• sun setting over the gorge

    New River Gorge

    National River West Virginia

Nature & Science

peregrine falcons
Peregrine Falcons
Gary Hartley
 
The New River within New River Gorge National River flows from below Bluestone Dam, near Hinton, West Virginia, to just north of the U.S. Highway 19 bridge near Fayetteville, West Virginia. On its journey through the gorge, the New River passes through an extensive geological formation. Emergent rocks, rock outcrops, trails and coal mines are found to provide diverse habitat producing rich and abundant flora and fauna species. In the gorge, there is typically a 1000 feet difference in elevation between the river bottom and the adjacent plateau. The New River dissects all physiographic provinces of the Appalachian Mountains, and therefore is believed to be a corridor facilitating the movement of southern plant and animal species into West Virginia. In addition to serving as a refuge for some species, New River Gorge provides a geographical barrier that limits the east-west distribution of other species. This portion of southern WV falls within the Mixed Mesophytic Forest Region. Recognized forest types in the three park areas include oak-hickory, mixed oak, oak-maple, oak-yellow pine, hemlock-hardwoods, northern hardwoods, cove hardwoods, and bottomland and floodplain hardwoods.
 
doe and fawn

Animals - The New River, the gorge, and the surrounding forests create habitat for a great diversity of wildlife. Check out the animals section to learn about some of the animals that call the gorge home. more...

 
Blue Flox flowers

Plants - New River Gorge supports a greater diversity of plant species than any other river gorge in the central and southern Appalachian Mountains. Check out the plants section to learn more about the different plant species found here. more...

 
The New River

Environmental Factors - Check out the Environmental Factors section to learn about how our resource management staff works to manage water resources, wildlife, vegetation, invasive species, air quality, and other park resources. more…

 
river and gorge

Natural Features and Ecosystems - For nearly 320 miles, the New River carves its way through a land of diverse topography and spectacular scenery. Check the Natural Features and Ecosystems section to learn more about the geology, the river, and the forest communities of New River Gorge. more…

Did You Know?

smallmouth bass

The New River is a very popular warm water fishery. The West Virginia state record for length of Smallmouth Bass - 25.5 inches and 7.5 lbs - was caught in the New River in 1976.