m Down

Daniels, WV
Explore in 3D

New River Gorge National Park and Preserve Hiking

  • 73 Miles 118 Kilometers of Trail
  • 4 Recommended Routes
  • 3 Gems Gems
  • 16 Easy Trails Easy Trails
  • 27 Intermediate Trails Intermediate Trails
  • 8 Difficult Trails Difficult Trails
Hiking Project is built by hikers like you. Share what you know about this area!

Areas Within New River Gorge National Park and Preserve

Weather Averages


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J F M A M J J A S O N D

Trails in New River Gorge National Park and Preserve - 47

Hiking Project is built by hikers like you. Add Your Trails

5.7 mi 9.2 km #1Glade Creek Trail
Intermediate Intermediate
Daniels, WV
Intermediate Intermediate
Daniels, WV 16 
0.5 mi 0.8 km #2Castle Rock Trail
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult
Stanaford, WV
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult
Stanaford, WV 10 
6.2 mi 10.0 km #3Brooklyn - Southside Junction Trail
Easy/Intermediate Easy/Intermediate
Oak Hill, WV
Easy/Intermediate Easy/Intermediate
Oak Hill, WV
0.4 mi 0.6 km #4Island in the Sky Trail
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult
Rainelle, WV
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult
Rainelle, WV
0.4 mi 0.6 km #5Tunnel Trail
Easy/Intermediate Easy/Intermediate
Stanaford, WV
Easy/Intermediate Easy/Intermediate
Stanaford, WV
1.9 mi 3.1 km #6Big Branch Trail
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult
Hinton, WV
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult
Hinton, WV
6.4 mi 10.2 km #7Dalton
Easy/Intermediate Easy/Intermediate
Fayetteville, WV
Easy/Intermediate Easy/Intermediate
Fayetteville, WV
1.6 mi 2.5 km #8Lake View Trail
Intermediate Intermediate
Rainelle, WV
Intermediate Intermediate
Rainelle, WV
3.0 mi 4.8 km #9Adena
Intermediate Intermediate
Fayetteville, WV
Intermediate Intermediate
Fayetteville, WV
1.0 mi 1.6 km #10Triple Creek Trail
Intermediate Intermediate
Oak Hill, WV
Intermediate Intermediate
Oak Hill, WV

Photos of New River Gorge National Park and Preserve - 40

Hiking Project is built by hikers like you. Add Your Photos

800 steps down.
Aug 1, 2016 near Fayette…, WV
Chilling on Diamond Point.
Aug 1, 2016 near Fayette…, WV
Boardwalk built over old railroad trestle.
Jul 26, 2021 near Oak Hill, WV
Abandoned rail lines
Jul 26, 2021 near Oak Hill, WV
View from the trail
Jun 15, 2022 near Fayette…, WV
View from the trail
Jun 15, 2022 near Fayette…, WV
View from the trail
Jun 15, 2022 near Fayette…, WV
View from the trail
Jun 15, 2022 near Fayette…, WV
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