Established in 1978, New River Gorge National River was redesignated as New River Gorge National Park and Preserve in 2021. The park encompasses over 70,000 acres of land along 53 miles of the New River from Bluestone Dam to Hawk's Nest Lake. A rugged, whitewater river flowing northward through deep and spectacular canyons, the New River is actually among the oldest rivers on Earth and has carved the deepest and longest river gorge in the Appalachian Mountains.
Nestled in the heart of whitewater rafting country, Hawks Nest State Park is a 270-acre recreational area with a nature museum, aerial tramway, jet boat rides, hiking trails and one of the most challenging whitewater boating waterways in the nation. Located just 10 miles north of the New River Gorge Bridge, Hawks Nest is known for its scenic overlook, which provides a bird’s eye view of the rugged New River Gorge National Park and Preserve below.
West Virginia’s largest lake; Summersville Lake has over 2,800 acres of water and 60 miles of shoreline. Boating, water-skiing, swimming, fishing for large- and smallmouth bass, walleye, panfish, and catfish, (trout are stocked below the dam in the spring and fall) scuba diving, picnicking, hunting, and biking are the favorite activities enjoyed by nearly one million visitors annually. Technical rock climbing and whitewater rafting are available year round, with scheduled whitewater releases below the dam on the world class Gauley River in September and October.
Situated in the northern section of the 53-mile long New River Gorge National Park and Preserve, and surrounded by lush Appalachian Mountain forest, at the time of its construction The New River Gorge Bridge was the longest steel arch bridge in the world, (a title it held until 2003 with the construction of China’s Shanghai’s Lupu Bridge.) It is currently the longest single-span steel arch bridge in the United States and the third highest bridge in the country. It carries U.S. Route 19 across the deep gorge of the New River which runs 876 feet below.
10 Minutes from downtown Fayetteville, WV,
was listed as one of the "Top 10 Coolest Small Towns in America" by Budget Travel Magazine, and as "Best River Town" by Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine.
Fayetteville offers antique markets, local breweries, hip, casual restaurants, coffee shops and world class white-water rafting and climbing outfitters.
A haven for outdoor enthusiasts from around the world, The New offers a 13-mile gauntlet of Class IV to V rapids, 1400 established climbing routes on solid sandstone cliffs, and miles of mountain biking trails for the novice to the professional in all three sports. On the third Saturday in October, Fayetteville hosts Bridge Day, one of the largest extreme sports events in the world, complete with sky diving, rapelling and more.