How to Spend a Long Weekend in the New River Gorge

Make the most out of your long weekend with a visit to America’s newest national park — New River Gorge National Park and Preserve. With endless outdoor recreation activities, plenty of eclectic local restaurants and shops and unique lodging spots, the Gorge provides an exciting lineup of weekend activities. There is truly something for everyone to enjoy, regardless if you are planning an end-of-summer family trip, a couple’s retreat or a solo adventure. 

For Adventurers:

Experience the ultimate thrills on a whitewater rafting trip on the New River. Paddle down one of the oldest rivers on the continent and choose between its two distinct sections: the mild “Upper” and the wild “Lower.” From relaxing pools on the Upper to heart-pounding waves on the Lower, the New River has a ride for everyone. Looking to step things up a notch? Gauley season officially begins on September 10! Plan for a life-changing experience on the Beast of the East. The Gauley River, one of the most renowned whitewater rivers in the world, features iconic class V rapids and scenic views of the area. Add a couple of other activities to your adventurous weekend like mountain biking and horseback riding. Take advantage of the late summer temperatures and pitch a tent at one of our scenic campsites close to all the outdoor fun. 

For Families:

The New River Gorge is a prime family-friendly destination! From tots to teens, there is an activity for everyone in your family. Trek through our vast network of trails and hike to some of the most popular vistas in West Virginia, including views of the New River Gorge Bridge from Long Point Trail or an abandoned mining town on the Kaymoor Miners Trail. After your hike, sign up for a guided rocking climbing trip to get an aerial view of the Gorge from our rugged sandstone cliffs. Even if the weather doesn’t cooperate with your outdoor activities, we’ve got you covered with indoor fun as well! Complete your weekend trip with a stay at one of our cozy cabins featuring great accommodations like hot tubs and full kitchens. 

For Foodies:

Get a taste of the New River Gorge on your next trip. We believe that there is no better way to truly explore and appreciate a new place than through its food! And in the New River Gorge, we’ve got some unique and delicious options. Spend a long weekend having the ultimate foodie experience. Start your mornings at one of our coffee shops or cafes. Savor indulgent breakfast specials like ooey-gooey cinnamon rolls and made-from-scratch biscuit sandwiches or sip on a handcrafted espresso drink. Lunchtime is made for our famous specialty pizzas and mouth-watering burgers. For dinner, try a popular barbeque spot or opt for an appetizing steak dinner. Still hungry? Save room for dessert! From frozen custard to custom cupcakes, cure your sweet tooth in the Gorge. Finally, end your evening at one of our local breweries for a taste of West Virginia beer. 

For Gorge Enthusiasts:  

Whether you’re a local or a returning visitor, there’s always something new to try in the New River Gorge! If you’ve already rafted the Gauley, hiked to all of our popular spots and climbed to new heights, try a few of our unique adventures that many people don’t even know about. Get a one-of-a-kind view of the Gorge from underneath the New River Gorge Bridge on a Bridge Walk tour or take in the sights from the sky with a biplane trip from Wild Blue Adventure Company. From bowling and escape rooms to historic museums and local state parks, there’s something new for every visitor here! End your day in a specialty lodging option like a treehouse cabin or boutique vacation rental

There is no better place to travel this Labor Day weekend (or any long weekend!) than the New River Gorge. Start planning your ultimate adventure now