Trails in the NRG
Endless Wall Trail
This 4.4 mile out-and-back trail is located near Fayetteville, West Virginia and features a river. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking, fishing, camping, and backpacking. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
The Endless Wall Trail follows the rim of the New River Gorge in southern West Virginia’s New River Gorge National River area for 18 miles from Canyon Rim Visitor Center to Fern Creek Trailhead near Lansing. This section can be accessed via the unmarked overlook parking lot along U.S. 19 just north of Grandview Park (the Grandview turnoff is well-marked) or from the unmarked gravel road that runs between U.S 19 and the rim at about MM 43 (see directions below).
Kaymoor Miners Trail
The Kaymoor Miners Trail is one of those trails that offers a little bit of everything: history, scenic views, and even a waterfall! Starting off at the Canyon Rim Visitor Center, this trail descends through a series of switchbacks. These switchbacks follow an old coal tipple and railway used in the early 1900s to deliver coal from mines back up to Fayetteville. The trail eventually reaches a bridge with great photo opportunities. Once across the bridge, you can access the Lower Trailhead.
From this point on, depending on your stamina level, there are two different ways to hike back up out of the gorge:
- If you have time for an all-day adventure or just like to take your time walking (like we do), continue along the trail as it crosses over Bridge Day Cafe Road. Continue on past a cemetery full of miners’ graves until you reach another viewpoint overlooking New River Gorge Bridge. From here continue going West along Kaymoor Miners Trail until it intersects with Endless Wall Trail about 1 mile away and follow this trail back up to Canyon Rim Visitor Center where you started from earlier that morning. This route is 6 miles round trip if you decide to include taking pictures at New River Gorge Bridge overlook and is rated moderate in difficulty due to its length and elevation gain (731 ft.). There are also several more places along these trails where you can take photos so plan accordingly if photography is your thing!
- If you want something shorter yet still challenging enough for those who enjoy hiking but don’t want an all-day trek then once across Bridge Day Cafe Road head North towards Diamond Point Campground located directly below where you started earlier that morning before following directions above
Long Point Trail
The Long Point Trail is a 3.8-mile trail that’s great for hiking, running, and mountain biking. While the trail is considered moderate in difficulty, it has an elevation gain of just 300 feet. The reward for this small ascent? Incredible overlooks that provide fantastic views of the gorge and its surrounding ridges.
This pathway also meanders through fields of wildflowers and wildlife, so you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled for wildlife such as deer, squirrels, rabbits, and other animals. The best time to visit the Long Point Trail is during spring (March-May), summer (June-August), or fall (September-November). However, if you decide to go in September or October be aware that hunting season is in full swing during those months! If you do hike during these times it’s recommended to wear bright clothes so hunters can see you easily.
Castle Rock Trail + Grandview Rim Trail Loop
Castle Rock Trail + Grandview Rim Trail Loop is a 4.6-mile loop hike with an elevation gain of 1,100 feet located in New River Gorge National Park and Preserve, West Virginia. This hike will take you to the top of Castle Rock where you can enjoy a 360-degree view of the gorge below. You’ll also see some beautiful hemlock trees along this trail, as well as birds and small mammals like chipmunks. Taking the Castle Rock trail first and then finishing on Grandview Rim means you walk downhill for most of the way back to your car (a plus).
The difficulty level is moderate; there are a few steep sections that may be challenging for beginners or those out of shape, but all ages will find something enjoyable here, especially at the summit where there’s plenty of room to explore. The trailhead is located at McClintic Point overlook on US 19 southbound between Glen Jean/Thurmond exit 142A off I-64 eastbound from Charleston WV/Beckley area: turn left onto US 19 South toward Fayetteville (county seat); travel about 20 miles south then look for signs that say “McClintic Point Overlook” – make sure not to miss it! After turning right onto gravel road leading up hill (with parking lot), continue following signs until reaching large stone monument sign near end which says “Fayetteville Hiking Trails”.
The Tunnel Trail is 9.1 miles long (round trip) and moderate difficulty to hike taking around 4 hours. This trail features an abandoned railroad tunnel and beautiful views of the New River Gorge. Parking is available from spring through fall at the Grandview Sandbar Day Use Area off Route 19, south of Hinton, West Virginia.
There are plenty of wildflowers along the trail that make a lovely view, especially with the birds that frequent the area flying among them. The scenery is beautiful, with plenty of wildlife to enjoy as well.
The Cliff Side Trail
The Cliffside Trail is 2.5 miles long and easy to hike. There are plenty of wildflowers along the trail that make a lovely view, especially with the birds that frequent the area flying among them. The scenery is beautiful, with plenty of wildlife to enjoy as well.
Grandview Rim Trail to Turkey Spur Rock
If you’re looking for a relatively short trail with some nice views, the Grandview Rim Trail to Turkey Spur Rock is a great option. This hike is approximately 1 mile each way and should take approximately 1 hour round-trip. The trail winds through deep forest, is mostly flat, and can be hiked by all skill levels.
To reach the parking area for this trail, head to the Sandstone Visitor Center at 2550 Sandstone Drive in Lansing (West Virginia). Park at the end of the parking lot near the picnic shelter and restrooms. You’ll find a small sign that marks the beginning of Grandview Rim Trail on your left near where you parked. As you hike, you’ll pass some scenic overlooks along the edge of New River Gorge before arriving at Turkey Spur Rock where you’ll find another wooden sign marking your arrival.
The hike itself is pretty easy—there are only a few noticeable hills as you approach Turkey Spur Rock from Grandview Rim Trail so it’s not too strenuous but still feels like an adventure! I would recommend wearing sturdy shoes because parts of this hike can be muddy when it rains or have loose rocks that make walking trickier than usual (especially coming down from Turkey Spur Rock). If it’s hot out, bring plenty of water with you: there aren’t any water fountains along this stretch or nearby restaurants where you can refill your water bottle if needed before hiking back to your car! You might also want to bring snacks, sunscreen if needed—and binoculars if birdwatching happens to be one of your hobbies!
Depending on when they hike here and
Sandstone Falls Boardwalk
Hiking Sandstone Falls Boardwalk is a very easy hike, and it’s only 1.2 miles roundtrip, with little to no elevation gain. This trail is wheelchair accessible, and there’s no cost to access the falls and boardwalk. You’ll be able to enjoy this hike year-round, though be aware that some of the trail can get muddy during rainy weather. While you’re hiking, you can expect a few scenic overlooks of Sandstone Falls and the New River Gorge Bridge.
You can access the boardwalk starting at Long Point Trailhead off US 19 north of Hinton in Summers County. From here you’ll head south on Long Point Trail for about .7 miles until you reach the parking area for the boardwalk (there will be signs). The boardwalk itself is about .5 miles long and features an observation platform at its end where you can take in views of Sandstone Falls from above.
Once you’ve hiked out on the observation platform and taken in as many pictures as your camera will hold, walk back down toward your car along the same path you took to get here—remembering to snap even more photos on your way back!
Glade Creek: New River to Pinch Creek
Whether you begin your trip at Glade Creek Trailhead and end at Pinch Creek Trailhead or vice versa, you’ll start by hiking to the New River overlook—a short distance through a deciduous forest that gradually opens to a view of the river. From here, it’s a steep descent via rock steps that takes you down to the Glade Creek trail. This is where you’ll stay for about two miles as you follow the river and keep an eye out for any wildlife that might be on its bank. After this point, your hike will lead back uphill, passing some wet sections along the way until you reach Pinch Creek trail and hike through some pine trees as well as other hardwoods typical to southern Appalachia. About three-quarters of a mile from there, your hike concludes with another ascent to Glade Creek overlook. This spot will give you a more aerial perspective of the creek and let you see any homes that were built along it in the early 20th century—including one with an interesting history
Long Point via Butcher Branch Trail
This trail can be accessed by crossing the bridge over the New River at the Canyon Rim Visitor Center. Take Fayette Station Road to the end, then cross under the bridge and follow signs for Butcher Branch Trail. The route follows Butcher Branch to Long Point – a rocky outcrop that provides one of the most scenic spots in all of New River Gorge National River. You’ll enjoy sweeping views of New River below and Kaymoor Mines across from you on your descent back to Fayette Station Road.
The trail is 4 miles (6.4 km) round trip and moderately difficult. The elevation gain is moderate and there are a few steep sections along Butcher Branch Trail, though this hike has some very level stretches as well. Long Point was subject to heavy timbering during mining operations in the area, so it’s often exposed and windy – be sure to bring layers! (The views are worth it.)
Diamond Point Overlook via Endless Wall Trail
This out-and-back trail is a challenging but rewarding hike. You’ll experience the full range of New River Gorge’s scenery, from farmland to forest to the scenic rim. In addition, you’ll be rewarded with two of the most arresting overlooks in the area: Diamond Point and Endless Wall. The views are unparalleled and worth the effort it takes to get there. The trail is 5 miles (8 kilometers), moderate difficulty, and an elevation gain of 1,400 feet (426 meters).
Canyon Rim Overlook Boardwalk
Canyon Rim Overlook Boardwalk is a short paved trail accessible from the Canyon Rim Visitor Center or the New River Gorge Bridge. The boardwalk is wheel-chair accessible, and provides a beautiful view of the New River Gorge and New River Gorge Bridge. It’s an easy hike with a 210 foot elevation change.
Ray’s Campground is here if you are looking for camping or cabins near the New River Gorge, Fayetteville, or Summersville.