Back in March I flew up to Pennsylvania to visit Heather for two weeks, and we decided to do a mini road trip. We had a few options, but as the other options depended a bit much on hiking and the trees being green (and it was not clear how green things were at the time), we settled on checking out the New River Gorge Bridge in West Virginia.
The bridge itself is pretty incredible; it used to be the world’s longest single-span arch bridge but has unfortunately been demoted to number 3, after the Chaotianmen and Lupu bridges in China. It’s still the longest single-span arch bridge in the western hemisphere though! There’s a neat “bridge walk” you can do on rafters under the bridge, but unfortunately we decided to leave that for another trip. We did do the switchback drive down the mountain to the river, and crossed the original bridge that’s at ground level. The crossing used to take 45 minutes, but now with the new bridge you can get from one hill to the next in a minute or so.
We did manage to do one hike while there, the Endless Wall trail. It was a pretty leisurely but beautiful hike out to the cliffs that line the gorge. Lots of climbers use those cliffs, and were out climbing up. On our drive to Charleston (WV) we stopped at Hawk’s Nest state park, the site of the Hawks Nest Tunnel disaster, which has a nice overlook showcasing the New River and the Gauley Junction Dam. We also came across a really beautiful waterfall called Cathedral Falls just before the town of Gauley Bridge. I’ve seen many beautiful waterfalls, in Hawaii and Puerto Rico, but this was one of my favorites. You could hike pretty much right up to the base. Great times! Make sure to watch the video so you can see all these awesome things!