America’s newest national park offers something for everyone – nature lovers, historians, and adrenaline junkies. The New River Gorge National Park and Preserve was added to this distinguished list in 2021. It was previously classified as a national river. The park features over 70,000 acres of diverse ecosystems along 53 miles of the New River in southern West Virginia. It is the longest and deepest river gorge in the Appalachian Mountains and offers some of the most amazing views around.
According to the National Park Service, “Hiking along the many park trails, rafting the river, or biking along an old railroad grade, the visitor will be confronted with spectacular scenery that certainly makes this place worthy of being included in our national park system.”
Veteran travel writer Richard Grant wholeheartedly agrees, stating the New River Gorge is deserving of joining the “very exclusive club” of our nation’s national parks. He predicts it will soon become a major tourist destination – especially as more vaccinated travelers venture out this summer but still want to stay within the United States.
Grant told West Virginia’s MetroNews, “You can’t beat what you offer for natural resources in sheer beauty, for hiking, waterfalls, all of the adventure activities, they’re all here.”
The New River Gorge National Park and Preserve offers four visitor centers, with the Canyon Rim Visitor Center staying open year-round. There is limited primitive camping available within the park, however there are plenty of food and lodging options in the gateway communities surrounding the park, including Fayetteville, Hinton, and Beckley.
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