Canyon Rim Boardwalk

The easiest and most popular way to view the impressive New River Gorge Bridge.

Hiking Easy

Distance
648 m
Ascent
22 m
Descent
22 m
Duration
0-1 hrs
Low Point
511 m
High Point
533 m
Gradient
10˚
Canyon Rim Boardwalk Map

A centerpiece of America's 63rd national park, the New River Gorge Bridge is the must-see attraction for anyone planning a visit. This short walk begins at the the main park visitor center and leads to a great overlook with amazing views - a perfect option for any member of the family. At most, set aside 30 minutes to enjoy this at a leisurely stroll. Leashed pets are always welcome to join! The upper observation deck is even wheelchair-accessible.

Description

To enjoy this hike, find your way to the Canyon Rim Visitor Center near Fayetteville, WV. It's just over an hour from Charleston or Interstate 79, and less than 30 minutes from Beckley. Water and restrooms are available year-round, and there is plenty of parking for larger vehicles, RVs, and busses. The visitor center also hosts an abundance of exhibits and ranger-led programs, with more information available here.

Competed in the late 1970s, "the bridge reduced a 40-minute drive down narrow mountain roads and across one of North America's oldest rivers to less than a minute," the park notes. It's widely considered one of the "most photographed places in West Virginia" and even listed in the National Register of Historic Places as a "significant historic resource." It was also minted onto a commemorative quarter in 2006 - which you could likely find in your wallet, purse, or car wash fund.

An official holiday famously known as "Bridge Day" occurs on the 3rd Saturday of October and is "West Virginia's largest one-day festival and the largest extreme sports event in the world. More information on this annual event can be found here.

NPS

Difficulty

Easy

Walking along a well-kept trail that’s mostly flat. No obstacles are present.

Low Exposure

1 out of 4

The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.

Remoteness

1 out of 4

Close to help in case of emergency.

Best time to visit

January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

Features

  • Wildlife
  • Historical
  • Picturesque
  • Summit Hike
  • Dog friendly
  • Wild flowers
  • Water features
  • Family friendly

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area