The New River Gorge has dozens of beautiful, high quality trails for the view-seeking wanderer to the rugged hiker. Hikers, birdwatchers, and wanderers, read below for some of our favorites:
Endless Wall/ Fern Creek Trail: 2.4 miles
One of the most recommended trails and for good reason. This three-mile loop starts in a cozy forest of pine trees. Cross Fern Creek and continue on to the rim of the Gorge, where you’ll be treated to some of the best views in Appalachia. Watch the boaters below on the New River or roll out the yoga mat you brought along and find some balance. The end of the loop is a brief walk on Lansing Road.
Endless Wall Trail: One of the most recommended trails and for good reason.
NOTE: Use caution near the cliff edges.
Directions: To reach the trailhead, turn off Route 19 on Lansing-Edmond Road, located just north of the Canyon Rim Visitor Center. Fern Creek Trailhead is located 1.3 miles (just before Fern Creek) down this road, while the Nuttall Trailhead is 1.8 miles from U.S. Route 19. This is a narrow road; please drive with caution.
Long Point: 3.2 miles out and back
A hike to Long Point is an easy 1.6 miles one way to its termination, a skinny sliver of exposed sandstone directly facing the New River Gorge Bridge. Watch your step, it’s a sheer drop on both sides. But you will be rewarded with nearly 360-degree views of glorious West Virginia.
Longpoint Trail: End in a skinny sliver of exposed sandstone directly facing the New River Gorge Bridge.
The hike back always feels shorter. Should you want to extend your hike, the Long Point trail connects with the Fayetteville Trails and the Kaymoor Trails. Choose a spur route at one of the signs and you’re off.
Directions: To get to the trailhead: From US 19, follow WV16 south through the town of Fayetteville. Turn left on Gatewood Road (sign indicates Kaymoor and Cunard). Follow Gatewood Road for 1.9 miles, and turn left on Newton Road. The trailhead parking area is 50 yards on the left. For more information, go to NPS Trail Info for Fayetteville-area trails.
Glade Creek Trail: 5.6 miles
Glade Creek trail is everything you would want it to be. It follows Glade Creek upstream past small rapids and so many swimming holes, you can’t hit them all in one day. The gradient is gentle and the footpath is wide, narrowing slightly as the trail progresses. You’ll hike through hardwood forest including beautiful old beech trees, weave through rhododendron thickets, and hear birds and other wildlife teem all around.
Glade Creek Trail: So many swimming holes, you can’t hit them all in one day.
From the New River Gorge Bridge, take Route 19 south. At the Glen Jean exit, turn right onto Route 61 south; Take Route 61 for 2.8 miles. At Mount Hope, take a left to stay on Route 61. Continue for 4.6 miles. Turn left onto Route 41 north. Follow Route 41 for 4.0 miles toward Prince. Turn right onto the Glade Creek Road, just before the bridge at Prince. The trailhead is found at the end of the 7-mile gravel road.
From Beckley, take Route 41 north toward Prince. Turn right onto the Glade Creek Road, just before the bridge at Prince. The trailhead is found at the end of the 7-mile gravel road.
Ansted–Hawks Nest Rail Trail (also called Mill Creek Trail): 3.8 miles out and back
If you want see waterfalls, go to Ansted for a hike along this rail trail, more commonly known as Mill Creek Trail. Not only can you get a great view of the 20-foot Mill Creek Falls, but you can walk out right next to it. This 1.9-mile trail is great for all-terrain strollers and even bikes with training wheels.
Ansted-Hawks Nest Rail Trail: If you want see waterfalls, go for a hike along this rail trail.
Don’t let the easy downhill grade fool you, though. You’ll feel the gradient of what was once the country’s steepest narrow gauge railway when you start back up.
Directions: Hawks Nest State Park
Burnwood Trail: 1.2 miles
Choose this trail if you only have a little time. It’s amazing how quickly the noise from Highway 19 disappears once you leave the car. The trail, lined with blackberries and wildflowers, passes through a field before it enters the woods and circles under the hardwood splendor and big beech trees. This one-mile jaunt is also a children’s wildlife study area. No hunting is allowed here and happy deer abound.
Burnwood Trail: circle under the hardwood splendor and big beech trees.
Directions: To reach the trailhead, park at the Burnwood Day Use Area across U.S. Route 19 from Canyon Rim Visitor Center in Lansing. Look for the trailhead sign just past the restroom facility at the end of the parking lot. For more information, go toNPS Trail Info for Fayetteville-area trails.
Kaymoor Trail: 8.6 miles
The Kaymoor trail runs along the heart of the New River Gorge. This trail begins along Fayette Station road near the banks of the New and climbs up to great views of the Gorge at a historic mine site at Kaymoor and then continues on to Cunard.
Kaymoor Trail: climbs up to great views of the Gorge at the historic mine site of Kaymoor.
Directions, Wolf Creek Trailhead: Turn off U.S. Route 19 onto Lansing-Edmond Road (Route 5), just north of Canyon Rim Visitor Center. Follow signs for County Route 82, turning right onto Fayette Station Road (a very narrow road with hairpin turns), then fork to the left. Follow the one-way Fayette Station Road to the bottom of the gorge. Cross the New River on the Tunney Hunsaker Bridge and continue for 1.2 miles to the small parking area on the left at a hairpin turn. Please do not park on the road.
Fayetteville Town Park Trail: 1.1 miles
The town park Trail is just 3 minutes from downtown Fayetteville, a location that means you can grab a coffee from Cathedral and dive straight into the woods while it’s still piping hot. The main loop is 1 mile. Stick to just that, or use the loop as an entrance point to connect to other trails that enter the New River Gorge.
Fayetteville Town Park Trail: Just 3 minutes from downtown Fayetteville.
Directions: From Court Street (State Route 16) in Fayetteville, turn left on Fayette Avenue, then right onto Park Drive. Follow signs toward Fayetteville Town Park. At the stop sign (Town Park) continue on Park Drive 0.2 miles; turn right onto driveway to trailhead parking area. For more information, go to NPS Trail Info for Fayetteville-area trails.