All About Bridge Day 2022
West Virginia’s largest single-day festival is almost here! Bridge Day 2022, one of the most exciting BASE jumping festivals in the world, returns on October 15 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the New River Gorge Bridge in Lansing. This year’s event will be the first held in the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve, so you don’t want to miss it!
What Is Bridge Day?
Bridge Day is celebrated every third Saturday in October and is the only day out of the year that pedestrians can walk on the New River Gorge Bridge! This time of year is also peak foliage, which makes the bridge the perfect overlook to view the colorful leaves.
Professional BASE jumpers get their chance to fly 876 feet into the Gorge below and rappellers ascend and descend from the catwalk directly below the bridge. It takes approximately 8 seconds from the bridge to the water of the New River. Most BASE jumpers free-fall from the bridge for 3-4 seconds before deploying their parachute. They spend the next 20 to 30 seconds floating down to the landing zone.
In addition to BASE jumping and rappelling, Bridge Day offers tandem BASE jumping, the High Line and Into the Gorge tours. Into the Gorge Tours are sold out. Check High Line registration for Bridge Day availability.
Bridge Day History
Bridge Day is held to commemorate the October 1977 completion of the renowned New River Gorge Bridge. The New River Gorge Bridge has some pretty impressive stats. It is the longest single-span steel arch bridge in the United States and the third highest bridge in the country. The overall length of the bridge is 3,030 feet and the massive structure weighs 88 million pounds. The bridge is also listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
The first official Bridge Day was on November 8, 1980. Two parachutists jumped from a plane onto the bridge, then five parachutists jumped from the bridge into the Gorge. Bridge Day continued to expand, and now the event features hundreds of BASE jumpers and rappellers. On average, 80,000 people attend Bridge Day each year! Some years, attendance has been closer to 100,000 people.
Bridge Day Information
The most convenient way to get to the bridge is to park and then use the Bridge Day shuttle. The shuttle is $3 (cash only) and will drop you off at the entrance of the event. Find a shuttle map on the Bridge Day website.
Many items are not prohibited at Bridge Day, including coolers, folding chairs, bicycles, skateboards, fireworks and alcoholic beverages. Find a full list of prohibited items on the Bridge Day website. Clear backpacks and clear handbags are allowed at Bridge Day (subject to search).
Make It A Full Weekend
Although Bridge Day is the main event, there are a number of other things going on around the area to stretch your weekend festivities!
Taste of Bridge Day
Kick off your weekend at the Taste of Bridge Day on Friday, October 14 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. This annual event held at Adventures on the Gorge, showcases the area’s finest restaurants, caterers and food trucks. Enjoy an evening of local food, amazing art vendors and live music. Purchase tickets online to taste your way around the Gorge!
Bridge Day 5K Run
Experience a stunning view of the New River Gorge during Active Southern West Virginia’s Bridge Day 5K Run. This unique 5k is the only race across the New River Gorge Bridge and begins at 8 a.m. Registration is still open!
Rafting the New River is always exciting, but rafting during Bridge Day? Even better! Book a trip with one of our local outfitters to get a unique view of all the action. Or catch the epic waters of the Gauley River on the last two scheduled days of the 2022 season (October 15 and 16).
Bridge Day Chili Cook-Off
Taste samples of some of the best chili recipes from local community members, then vote for your favorite at the annual Bridge Day Chili Cook-Off in Fayetteville. The cook-off will be set up in front of the Fayette County Courthouse from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. There will also be incredible live music, children’s activities and more. Discover more after parties on our events calendar!
From hiking and mountain biking to live music and entertainment, find more activities in Southern West Virginia to add to your Bridge Day weekend.
Bridge Day works with the NPS and other law enforcement agencies in the area in regards to Fayette Station and Fayette Station Road closures. That area will not be accessible beginning on Friday, October 14 after 5:30 pm through Saturday, October 15 at 5 pm (assuming the highway and road are cleared as expected). Private boaters can use Fayette Station as a take out after 5 pm on Saturday, October 15th if arrangements are made for shuttling without leaving a car the night prior. Setting shuttle and leaving cars overnight will not be permitted during Bridge Day.
Teays is privately owned land with a lease to others. They have decided to not allow access to Teays during Bridge Day, which includes not allowing shuttle cars to be dropped the night prior.
About 2.5-3 miles downstream, Hawks Nest also has a river access location with parking and shuttle access on Friday and Saturday.