The New River is actually one of the oldest in the world, and the primeval forest gorge it runs through is one of the most breathtaking in the Appalachians. The National Park Service (NPS) protects a stretch of the New River that falls 750ft over 50 miles, with a compact set of rapids up to Class V concentrated at the northernmost end. The region is an adventure mecca, with world-class white-water runs and challenging single-track trails. Rim and gorge hiking trails offer beautiful views.
The graceful New River Gorge Bridge sits 876ft above the river and is the third-highest bridge in the United States. It carries traffic on US 19. One of four NPS visitor centers, the Canyon Rim visitor center just south of the bridge has information about scenic drives, river outfitters and other outdoor adventures.