There’s plenty to do in this naturalist wonderland.
If you’re a rock climber, there are over 1,600 routes to scale. The most popular place to do so is the park’s Lower New River area, which features an abundance of sturdy sandstone cliffs. More of an acqua adventurer? Go whitewater rafting. Since there’s so much riverfront, you can take a paddle no matter your skill level: beginners can cruise down some class one or two rapids with a guide, whereas experts can head to the Lower Gorge for class five. Then there’s activities in calmer waters, like paddle boarding and fishing. And, as expected in any wilderness, New River Gorge has over 100 miles of hiking trails and plenty of campgrounds.
Where to Stay
If you’re looking for luxury lodging, there’s one place that should be at the top of your list: The Greenbrier. The legendary five-star hotel, affectionately dubbed “America’s resort,” is located under 45 minutes from the park’s Sandstone Visitor Center. The Greenbrier’s interiors are by legendary designer and famous maximalist Dorothy Draper: you can spot hallmarks of her style, from black-and-white tiled floors to cabbage-rose chintz. (Fun fact: the 1948 party to celebrate her renovation of the Greenbrier was attended by Bing Crosby and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.) There’s also much to do on the resort’s 11,000 acre property, from golf, to croquet, to bowling, to falconry.
Prefer something with more of a rustic, secluded charm? Airbnb is your answer. They have plenty of cabins on the cusp of the park—we particularly like this wilderness retreat, or this country-chic barn loft. (Although, remember: this is a barn, so it’s not insulated nor is there heat. Pack accordingly.) If you want to stay in Fayetteville, the small town that borders the park, this light-and-airy home is a five minute walk from downtown.
Although it’s still winter in West Virginia, soon enough, spring will be here, and then the spectacular season of summer. So, if your interest is piqued, start planning for an adventure where surprises are just around the river bend.
When you book something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.