The New River Gorge is known for the expansive views and variety of activities available to locals and visitors alike. It is home to a rich history including explorers and travelers, but one of the most noticeable and memorable factors of the area is the bridge and the attention it attracts. Without this bridge, crossing between the two sides is a time consuming and frustrating process; but it serves many other uses to the local area including festivals, photo opportunities, and by becoming a tourist attraction in it’s own right.
-The New River Gorge Bridge took close to three years to finish, and ended up costing nearly $37 million from 1974-1977.
-The bridge is 876 feet tall and spans over 3,000 feet in length. This makes it the 2nd largest single span steel arch bridge in the Western Hemisphere.
-In 2005, the bridge was chosen to be the feature used on their state quarter.
-In 1980, the first annual Bridge Day was held and included a total of 7 jumpers and parachuters (this number has grown immensely since then).
-The New River begins in North Carolina. It travels through Virginia, into West Virginia, and eventually feeds into the Kanawha River.
-The New River is approximately 320 miles long from end to end.
-It is also one of the oldest rivers in the world, with some estimates being as high as 360 million years old.
-Similar to the Nile, the New River flows from South to North (most North American rivers flow in the opposite direction).
-Whitewater rafting began commercially in 1968 and has expanded to one of the biggest attractions of the region.
-The New River has had a number of different names over its lifespan, including Cohnaway, Wood and even by some tribes that lived in the area, “The River of Death” (although we do have to politely disagree with that one. We prefer “The River of Fun”. Ha
-The New River Gorge National Park is accessible by train! So if you find yourself in Chicago or New York City, you can still get there without even getting on a plane.
-The New River Gorge Bridge is the 2nd highest steel arch bridge in the United States.
-Some of the activities available in the region range from whitewater rafting to rock climbing to local shopping and dining; and really anything in between!
Do you have any other fun facts that you have learned about the New River Gorge? Leave us a comment below with your favorite!