Canyon Rim Visitor Center is the primary visitor contact station for area information and for interpretation of the natural, cultural, recreational, and historic resources of New River Gorge National Park and Preserve, Bluestone National Scenic River, and Gauley River National Recreation Area. With an estimated 300,000 visitors each year, the center provides the park with a nationally recognized facility, revealing the beauty of the National Parks of Southern West Virginia 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 an 11-minute video to orient you to all that makes New River Gorge National Park and Preserve such a special and significant place.
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 boardwalk descends into the gorge to 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.
Last updated: March 11, 2022