Are you planning on visiting the New River Gorge in West Virginia? Check out my favorite hiking trails!
I grew up a few hours from the New River Gorge in West Virginia, and visits were always a special occasion.
The New River Gorge is a lush, green valley in central West Virginia.
The New River– a National River— cuts through the valley, flowing north (not south).
The area is home to multiple state parks, and it’s easy (and free) to drive from one park to the next.
Last weekend, I took my husband to the New River Gorge for an impromptu hiking trip.
And since we didn’t have much time– we stuck to the trails that promised some of the very best views in the park— the Endless Wall Trail and the Long Point Trail.
Love hiking in Appalachia? Check out Pinnacle Rock State Park, the Gray Flats Trail in Beckley, WV. Next, visit nearby Kentucky to hike the trails at Natural Bridge, East Pinnacle, West Pinnacle, Bernheim Forest, and the 4C’s trail and Three Bridges trail at Carter Caves.
The Endless Wall Trail in the New River Gorge
To reach the trailhead in Edmond, WV, turn off Route 19 onto Lansing-Edmond Road, and drive 1.3 miles to the Fern Creek Trailhead.
It’s listed as a moderate trail, but it’s definitely on the easier side of moderate. I would’ve classified it as an easy trail.
The trail is a 2.4 mile broken loop, beginning at the Fern Creek Trailhead, and ends at the Nuttall Trailhead.
To make it a complete loop, you have to hike another 0.5 miles on the side of a small country road, back to the Fern Creek Trailhead.
Another option is to make it a longer hike, and go from Fern Creek to Nuttall, then turn around and hike back along the trail.
Hiking along the road made me nervous, so we opted for a shorter 2 mile hike. We started at Fern Creek Trailhead, went to the Diamond Point overlook about 1 mile in, and then turned around and headed back the way we came.
Planning your next trip? Check out my favorite camping and hiking gear.
The Endless Wall trail starts out as an easy, wooded trail. Each side of the trail is blanketed in rhododendron.
It actually feels like an endless wall of rhododendron.
The trail remains densely wooded, crosses a creek, and becomes slightly rockier as you get closer to the overlook.
And then suddenly– there’s a small opening for an overlook– and there it is– the Endless Wall of rock.
We stopped for a drink of water, admired the rocky view, and kept walking to the “official” trail overlook.
Diamond Point– with it’s “diamond-shaped” rocky overlook (and more of the endless wall) was just around the corner.
We shared the breathtaking overlook with a few other hikers, and watched the kayaks and white water rafters float by in the river down below.
Eventually, we left the overlook, headed back down the trail, and drove to the next trailhead.
Long Point Trail in the New River Gorge
The Long Point Trail is in Fayetteville, WV, about 10 minutes away from the Endless Wall Trail
To reach the trailhead, turn off Route 19 onto Gatewood Road. Follow the road 1.9 miles, turn left at Newton Road, and the trailhead will be on the left.
It’s a 2.9 mile out-and-back moderate trail, but just like the Endless Wall– it was a pretty easy hike. Most of the trail is a flat gravel path through the woods.
Along the path, you’ll see pine trees and more rhododendron. Towards the end of the trail, you’ll enter a rhododendron thicket.
Once you’ve entered the thicket– you’re almost to the overlook.
The path will clear suddenly, and you’ll walk out onto a rocky shelf with a breathtaking view of the historic New River Gorge Bridge.
Once we reached the overlook, we rested, ate a snack, and smiled happily as we looked out at the gorge.
Finally we hiked back out– happy, tired, and ready for our next hike!
What else is nearby? Visit Hawk’s Nest State Park for more gorgeous overlooks, and Babcock State Park to see the famous Glade Creek Grist Mill.