Thing to Do

Castle Rock Hike

Combination of rocks that include Sandstone, shale, conglomerate, and coal.
Amazing Rocks of Castle Rock Trail

NPS/ Sheila Malone

This is the most unique and fun trail. However, this trail is not for the faint hearted. The Castle Rock Trail is listed as strenuous and is .6 mile in length. After the .6 mile mark, the trail merges into the Grandview Rim Trail. From this intersection, if you turn right you will be going out to Turkey Spur for another scenic view and then retrace your steps and follow the upper trail called the Grandview Rim Trail back to the parking area (this is approximately 3.2 miles all together). The other option is to turn left and this will bring you back to the main parking area (this is approximately 1.1 miles in total). 

This trail is listed as strenuous. The steps that are made out of rocks are uneven. The trail is about 3 feet in width and the gorge is just off to one side as you are walking along.

This trail is not recommended in rainy weather or when there is ice or snow on the ground because the rock surface can make this very slippery. 

If you are interested in geology, this trail is for you. You will be within and arms length of the rock striations that make-up the gorge. Along this .6 mile trail you will see a coal seam at approximately the .4 mile mark and also a variety of conglomerate, shale, sandstone and limestone along this trail. If you are afraid of heights, this trail might give you the butterflies. 
The Castle Rock Trail is unusual due the geology and some visitors like to really examine the rocks while on this trail. The trail is uneven and hikers should do this at their own pace. 
The Castle Rock Trail is an opportunity for a hiker to see an enormous rock wall and an exposed coal seam. The hike will give the hiker uneven terrain and will bring the hikers close to a variety of different geological formations. The trail is uneven and may require some scrambling. If the weather conditions are wet, this trail may be slippery. The trail is on the east side of the gorge and therefore, when the winter months come and there is ice or snow on the ground, this location can be snow packed and is not recommended. 
There is no age requirement or limit for the Castle Rock Trail. 
Dogs are welcomed to be on the trails. All pets will need to be on a 6 foot or shorter leash and under the control of the owner. Additionally, pet owners are expected to pick up any waste from their pet. 
Entrance fees may apply, see Fees & Passes information.
This trail is located just to the left of the Main Overlook at Grandview. The trail is a combination of dirt trail and rocks. There may be several times that the hiker might have to scramble over some large rocks. The steps are uneven and require the hiker to stay alert to changes in the landscape. The reward in completing this trail is true jubilation. The trail will spark questions about the kind of geology surrounding you. The rocks are just an arm length away and the opposite side of the trail gives the view of the gorge down to the New River.

The trail is listed as strenuous.

The trail is .6 miles and will intersect with the Grandview Rim Trail at the .6 mile mark. To get back to the main parking area, take a left when you reach the intersection of the Castle Rock Trail and the Grandview Rim Trail. 
The Castle Rock Trail is beautiful year round. Take caution when rocks are wet or when there is snow or ice. 
Due to the varied terrain, it is only recommended to hike the Castle Rock Trail during daylight hours. 
Accessibility Information
The Castle Rock Trail has many uneven terrain feautures and once you are on the trail, the only way to get off is to either continue to the end or to retrace your steps and go back to where you started.

The Castle Rock Trail may require some scrambling over large rocks. 

The Castle Rock Trail is very slippery when wet.

There is a restroom located in the Main Parking area. 

New River Gorge National Park and Preserve

Last updated: December 4, 2021