~NEW RIVER GORGE DRIVE~

The New River National River Visitor Center is a frequent stop on the way home from down south. In December 2004, I visited the New River Bridge with a friend, and we decided against driving into the gorge due to the winter weather. This year, I was alone and decided to brave the gorge drive. The road is one way except for a couple of sections of the drive and is extremely narrow. But the scenery is wonderful, and I'm glad I took this two hour detour.


The New River Bridge as seen from the river. This is a composite photo made from three photographs. The bridge is the second longest single span steel arch bridge in the world. For twenty-seven years it was the longest. It channels US Route 19 across the gorge at height of 876 feet above the river making it the second highest in the world. Before the bridge was opened in 1977 travelers had a narrow, winding forty mile trip down into the gorge and up the other side. The length of the bridge is 3030 feet.


Small Town, West Virginia

The bridge from under the north end


Huge rock cliffs overhang the road

Down, down, down

A railroad runs along the river bank

Once at the river it must be crossed

The river from the middle of that bridge


On the left is the New River Gorge Bridge from the crossing bridge. On the right is a portion of the rapids. White water rafting is a popular activity along the New River. Another activity is parachuting from the bridge. On Bridge Day, the third Saturday in October jumpnig is permitted. A permit and certification for skydiving are required.

A railway bridge crosses the road

The bridge across the river as seen from the river

More rapids

A train crosses the railroad bridge

A small bridge across a tributary feeding New River

Looking upstream from river level

A boat launch on the river

Looking downstream


These waterfalls are on tributaries along the river

Looking up a tributary to another bridge

Holding back the falling rocks


On the left is part of the bridge and the gorge in the mist. On my way back up the other side of the river I stopped to photograph where I was.

The bridge from under the south end

Some more photos of overhanging cliffs


More cliffs





Two angles of another waterfall

The road really has several curves like this one. The road is just wide enough for a single car, and at various locations pull off areas are available for parking and passing.



Music is "Bridge Over Troubled Water"

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