Family Fun: Things To Do In The New River Gorge With Kids 

In search of the perfect summer destination for the entire family? Look no further than the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve — a place where adventure and family fun collide. With school out and the warm sun shining, it’s the best time to discover the wonders of our national park. Here are our top kid-friendly activities to add to your family getaway!

Raft The New River

If your family is up for some adrenaline-pumping action, rafting the Lower New is just what you need. With big waves and thrilling rapids, it’s great for adventurous souls aged 12 and up. However, if you have younger children or just prefer a more mellow experience, the Upper New is where it’s at! Here, your little explorers can even take the lead and paddle on their own in inflatable kayaks, adding an extra layer of excitement. With rapids ranging from Class I to III, the Upper New offers a mild whitewater experience that’s great for swimming and floating. Beginners are welcome to join in on the fun, as the guides ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.

Hop On A Jet Boat

For another aquatic activity, step aboard New River Jet Boats for an experience that combines stunning views, refreshing breezes and an up-close look at the iconic New River Gorge Bridge. This activity not only keeps you cool on hot summer days but also provides a safe and exciting trip for the whole family.

Take In The Views

Most kids have a natural love for climbing, so why not sign them up for a rock climbing trip? With a wide range of climbing routes catering to beginners and experienced climbers alike, there is something for everyone in the New River Gorge. The diverse rock formations, including sandstone cliffs and challenging boulders, provide an exhilarating and varied climbing adventure. Experienced guides and instructors are available to ensure a safe and entertaining climbing experience for the whole family. They will provide the necessary equipment, teach proper climbing techniques and offer guidance every step of the way. 

Soar Through The Sky

Take your family’s summer getaway to new heights with an aerial adventure! Give the kids something to brag about to their classmates and soar through the sky on a zipline trip. A canopy tour offers a unique perspective of the Gorge’s lush landscapes and rugged terrain. Watch as your kids face their fears, push themselves and build confidence with each zip. For those seeking an additional challenge, a ropes course is a great option. Traverse obstacles, conquer elevated platforms and navigate through a series of rousing elements. Encourage friendly competition within the family as you race to complete the course or work together to overcome obstacles.

Explore The Trails 

Lace up your hiking boots and set off on a journey along the park’s scenic trails. Hiking in the New River Gorge offers a range of options suitable for all ages and skill levels. From leisurely strolls along family-friendly paths to more challenging hikes for brave souls, there’s a trail for everyone. Trek through dense forests, cross sparkling streams and discover hidden waterfalls as you venture through the Gorge. Along the way, keep your eyes peeled for wildlife sightings, such as deer, squirrels and a variety of birds. 

For those with a love for two-wheels, mountain biking in the Gorge is a must-do. Hop on your bikes and hit the trails that wind through the rugged terrain, offering exhilarating descents and rewarding climbs. With trails catering to different skill levels, you can choose a route that matches your family’s biking abilities. Stop by one of our local bike shops for a tune-up or rental before you head out! 

Find Entertainment Indoors

Rainy weather or the desire to cool off doesn’t mean the fun has to stop in the New River Gorge! When it comes to indoor activities for kids, this area offers many options to keep your little ones entertained. Put on your bowling shoes and challenge the family to a friendly competition at our local bowling alley. Work together to decipher clues, solve mysteries and unlock secrets during an escape room challenge. Or join a yoga class specifically designed for children, where they can stretch, breathe and find their inner balance. 

Make memories that will last a lifetime in the New River Gorge this summer. Browse our lodging options to find the perfect place to stay and request a free travel guide to get started on planning your getaway.