5 Best Winter Scenery Views in the New River GorgeFebruary 11, 2014
If it must still be cold, at least it is cold and beautiful.
It’s been so cold this winter, the New River’s flow has been pushing through hundreds of sparkling ice chunks. It’s a whole different, but equally gorgeous, scene than it is in the summer.
Here are 5 of our favorite frozen winter scenes in the New River Gorge this winter.
Frozen waterfalls along the Midland Trail
When it’s cold enough, the pounding Cathedral Falls become a long, thick icicle suspended along the cliffside. The convenient parking area makes it easy to view the glory of the cascading ice from the warmth of the car.
And if you continue along the US 60 Midland Trail, you will catch glimpses of other small falls frozen in motion. Just use caution; don’t’ go out while the weather can make the drive dangerous, and be extra careful along the winding mountain curves.
For a completely unique view of the icy wilderness, zip through the setting from the treeline, or above it. Both Ace Adventures’ ziplines and Treetops Canopy Tours will give you the view through the frozen branches, and the Gravity Tour will cross you back and forth over a reclaimed mining site, above both the regrowing greenery and open fields.
Bundle up and hike out to one of the Gorge’s most popular aerial scenes to see it the way few ever do: blanketed in ice and snow. The exposed underside of twisted branches will contrast with the sharp white of the snow, weaving into a gorgeous pattern that stretches all across the hillside. And you’ll see the New River Gorge Bridge, suspended over the rushing river. (We don’t recommend climbing the boulder if it’s icy!)
Fisherman’s Trail at Hawk’s Nest
There are many picturesque winter spots at Hawk’s Nest, including the Hawk’s Nest Overlook. For more of a reward, take the short half-mile trek down Fisherman’s Trail. The steep sandstone mountainsides tower above the reservoir, and at the end of the trail, you might be lucky enough to see a waterfall tumbling over from the clifftops, either frozen or falling energetically against the calm, still scenery. You’ll also get a great view of the Hawk’s Nest Dam.
The Glade Creek Grist Mill
It’s not the most photographed spot in the state for no reason. This old-fashioned grain mill is easily accessed through Babcock State Park. Sitting beside a stream, with the mountain slope rising up sharply behind it, it’s a perfect snapshot of both WV’s most famous natural wonders and iconic history.
What’s your favorite frozen winter scene in the New River Gorge?