New River Gorge National Park

The morning of our fourth day, we ventured to West Virginia to visit America’s newest national park, New River Gorge. This national park protects and maintains the New River Gorge in southern West Virginia and the Appalachian Mountains. The whole park encompasses over 70,000 acres of land along the river, which offers an abundance of scenic and recreational opportunities. Although its name could make you believe otherwise, the New River is actually among the oldest in the world. And as for the bridge, it stands the third longest in the world.

We arrived to the park at the Canyon Rim visitors center (open year-round) near Fayetteville, WV. There are a few different trails accessible from the visitor’s center, offering scenic bridge overlooks from various viewpoints. Ironically, we arrived to the park one day prior to “Bridge Day,” which is the ONE day a year they close down the bridge to all traffic. Pedestrians are allowed to walk across the bridge, and others with a more daring sense of adventure are allowed to base jump off the bridge (bungee jump). This is one of only two spots you’re legally allowed to base jump in the United States. Unfortunately, we had only accounted for one day at the park, and couldn’t extend our trip an additional day to experience Bridge Day. From everything we heard though, it’s an awesome event!

As you might’ve guessed, when not visiting for bridge day, many choose to explore this beautiful park via the river. White water rafting trips are quite popular in the area. However, we knew we would be visiting in mid-October, and weren’t totally sure how the weather would pan out.  We assumed the white-water rafting season would be finished for the year, however unfortunately we assumed wrong. It was beautiful out, and there was what seemed like an abundance of rafters on the river. While we were bummed to have missed the opportunity for ourselves, we were still able to watch the rafters on the river, which was pretty cool. The scenic park road takes you down by the old bridge, which is where the pick-up point for many of the rafting trips was located.

One thing we did manage to do right on this trip was hitting the fall foliage near peak, which made all our drives to/from/in the parks absolutely stunning! After our day spent at New River Gorge National Park, we had an awesome meal at Pies & Pints in Fayetteville (highly recommend)! We then headed towards Charlotte, NC where we would be staying with another one of my mom’s besties for the night ❤

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