New River Gorge National Park
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Despite its name and although it was only recently designated as a national park, New River Gorge is anything but — this incredible gorge, similar to the Grand Canyon or Columbia River Gorge of the west, has been carved out over the eons by the soft but persistent power of flowing water. Along with the mighty New River itself, this West Virginia wilderness encompasses a vast and vivid 70,000 acre stretch of countryside, and offers a huge array of both land- and water-based recreational opportunities.
Tucked into south-central West Virginia, New River Gorge National Park and Preserve (which was just upgraded from National River status at the end of 2020) is located about an hour from Charleston, WV, close by to small towns such as Beckley, Beaver, and Hinton. It’s also only a short distance from the Virginia border and towns in that state like Roanoke.
New River Gorge is characterized by its carved-out river canyon, which is populated with beautiful Appalachian greenery that paints the rolling hills that spread out from the water. As in most parts of the Appalachian Mountains, weather can be unpredictable and quick to change, but generally, you can expect temperatures between the 20s and 40s in winter, 30 and 70 in spring and fall, and pleasant summers that range from 50-80 degrees. Precipitation can occur year round, but the wettest month is July.
- Spring 30-70
- Summer 50-80
- Fall 30-70
- Winter 20-40
- Coming soon
- Coming soon
RV Rentals Near New River Gorge National Park
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New River Gorge National Park Hiking Trails
Hiking is one of the primary reasons people visit this stunning ancient river gorge in the first place — and there are so many trails in the area, it can be difficult to figure out where to start. No matter your fitness or ability level, there are hikes available to help you get better acquainted with New River Gorge National Park.
New River Gorge Hiking Trails
Things to do Outside New River Gorge National Park
Although it would be easy to spend an entire lifetime simply exploring the National Park itself, there are a great many other attractions to add to your itinerary in the area. From down-home southern cooking to shopping, museums, and more, here are our best suggestions for what to do while you’re in town.
Discover Nearby Towns and Cities
RV Resorts & Campsites in New River Gorge National Park
Traveling by RV? While there are no developed campgrounds offering electricity and water hookups to motorhomes and travel trailers inside New River Gorge National Park, there are some wonderful primitive accommodations — many of which cost $0 nightly. There are also resort-style developed campgrounds in the surrounding communities!
Campgrounds Near New River Gorge National Park
Find the Best Dumpstations Near New River Gorge National Park
Dumpstations Near New River Gorge National Park
How to get to New River Gorge National Park
Now that you’re eager to explore New River Gorge National Park… how do you get there?
The closest major airport to the park is located in Charleston, West Virginia, which is about an hour away — you’d need to arrange ground transportation once you’ve arrived. Amtrak and Greyhound routes make stops in local areas, and taxis are also available.
For full directional information, including GPS coordinates for various park hot spots, check out this page.
Frequently Asked Questions
New River Gorge National Park is 70,000 acres or almost 114 square miles large. It encompasses land along the New River in West Virginia.
Yes, pets are allowed at New River Gorge National Park. Pets are allowed on all trails as long as they are on a leash no longer than six feet. Owners must pick up after their pets and be sure to bring plenty of water for them.
Summer is the best time of year to visit New River Gorge National Park. Although there will be more crowds, this is also the time when visitors can whitewater raft on the New River. The weather is also best for hiking and other outdoor activities.
No, there are no designated camping spots in New River Gorge National Park. The park has several designated primitive camping areas, which have no drinking water or hookups. There are several private and state park campgrounds nearby that can accommodate RVs.
Yes, New River Gorge National Park is accessible for disabled visitors. All four park visitor centers are wheelchair accessible, and there are accessible trails at the Canyon Rim Visitor Center and at Sandstone Falls. Videos and films are closed captioned and exhibits at the Canyon Rim Visitor Center have audion descriptions for the visually impaired.