Kanawha Falls

A large river flowing over sandstone rocks with a brick building on the shore surrounded by trees.
Kanawha Falls on the Kanawha River near Gauley Bridge

NPS / Dave Bieri

Quick Facts
Gauley Bridge, WV

Parking - Auto, Scenic View/Photo Spot

New River Gorge Waterfall Tour Stop 1:

Kanawha Falls span the entire width of the Kanawha River. The Kanawha River is formed by the confluence of the New and Gauley Rivers near the town of Gauley Bridge. Approximately one mile downstream from the confluence, a sandstone ledge across the river forms the falls. At its highest point, Kanawha Falls drops fifteen feet. A low dam above the falls diverts water into a hydropower facility. The falls are enjoyable to see at any water level.


Kanawha Falls is located outside the park near the town of Gauley Bridge.

From Canyon Rim Visitor Center: Take US-19 north 4.8 miles to the US-60 exit. Turn right to follow US-60 west towards Gauley Bridge for 17 miles passing through the town of Ansted and past Hawks Nest State Park. At the town of Gauley Bridge, continue another 0.75 miles to reach a dirt parking area on the left. The falls are visible from the road with no hiking required. Picnic tables are located nearby.

From Charleston, WV: Take US-60, the Midland Trail, east. From I-64, take exit 96 towards Belle. Continue following the Kanawha River through multiple small towns for 31 miles. After passing the falls, a dirt parking lot will be on the right. Picnic tables are located nearby.

New River Gorge National Park & Preserve

Last updated: September 15, 2023