Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get there?
New River Gorge National River is located in southern West Virginia. It is one hour east of Charleston, WV; four hours south of Pittsburgh, PA; five hours southwest of Washington, DC; and three hours north of Charlotte, NC. It is easily accessed from Interstates 77 and 64, and U.S. Route 19. Here is a map showing our location, and a map of the park.There are airports in Beckley and Charleston, and AMTRAK stops in Hinton, Prince, and Thurmond.
What is a national river?
A "national river" is one of the special designations used by the National Park Service. It is used to designate riverways that contain significant natural and cultural resources. National rivers are managed by the National Park Service, in the same manner and with the same goals as national parks. Other national rivers include: Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area; Buffalo National River; and Mississippi National River and Recreation Area.
What is there to do?
There are a great variety of things to do when visiting this park. Among the best know are the many recreational opportunities available here. But don't think that if you are not a whitewater, climbing, or mountain biking enthusiast there is nothing for you here. The park offers an insightful look at the industrialization of the Appalachian region. The stories of coal mining, railroads, unionization, and life in the coal fields are all told here. Here is a glimpse of some of our history. Be sure to stop by one of our visitor centers to help you experience the park.
Where is "the bridge?"
The New River Gorge Bridge is located on U.S. Route 19, about 30 minutes north of Beckley and 30 minutes south of Summersville. Look for the signs for Canyon Rim Visitor Center and Bridge Overlook. This is a great place to view the bridge and the gorge, and also get more information on the park. Here is some more information on New River Gorge Bridge.
When do they bungee off the bridge?
Never! Bungee jumping off the New River Gorge Bridge was tried a couple of times during Bridge Day festivities, but it was decided that base jumping was a much more enjoyable attraction for spectators and participants alike.
Where should I stay?
The State of West Virginia has a toll-free phone number that provides you with information on accomodations and services throughout the state. Just call and tell them what you are looking for. The number is: 1-800-CALLWVA (1-800-225-5982).
What about whitewater rafting?
The New River (as well as the nearby Gauley River) are among the best known and most loved whitewater rivers in the country, and a river trip is a great way to journey through the park. Don't be put off if you are not looking for whitewater thrills, as there are sections of the river suitable for peaceful float trips as well. Check out our Whitewater Page.
Where can I camp?
New River Gorge National River does not maintain any full service campgrounds. Primitive camping is available at several locations, and sites are also available for overnight river trips. More information is available on our Camping Page.
Did You Know?
You can "catch a train" to visit the park! The AMTRAK Cardinal travels through New River Gorge on its route from New York, NY to Chicago, IL.