My husband and I visited the scenic New River Gorge National park on the first week of October, 2021. It is a new National park designated in 2020. Our first stop was the lookout at the Canyon Rim Visitor Center.
It took over three years to build the bridge. Designed by Michael Baker, it was completed on October 22, 1977 costing 37 Million dollars. Its width extends 3,030 feet over the gorge, 876 feet above the New River. According to its history web site, it is “the longest single span arch bridge in the World”. The bridge became a great asset to West Virginia attracting tourists nationwide.
The ranger at the visitor center suggested we start by driving the Fayette Station Road Tour. Without stopping, the scenic 8 mile drive takes about 45min starting on Lansing-Edmond road then turning onto Fayette Station road and winding through several hairpin turns. We stopped at several pull-offs allowing us to see the bridge from various perspectives leading to the bottom of the gorge after crossing over Hunsaker Bridge, an older single lane bridge.
I wanted to stop every few minutes, each view more alluring than the previous. There were several exhibits relaying the history of the area. According to the brochure, the road is over 100 years. The area thrived after 1873 when a railway was built allowing transportation of coal from the mines. Over 80 mining towns sprung up including Fayette and South Fayette.
I walked down to the river to admire the view. Above me I saw the New River Gorge bridge, straight before me was the Hunsaker bridge. I was blown away by the area’s beauty.
Reference New River Gorge Bridge History