Thursday, May 25, 2017

Long Point Trail - New River Gorge National River, West Virginia

Length: 3.2 miles Difficulty: Moderate 

The weather has changed the past month, and the leaves are now shades of orange, yellow, and red. This left me reflecting on our early summer trip to the New River Gorge National River in West Virginia. The weather still wasn't blazing hot, but the leaves were a lively green. It was a beautiful weekend to spend for Memorial Day weekend hiking in a new state to us. Long Point, near Fayetteville, West Virginia, was the first trail we hiked after waking up that day to explore, and it is my favorite hike we took in the New River Gorge.

The trail begins from the parking lot, and it wanders behind a few houses where people reside near the gorge. For a short time it felt we were in someone's backyard. After a bit of exposure in the sun we find the trail goes deeper into the woods and in the shade of trees.

After walking 1.6 miles we began to see the sights of where the trail ends. Long Point provides the best views of the New River Bridge in my opinion. The trail makes for a roundtrip of a moderate 3.2 miles. There are some inclines going toward the overlook.

See what I'm talking about? I feel as if I'm standing face to face with the bridge. More in my case I'm sitting face to face with the bridge. Standing on rock overlooks still humbles me to need to take a seat. The New River Bridge was completed October 22, 1977, and it was added to the list of National Register of Historic Places in 2013.

Here is what I look like sitting on a rock trying to not look up. I was juggling quick glances of the bridge while sitting under a tree.

Brandon has more guts than me. I grabbed a photo of him standing at Long Point with the bridge behind him. He claims he has a fear of heights. Ha!

Not only are there great views of the bridge, but we also had great views into the New River Gorge. From Long Point we had views of the Wolf Creek Drainage as well. The New River is one of the oldest rivers in the world.

Caution is warned at Long Point. There are steep drop offs on both sides of the overlook, and the trail has drop offs along the path till you return to the woods. There really is no experience quite like it I've had.

Parking was packed at Long Point. I can understand why this is such a popular hike though. It's free to visit Long Point, but donations can be made a nearby visitor center.

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