New River Gorge National Park Activities

The New River Gorge National Park and Preserve, located in West Virginia, offers a plethora of outdoor activities and attractions. Whether you enjoy hiking, rock climbing, water activities, or simply immersing yourself in nature, there's something for everyone. 

Here are some popular activities and things to do at the New River Gorge National Park:

Hiking and Backpacking: Explore the extensive network of hiking trails, ranging from easy walks to challenging hikes, offering stunning views of the gorge, waterfalls, and diverse flora and fauna. Some popular trails include Endless Wall Trail, Long Point Trail, and Nuttallburg Trails.

Rock Climbing: The New River Gorge is known for its exceptional rock climbing opportunities, with over 1,400 established climbing routes. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced climber, there are routes for all skill levels.

White-Water Rafting: Experience the thrill of white-water rafting on the New River, which offers both exciting rapids and calmer stretches suitable for various levels of expertise. Several outfitters in the area offer guided rafting trips.

Birdwatching: The New River Gorge is home to a diverse range of bird species. Bring your binoculars and enjoy birdwatching in the park, especially during migration seasons.

Fishing: Cast a line and try your luck at fishing in the New River. The river is known for its variety of fish, including smallmouth bass, walleye, and catfish.

Photography: Capture the stunning landscapes, unique rock formations, and scenic views of the gorge. The New River Gorge offers fantastic opportunities for photography.


Camping: Enjoy camping in designated campgrounds within the park or backcountry camping in the nearby Preserve. Take in the natural beauty, starry skies, and peaceful surroundings.

Scenic Driving: Take a scenic drive along the New River Gorge Bridge, which offers breathtaking views of the gorge and the New River below. There are designated overlooks for photo opportunities.

Biking: Explore the park's biking trails, ranging from easy to advanced. The Arrowhead Trails and Rend Trail are popular choices for mountain biking enthusiasts.

Visitor Centers and Interpretive Programs: Visit the Canyon Rim Visitor Center and Sandstone Visitor Center to learn about the park's natural and cultural history through exhibits, ranger-led programs, and films.

Picnicking: Enjoy a picnic with family or friends at one of the designated picnic areas within the park while taking in the scenic beauty around you.

Heritage and History: Learn about the area's industrial past by visiting historical sites like Nuttallburg and Thurmond, which provide insights into the coal-mining history of the region.

Stargazing: Experience the dark skies of the New River Gorge, making it an excellent spot for stargazing and astrophotography.