The New River Gorge Bridge is a steel arch bridge 3,030 feet (924 m) long over the New River Gorge near Fayetteville, West Virginia, in the Appalachian Mountains of the eastern United States. The New River Gorge Bridge was for many years the worlds longest single-span arch bridge; it is now the third longest and one of the highest vehicular bridges in the world.

Getty Images/Gallo Images

New River Gorge Bridge

New River Gorge National Park and Preserve

Completed in 1977, the New River Gorge Bridge is the third-highest bridge in the US and the longest single-arch bridge in the Western Hemisphere. Made from 22,000 tons of structural steel, it rises 876ft above the New River and stretches 3030ft across the gorge. For the best view of the span, head to the overlooks behind the Canyon Rim Visitor Center or join a Bridgewalk tour.

The bridge is open to pedestrians and BASE jumpers on Bridge Day, a festival held annually on the third Saturday of October. The bridge shortened the time needed to cross the gorge – from 40 minutes to less than a minute.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby New River Gorge National Park and Preserve attractions

1. Hawks Nest State Park

4.19 MILES

There are hiking trails, a nature center and an aerial tram, which runs from the lodge down to the river's edge for jet boat tours of the river and views…

2. Hawks Nest Overlook

4.42 MILES

An 80yd paved trail leads to a lofty view of the New River. The photogenic rock wall surrounding the overlook was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps…

3. Mystery Hole

5.23 MILES

See gravity and the known limits of tackiness defied at the Mystery Hole, one of the great attractions of roadside America. Everything inside this…

4. Babcock State Park

8.46 MILES

Babcock State Park has hiking, canoeing, horseback riding, and camping and cabin accommodations. The park's highlight is its photogenic Glade Creek Grist…

5. Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine

20.61 MILES

This mine in Beckley, 22 miles south of Fayetteville, is a museum about the region's coal heritage. Visitors can ride a train 1500ft into a former coal…