Southern West Virginia is special for a number of reasons, one of which being that it is the only place in the country with three National Parks in such close proximity. Take a trip to Bluestone National Scenic River, New River Gorge National Park and Preserve and Gauley River National Recreation Area to see some of the most beautiful parts of the state, complete with epic whitewater, awe-inspiring vistas and stunning waterfalls.
- Bluestone National Scenic River
- New River Gorge National Park and Preserve
- Gauley River National Recreation Area
Epic whitewater, awe-inspiring vistas and stunning waterfalls
Created in 1988 under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, Bluestone National Scenic River protects a 10.5-mile section of the Bluestone River. Revel in the remoteness — it is only accessible by venturing through the wilderness of Pipestem Resort State Park (put a ride on the aerial tram on your must-do list) and Bluestone State Park. While in the area, visit the charming railroad town of Hinton for food, lodging and a history lesson.
With its thrilling rapids, miles of hiking trails, and high sandstone cliffs, The New River Gorge National Park and Preserve is a haven for adventure lovers. The New River itself is the oldest in North America, and the park is comprised of more than 53 miles of the river and 70,000 acres of land. Discover Sandstone and its wonderful waterfalls; Grandview with its amazing overlooks and an architectural marvel known as the New River Gorge Bridge. While you’re in the area, you’ll want to stop by Babcock State Park to get a photo of the iconic Glade Creek Grist Mill or enjoy a unique view of the New River at Hawks Nest State Park.
The Gauley River National Recreation Area protects six miles of the Meadow River and 25 miles of the mighty Gauley River — known worldwide for its whitewater and also referred to as “The Beast of the East”. The Gauley is divided into two sections, the Upper and the Lower, and has over 100 rapids, with more than half rated Class III or higher, and five that are Class V+. The river is also a good place to reel in smallmouth bass, trout, walleye and other fish.