More people see the New River Gorge Bridge while driving over it than any other way. But those of you who’ve rafted beneath the bridge know how spectacular the view can be from other vantage points.
Other vantage points, you say? That’s right. Here’s the insider information on the best ways to the see the New River Gorge Bridge.
1. Canyon Rim Visitor’s Center
This is pretty much the easiest way to see the bridge. Drive up, park, walk about 100 yards and you’ll be drinking in the sights. There’s no shortage of amazing sunset shots from the overlook, you know, if you like sunsets. If you want to burn a calorie or seven, walk down a network of stairs and decks leading to a lower overlook that lets you see more of the river, as well as the underside of the bridge.
2. Fayette Station
Getting down to Fayette Station is like hopping in a time machine and setting the dial for the 1960′s in West Virginia. Why? Because this is how people crossed the gorge in the greater Fayetteville area before the New River Gorge Bridge was completed in 1977. Need directions? Got them right here (also a great resource for trails around the bridge).
Don’t know if you knew this, but we do white water rafting trips here at ACE. Our most popular rafting trip is down the 1000-foot deep Lower New River Gorge through storied rapids such as Double Z and Fayette Station. At the end of your trip, you go right under what we like to call “the big bridge”. It’s that easy.
4. Bridge Day
The third Saturday every October is when Bridge Day, West Virginia’s largest single day festival, is held. It’s the only day of the year that it’s legal to both walk on and parachute from the bridge. You’ll need a permit from the local chamber of commerce to do the parachuting. Wanna raft on Bridge Day? It’s a heap of fun and there are special offers.
5. Fayetteville Trail – Bridge Trail
Start in the Fayetteville Town Park or at ACE Gear Shoppe on Fayette Station Road and follow the trail right to where the bridge rests on the southern side of the gorge. You get to see the beams and footers up close, giving you an idea of the scale of this thing. You can also peel off this trail to get farther down Fayette Station Road.
6. Long Point
This is pretty cool. The easiest way to get to Long Point is to drive to the Long Point Trail Head, park and take a leisurely stroll to the end of a narrow rock point that provides an amazing view of the bridge in all its splendor as well as a nice chunk of the New River itself. If you want more exercise, you can begin your hike at the Fayetteville Town Park and make and afternoon of it.
7. Kaymoor Trail
You can hit this trail from so many places, taking as long or as short a hike as you like. The best vantage point of the bridge is where the trail wraps around the midsection of Long Point, a few hundred feet lower than the Long Point view, but every bit as satisfying.
More information on trails in the New River Gorge.