New River Gorge National River, WV

Ever heard of a National River designation by the National Park Service?  We hadn’t until we saw signs when crossing the bridge over the New River gorge, near Fayetteville, West Virginia.  The New River bridge, constructed in 1977, was the world’s longest single-arch steel span bridge.  It is now the third longest bridge of its type and is also the fifth highest vehicular bridge in the world (the third higest in the Americas).  The bridge is 876 feet above the river.

The Canyon Rim Visitor Center and the scenic walk were a felicitous find, a pleasant break from driving.  The visitor center is beautifully done and has a wonderful view of the river from a huge window.  The trail to the overlook is wooden stairs with frequent landings and excellent hand rails.  The path descends about 200 feet through forest to the overlook point, where one can view the bridge up close and watch rafters go through the whitewater rapids.

The New River Gorge National River is well worth a visit if you are in the area.  The stairs are well constructed so they are easy to walk on comfortably.  It is a long way down and back up if you are not used to a lot of stairs, so some might not want to go all the way down.  The good news is that they have benches along the way where you can stop to rest if you get tired.

There are more photos in the album.

                                                                  New River, WV

Visit August 3, 2012

© Susan L. Stone 2015