If you had to choose just one area to hike and view the park, Grandview would be a great choice for your destination. Grandview has six miles of hiking trails, offering unsurpassed views of the deepest section of New River Gorge. The trails of Grandview range from easy to strenuous and can be hiked in their entirety or in various shorter segments.
The trails of Grandview also provide excellent opportunities to view wildlife; deer, fox, bats, skinks, box turtles, and a great variety of birds including wild turkey, several species of raptors, song birds and ravens.
Grandview Rim Trail
This is the longest trail at Grandview, connecting Main Overlook with Turkey Spur. From Main Overlook to Turkey Spur is a moderate 1.6 mile hike (3.2 miles round trip). Along the way hikers will enjoy many breathtaking views of the gorge and river far below. The trail is rated moderate because of several small steep hills near Turkey Spur. A self-guided trail brochure interprets the first half mile of this trail.
The trail begins at Main Overlook and ends at the Turkey Spur Overlook. The road to Turkey Spur allows for an easy return or for a vehicle shuttle for those not wishing to hike back.
Little Laurel Trail
This strenuous trail connects Grandview with the New River 1,400 feet below. The trail follows an old road for two miles as it descends to the river, passing by the site of an old coal mine at Royal. The road descends steeply in some places with a total elevation change of around 1400 feet. This change in elevation provides an opportunity to view a great diversity of spring wildflowers.
The Little Laurel Trail begins at the parking area for shelter #3 and #4. The lower trailhead is on the Glade Creek Road. From Beckley follow Route 41 towards Prince. Just before the bridge that crosses the New River is a gravel road on the right that leads past the trailhead. Follow the signs toward Glade Creek (Royal Road). The trailhead (an unmarked gated, gravel road) is just ¼ mile down this road on the right near the scattered foundations of the coal town of Royal. Please do not block the gate; the road is still used by park staff as an administrative road.
Castle Rock Trail
This strenuous 0.6 mile trail begins near Main Overlook and ends where it intersects the Grandview Rim Trail, approximately ½ mile from Main Overlook. Hikers will find close-up views of towering fortress-like rock walls and exposed coal seams. The Castle Rock Trail and Grandview Rim Trail can make a great one mile loop. This loop will take hikers below the overhanging cliffs on the Castle Rock Trail and then alongside the outstanding viewpoints on the Grandview Rim Trail.
This trail is considered strenuous and is not recommended for young children because of uneven footing and steep drop-offs.
Woodland Loop Trail
Explore the rich forest on this leisurely 0.6 mile loop. A variety of wildlife can be seen on this quiet trail including turkey and deer.
One end of this trail begins near the entrance of Grandview Shelter #2 parking area (just up from the restrooms), while the other end comes out at the shelter #2 playground.
Big Buck Trail
This easy 0.9 mile trail loops through a rolling section of forest. Tree identification signs along the way celebrate the great diversity of flora found in the Appalachian forest.
The trail begins and ends near Grandview Shelter #2
Cool off along Grandview's shortest and shadiest trail. The moist earth, lush vegetation, and cold-to-the-touch sandstone walls make a stroll along this forest trail a special experience, even on the hottest day. The ½ mile trail passes several tunnels in the rock and passes beneath a large rock overhang.
One end of the Tunnel Trail begins off the walkway to the Main Overlook, while the other end comes out near the baseball diamond and playground, off the Main Overlook parking area.
The tunnels are currently closed due to safety concerns. The rest of the trail is open.
Last updated: November 14, 2017