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One Day at New River Gorge National Park

If there is one thing that is largely underrated in the United States, it is the natural beauty of West Virginia. I've lived in its neighbor state, Kentucky, for just about my entire life and I never learned about the tall mountains and stunning outdoors until I visited for the first time back in 2020.

The National Park Service officially added its 63rd national park back on December 27th, 2020. Another East coast addition, which happened to be in southern West Virginia - New River Gorge.

If adventurous hikes through forests, rock climbing or white water rafting sound fun for you, then this will be the place to go! And after visiting for myself, I can easily say that this park is worth the trek out here. It's located in rural surroundings, but is only 1 hour from Charleston, WV and 2 hours from Huntington.

I visited during a weekend trip with other stops on my agenda, so one day was all I planned for this park. While it would be tough to do everything in one day here, you can definitely do the most popular stops and enough to satisfy you!

Start Your Day at the Visitor's Center

This is how I love to start all of my national park trips! New River Gorge has 4 visitor's centers, so no matter which direction you come from, make sure to stop here first to get all of the info you need to start your day.

I came to the North end, so Canyon Rim Visitor Center was the closest. It sits right by the New River Gorge bridge, and offers a pretty amazing outlook to get some great photos from. They also had a small museum and movie room where you could watch a short clip about the park. Don't forget to pick up some souvenirs while you're at it!

Hit Up One of the Popular Trails

There are many great trails to hike at New River Gorge, but if your time limit is just one day, I would suggest choosing between Endless Wall Trail or Long Point Trail - the two most popular! Both of these are located in the Fayetteville area, or the Northern part of the park. If you can, try to fit in both on your day trip!

We chose Endless Wall Trail because it was only a five minute drive from Canyon Rim Visitor's Center, and was also the most talked about one I found from the internet! It's a 2.4 mile semi-circle that'll bring you to the cliffsides, and offer some incredible views of the gorge.

Long Point Trail will give you more views of the bridge, but is suggested to be a bit more of a moderate hike than Endless Wall. However, this one is shorter being 1.6 miles in length.

Go Whitewater Rafting

West Virginia is named as one of the best places in the country to go whitewater rafting, New River Gorge being one of those places! One of the biggest highlights of the whole park is the river itself, which is where you can take on the activity. So if you're determined to get a full day in, make sure to book a reservation! There are a few different companies you can book through, like ACE Adventure Resort, Cantrell Ultimate Rafting or River Expeditions.


I was impressed much more than I imagined to be at New River Gorge, and I'm sure you will be too! This park has a lot to offer, so the next time you find yourself in West Virginia, make it a priority to stop over here.




Hey there, I'm Shelby! Traveling has been one of my biggest passions in life, and so I'm here to share all of my great finds, tips and advice that I discover along the way. When I'm not on a plane, you can find me in Kentucky with my husband and fur child, Zoe (My adorable kitty!) 

I have always loved to write, and after many attempts at blogging again, I find myself here and inspired to share the world. My husband and I both work a typical 9 to 5, but make it a priority to plan as many trips as possible each year. I want to show others that it is totally possible to live a travel-filled life full time or on the side!

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you enjoy!


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