• sun setting over the gorge

    New River Gorge

    National River West Virginia

There are park alerts in effect.
show Alerts »
  • Endless Wall Trail closed due to wildland fire

    PARK ALERT: We currently have a wildland fire burning in the Fern Creek area of the park. Wildland firefighters are on scene and working to contain the fire. The Endless Wall trail is closed from the Fern Creek parking area to Diamond Point.

Gray Fox

gray fox

Leah Perkowski-Sisk

The gray fox is easily distinguished from the red fox by a mane of short, stiff black hairs along the back leading to a bushy, black-tipped tail. The gray fox is unusual among canines in that it has the ability to climb trees. This has proved to be advantageous in escaping predators and may improve the animal's ability to find food. Their ability to climb trees, as well as a somewhat more aggressive behavior than the red fox, has helped to minimize the effects that eastern coyotes have had on their population.

The gray fox's range extends throughout most of the United States, Mexico, and the tip of South America. Its population is considered stable. They prefer to den in hollow logs, below boulders, or ground burrows. Gray fox prefer a forest habitat, whereas a red fox is more likely to be seen in open terrain. They are opportunistic feeders, mainly consuming small mammals, birds, insects, eggs, and fruits. An adult gray fox has few predators, but a juvenile could be preyed upon by eagles, hawks, owls, bobcats, and coyotes.

Did You Know?

Historic Logging Railroad at Garden Ground

The New River Gorge was logged extensively thoughout the past century. The landscape is now recovering, with the park ecosystem returning to its more natural state, but there are still plenty of signs of the past activities.