Adventurers love to visit the iconic New River Gorge National Park in southwestern West Virginia. More than 1.4 million people go to the splendid area every year to engage in the most fun activities and witness the marvelous national wonders that the park offers. From rock climbing, paddling, and rafting, to mountain biking, people will have an unforgettable experience in this unique national park.

Covering more than 70,000 acres, the park stretches between the towns of Fayetteville and Hinton along the New River for 53 miles. Whether people want to enjoy breathtaking views, practice outdoor adventure sports, or learn about American history, they’ve got what they wish to at New River Gorge National Park. However, one unique activity can be practiced legally only once a year in the park. Here’s what to know about it.


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This Unique Yearly One-Day Festival Must Not Be Missed Out When Visiting New River Gorge National Park

Every third Saturday in October, West Virginia hosts its largest single-day festival, which takes place at the New River Gorge National Park. Thousands of people head to the area to watch the daring BASE jump from the New River Gorge Bridge down into the Gorge below. The unique activity can be practiced only once a year on Bridge Day, and there are some rules which people are expected to follow. For instance, dogs are not allowed, and so are folding chairs, backpacks, large handbags, and coolers. People also can’t bring skates, wagons, bicycles, and skateboards during the event.

Quadcopters, drones, fireworks, alcoholic beverages, illegal drugs, and weapons are obviously not allowed. People must take shuttles to reach the bridge. The buses are available in four different colors, each departing from a specific location. People are expected to memorize the color of their bus to know in which one to return. Moreover, the bus stops are located at Fayette Landing or the Rio Grande, Midland Trail High School, Fayetteville High School, Wal-Mart, Lighthouse Worship Center, and Fayette County Courthouse.

  • Cost: People will have to pay $3 per person for the shuttle ride to the bridge.

At each entrance, people will find Bridge Day welcome tents, where they can buy T-shirts, magazines, pins, posters, puzzles, tumbles, and more.

Tickets for Bridge Day are quickly sold out. This is why people must follow Bridge Day on social media to learn how to get their tickets. The latter go on sale in January of every year. On the day of the event, people can pick up their tickets at the Official Bridge Day tent starting at 9:00 AM and before 1:00 PM.

  • Duration: Shuttles start at 9:00 AM, and the last one departs at 1:30 PM.

The 876-foot tall New River Gorge Bridge is the world’s second-largest arch bridge.

Here Are The Other Activities To Enjoy When Visiting New River Gorge National Park

There is a handful of activities to partake in when hitting West Virginia’s New River Gorge National Park. For instance, people enjoy whitewater rafting there. The activity has been the trend in the park since the 1960s. Back then, some college students used to navigate the river in rubber boats. Paddling is broken into two sections, the Upper New and Lower New. The former is more suitable for beginners and families and comprises 13 miles of Class II whitewater and some Class III. On the other hand, there are more than 25 rapids in the Lower New, within a 14-mile stretch with Class III-IV + rapids.

Another activity that people enjoy undertaking in New River Gorge National Park is rock climbing, where they will find more than 1,500 routes on the tall sandstone cliffs of the park.

  • Recommended: People new to rock climbing must book a guide with New River Climbing. The latter will guide them to more accessible gems, such as the Cave Routes.

New River Gorge National Park Visitors will enjoy mountain biking inside the park’s borders. They will have the chance to bike the Arrowhead Trails, which has options for beginner and intermediate bikers. The trail is 12.8 miles long.

With more than 100 miles of paths, day hiking is a perfect activity to experience in New River Gorge National Park. The Endless Wall Trail is a great family-friendly option to try. Other ones include the Kaymoor Miners Trail and the Glade Creek Trail.

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This Is Where To Eat And Drink When Visiting New River Gorge National Park

When visiting New River Gorge National Park, people wonder what places offer the best options for eating and drinking. The small town of Fayetteville, located on the southeastern edge of the park’s border, has an exceptional food and beer scene.

  • Recommended: People are advised to try the spicy breakfast burrito with local chorizo at The Cathedral Cafe, a former downtown church in Fayetteville. The cafe has been sourcing fresh ingredients from local farms for decades to serve breakfast and lunch staples.

Pies and Pints serves the most unique and delicious pizzas in town, while Bridge Brew Works and Freefolk Brewing are the way to go for the most outstanding beer in town.

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