Sandstone Visitor Center

visitor center with rainbow
Rainbow at Sandstone Visitor Center

Wesley Gant

Visitors and watershed floor map inside Sandstone Visitor Center
A map of the New River watershed is displayed in tile on the floor of the Sandstone Visitor Center

This center, located just north of the I-64 and State Route 20 interchange (Exit 139), opened in the fall of 2003. The 9,800 square-foot facility features sustainable (green) design concepts for energy efficiency and resource conservation. In addition to the energy conservation elements,water conserving native plants were selected for landscaping at the site.

Visitors to the new facility will learn about the natural and cultural history of the New River and its watershed through interactive interpretive exhibits. They can view the 12-minute video program on the New River and purchase books and educational materials from the bookstore.

The Sandstone Visitor Center serves as a gateway to the southern portion of New River Gorge National Park and Preserve where visitors traveling along I-64 can stop and get oriented to the park and southern West Virginia.

Sandstone Visitor Center is a green design building. To learn more about the features that make this visitor center 60% more energy efficient than others of its size, see the Green Design Visitor Center page.

monarch on milkweed plant
Monarch on a milkweed plant in the native garden.

Tyler Wills

Native Garden

The site around Sandstone Visitor Center is maintained as a native landscape. Representative local species have been planted in the native garden right outside the visitor center while the remainder of the site is maintained as a native grassland. Native grasses and wildflowers provide habitat and food for native wildlife while helping to contribute to resource conservation by not requiring additional watering.

In recent years milkweed has been planted at the site to encourage monarch butterflies to utilize the site. The Sandstone Visitor Center site has been registered as a monarch waystation to help preserve habitat for monarchs. In recent years we have observed monarchs in the garden and monarch caterpillars have built chrysalis’ in our milkweed plants. Worldwide, monarch populations are declining due to habitat loss, so providing milkweed habitats is essential for the survival of the species.

book store in a visitor center

Book Store

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.

Additional visitor contact stations are provided at Canyon Rim, Thurmond, and Grandview. We encourage visitors to explore all of New River Gorge National Park and Preserve.




Last updated: August 21, 2023

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 246, 104 Main Street
Glen Jean, WV 25846



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