The primary purpose of Canyon Rim Visitor Center is to act as a visitor contact station for area information and for interpretation of the natural, cultural, recreational, and historic values of the New River Gorge. With an estimated 300,000 visitors each year, the center provides the park with a nationally recognized facility, revealing the beauty of New River Gorge National River to the nation and the world.
The use of natural materials in the building and surrounding landscape achieve a harmony between the visitor center and the rugged New River Gorge. These finely crafted materials of sandstone and red oak fuse with the exposed ledge of sandstone prevalent in this section of the gorge. As time passes, the harmony of the visitor center and the New River Gorge will be inseparable.
Features and Attractions
The visitor center features an exhibit room filled with photographs and exhibits on the people, towns, and industry of the gorge. Other displays focus on the recreation and natural history of the area. Visitors can enjoy two videos; on the construction of the New River Gorge Bridge, and on how the forces of nature created the massive V-shaped gorge. The auditorium provides visitors an orientation slide program on the park, and other special features and programs.
The most easily recognized attractions of the site are the views of the gorge and bridge. The back deck of the center offers a two-mile view southward into the park. Visitors discover the striking size of the gorge with one of the world's oldest rivers at the bottom. A short hiking trail descends into the gorge on a wooden boardwalk. The boardwalk has two observation decks which offer unobstructed views of the longest steel arch span in the western hemisphere and the mile wide gorge it spans. A fully accessible ramp provides access to the upper observation deck.
Publications & Sales
A sales area offering publications specific to the park and surroundings is provided as a service to visitors. A large selection of books on cultural and natural history, recreation, environment and nature, and children's topics are carried. Topographic maps of the park are also available here. The sales area is managed by Eastern National, a non-profit organization that returns its proceeds back to the park.
Programs are offered throughout the year, with the summer months providing the most offerings. Programs and activities include; evening programs, tours of the visitor center and boardwalk, children's activities, films about Appalachian life, and a variety of guided walks and hikes. School and educational groups can arrange for special programs through Parks as Classrooms.
The Canyon Rim visitor Center would not be complete without a staff of interpretive park rangers. These rangers provide information about the park resources and answer any other questions visitors might have. Additional visitor contact stations are provided at Thurmond, Grandview, and Sandstone. We encourage visitors to explore all of New River Gorge National River.
Season and Hours
Year-round: Daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day.
Canyon Rim Visitor Center is located on U.S. Route 19, just north of Fayetteville, WV. U.S. Route 19 is easily reached from Interstates I-64 and I-79, as well as U.S. Route 60.
GPS Coordinates: 38.07003 N, 81.07583 W
162 Visitor Center Road
Lansing, WV 25862
This is a physical address only - please do not send mail to this address. All park mail should be addressed to park headquarters in Glen Jean (PO Box 246, Glen Jean, WV 25846).