5 weekend wilderness escapades, ready for spring!

Take full advantage of glorious natural scenery and cheerful April weather. No matter your experience, these activities get you strolling through the deepest, most majestic portions of the New River Gorge.

1. Easter Sunrise Bridge Walk

Marvel as you stand 876 feet above the ground, right as dawn settles over the New River Gorge. It’s a glorious moment, one that’s fitting for Easter. 

Join Bridge Walk for this year’s special tour. Starting at 5:30 a.m., you’ll step across the New River Gorge Bridge’s catwalk— an expanse 3,030 feet long. The views are stupendous. Rim-to-rim forests, distant rapids, and enormous pastel skies are just some of the highlights. It’s not unusual for folks to glimpse hawks, either.

The Easter Sunrise Bridge Walk on April 16 is just $39.00 a person (plus tax). Make reservations as early as you can, too. Spots fill up really quickly!

2. National Park Service: Prescription Day

Park Prescription Day on April 23 makes good on the cheerful premise that “having fun outdoors is the best medicine.” For one thing, it’s at Grandview— a striking location renowned for its magenta rhododendrons and mountain panoramas.

For another, you can try a new sport. Rangers will have tai chi, yoga, guided walks, and a trail run. It’s also your chance to dabble with sports equipment: stand-up paddle boards, mountain bikes, and more!

Doctors and healthcare professionals (is that you?) will also get free “prescription pads” for patients who could use more time outside. Just ask a ranger. You’re also welcome to join volunteers at blood pressure and glucose stations. Call the visitors’ center for more information.

Think of it this way: it’s the one time you’ll get a “prescription” that’s free and inspiring.

3. Smart Tech Birding at Grandview

Hey, there’s an app for that! Use your smartphone to identify whatever critter happens to meet you on April 28.

If you don’t have any nature “apps” on your device, download some before heading out. Popular ones include Audubon Bird Guide, Birdsnap, and Merlin Bird ID. These are free, but you can also find premium software for a price.

Or, scan the skies with old-school technology. Grandview rangers will have binoculars you can borrow. Join them from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., when birds are chirping, swooping, and gliding around the New River Gorge. It’s a delightful excuse to explore this magnificent park, too— birds or no birds.

4. Hike into Spring

From the dramatic overlook at Grandview to the cobalt New River, this casual walk on April 29 makes the most of the season.

Naturalists will lead the way from start to finish. It’s a 2.5-mile wilderness immersion rich with young foliage, mountain crags, and migrating birds. Some of the terrain is steep, but you can always take a free shuttle on the return trip.

5. Hot ID: Skills with Apps and Guides

Bring your smartphone or favorite field guide; you’ll get an eyeful as rangers take you deep into the New River Gorge on April 30.

From Stone Cliff Trailhead, you’ll wander through old-growth forests populated with venerable oaks, buckeyes, and hickories. This moderate 2-mile trek also winds past picturesque riverbanks.

How do you enjoy spring in the Gorge?