The New River Gorge has been on the radar among adventure enthusiasts since the 1970s when whitewater rafting became a commercial endeavor on the river. But is the new River Gorge worth visiting? With a long history of pioneering outdoor recreation, plus laid-back activities for those searching for a relaxing experience, the New River Gorge has something for everybody. Visitors can spend days exploring everything that the region has to offer and still not experience everything that makes the New River Gorge so special.
In 1978, the New River Gorge became a national river, signaling a new era for the region. Rafting companies began cropping up throughout the surrounding area, introducing a new activity to adventure seekers. Is the New River Gorge worth visiting for more than just rafting? You bet! Soon, with the popularity of rock climbing increasing, climbers discovered the treasure trove of climbable sandstone just waiting to be ascended. Hiking trails were established, some of which were initially intended for climbers to better access crags, but incredible vistas of the New River Gorge were also uncovered, leading to the trails becoming popular for people searching for a day hike.
Is the New River Gorge Worth Visiting for Flora and Fauna?
Is the New River Gorge worth visiting for more than just adventure? West Virginia provides a unique ecosystem for flora and fauna, and the history of the area is unparalleled. Diverse plants and wildlife can be found in the region, and the area has become a gathering place for birdwatchers. Migratory birds depend on the thick forested area as a stop along their journey to and from the tropics. In recent years, conservation efforts have helped restore the peregrine falcon to the New River Gorge. There are also some species of salamander that are found in very few other places on earth.
The New River Gorge is also home to some significant history. From the late 1800s to midway through the 1900s, The New River Gorge supplied coal to fuel the Second Industrial Revolution. Today, thanks to restoration efforts from the National Park Service, remains of the once prosperous mines can be viewed. Some of these remains are only accessible from strenuous hikes, but a few former coal mining communities are easily accessible from driving and a short walk.
In late 2020, the New River Gorge was designated as an official national park, cementing its status as one of the great places in our country. The New River Gorge National Park and Preserve is dedicated to preserving the important wildlife, history, and recreation that have become synonymous with the region.
Adventures on the Gorge, located adjacent to the park, is proud to lead adventures on the rivers, trails, cliffs, and through the trees of the New River Gorge. Whether you want to experience a family friendly trip on the Upper New River, or a more exciting whitewater rafting trip on the Lower New River, the New River Gorge provides exciting adventures on the river. In the trees, you can experience one of our two zipline courses, or challenge yourself to our aerial adventure park, TimberTrek.
If you’re visiting during the fall, the greater New River Gorge region becomes an adventure playground with Adventures on the Gorge serving as the base. For six weekends in September and October, the gates are opened on Summersville Dam, welcoming Gauley Season to the fold. Adventures seekers can raft the New River on one day, then head to the Gauley River for some of the best whitewater on the East Coast! Come visit and experience everything that the New River Gorge and Adventures on the Gorge has to offer!