The famous New River Gorge Bridge on US Hwy 19 about 25 miles north of Beckley, West VA. (Click the photo above to display it larger.)
A Bridge Day celebration is held each year the third Saturday in October, when BASE jumpers and tens of thousands of spectators all meet at the gorge. Bungee jumping has been banned since 1993.
The new Bridgewalk lets you (for a fee) take a guided tour across the gorge on the steel structure under the bridge.
Spend a day (267 miles - left map) crossing West Virginia on mostly Hwy 16, beginning at the Ohio River and ending in Bluefield, WV. See larger map with directions.
The New River Gorge Bridge is on the left route, which detours away from Hwy 16 north of Fayetteville, WV. The final leg is US Hwy 52, from Welch to Bluefield. If you have time, there are more rides nearby - see our Virginia is for bikers page.
You might choose to stop in Beckley, WV and on the next day add another 200 miles on Hwy 16 (right map), ending in North Wilkesboro, NC near Boone. See larger map with directions. Hwy 16 continues south to Charlotte.
"Nestled in the heart of whitewater rafting country, Hawks Nest State Park encompasses 276 acres
bordering a rugged section of the New River Gorge National River and known for the panoramic views. The New River was designated an American Heritage River on July 30, 1998. There are
currently fourteen American Heritage Rivers in the country."
This 370 mile WV loop includes the New River Gorge Bridge, Hawk's Nest State Park, surprising Lewisburg (see below), Charleston, and plenty of country road. At the south end of Charleston, US 60 merges briefly onto I-64/77. In five miles I-77 splits off north, I-64 crosses the Kanawha River where US 119 exits immediately. US 60 continues west to Huntington WV, Lexington and Louisville Kentucky and as far west as northern Oklahoma, but that's another ride. We're headed about 70 miles south where US 52 joins us to Williamson, and then turns SE for Welch and Bluefield. Most of the route follows five US highways, for easy navigation. Here's the map.
"Descend 120 feet below the Earth's surface into a vast
wonderland of stalactites and stalagmites. Lost
World Caverns, discovered in 1942, is a truly
magical place for both young and old. It takes approximately 45 minutes to walk through. We offer self-guided tours so you can take your time to explore the cavern at your own pace. Just remember
to stay on the trail. A guide sheet is provided to tell you about the many different formations that make up this 1/2 mile loop. No matter what the temperature on the outside, the cave always
remains a constant 52 degrees. A light jacket and good shoes are recommended." www.lostworldcaverns.com
Nearby Organ Cave is part of Civil War history, "where over 1100 Confederate soldiers hid for 3 winters from the neighboring Yankees. Organ Cave is a National Natural Landmark plus a National Landmark of Historic Places and also on the Civil War Trails. This cave has over 45 miles of mapped passageways with still over 200 leads yet to be mapped and surveyed. These leads can go on for miles yet unknown. When The History Channel was here in 2008, they found in their research over 70 miles of passageways. Organ Cave is the second longest commercial cave on the east coast. It is located in the heart of beautiful Greenbrier County of West Virginia."
"We are located on Route 63W off of Route 60 or 63E off Route 219, in southern West Virginia. DO NOT USE GPS, IT WILL LOOSE YOU!"