We can (almost) all agree that the New River Gorge is the spot for rafting, but did you know the amount of amazing activities off the water can give rafting a run for its money? (okay, we might be joking about that a little bit but…)
When we’re not on the whitewater, chances are we’re exploring the New River Gorge National Park, trying new local cuisine in Oak Hill, or daydreaming by the pool about future and past rafting adventures. One of the best ways to fulfill your NRG exploration is definitely on foot, and we recommend spending at least a small portion of your vacation hitting the trails.
There are a number of trails in the New River Gorge, of varying difficulties and lengths – so there is definitely a perfect hiking adventure for every member of your group. Before you begin on your trip, it is important to plan your route so that you don’t end up too far away or lost from where you started.
Books, guides, and videos have been made for years to help hikers get the most out of the New River Gorge, so below we have compiled a list of our few favorite options for hitting the trail.
Some of our favorite options for exploring the New River Gorge include:
The Endless Wall Trail: 2.4 mi
This route spans for 2.4 miles and passes through a variety of different landscapes, including forests, creeks, and cliff edges. The views from some of the higher points of this trail are incredible, particularly the overlook at Diamond Point! Don’t forget to be careful along the cliff edges 😉
This easy loop trail will bring you through forests, flowers, and fauna of all varieties. Additionally, this trail is full of history, as it was the former home of the infamous Laing family. If you look closely, you can see hints of this history along the trail.
Keenness Creek Trail: 3.0 mi
This happy, mid-distance trail brings hikers along the wall of the gorge and old abandoned train tracks from the days of the Chesapeake & Ohio (C&O) railway. If that wasn’t enough industrial history, you’ll also have the chance to pass under the Nuttallburg Coal Mine conveyor belt. What better way to combine the beauty of West Virginia with an effortless history lesson?
Kaymoor Trail: 8.6 mi
If you’re looking for a moderately difficult, wooded trail, then the Kaymoor is the option for you! Running parallel to the gorge, this trail is full of history from the days of the Kaymoor Mine and is sure to spark new ideas and appreciate for West Virginia. As tempting as it may be, do refrain from entering any of the old abandoned buildings that you’ll pass along the way!
For a more detailed and extensive look at some of the best trails in the New River Gorge, be sure to check out this handy guide created by the National Park Service.