Top 5 Spring ‘Must-Dos’ Around the New River Gorge Bridge

Spring weather has arrived with a rush this year. Ramps, morel mushrooms, and budding trees and flowers are all a few weeks earlier than normal. This means folks are already getting out and enjoying all the activities the New River Gorge has to offer. Rafting is one obvious must-do adventure for visitors. But there are also other must-do activities that you might not know about (but should try to fit in your visit to the Bridge area).

Here's our list of the top 5 musts for spring in New River Gorge Bridge country.

1. Drive the Gorge

Take a trip down old State Rt. 82 from the north side to the south. You can start at the Canyon Rim Visitor Center and take advantage of the overlooks and the interpretive center there. Once traveling through the Gorge, there are great spots to get pictures of the Bridge. Be sure to stop at the bottom and watch rafts run Fayette Station rapid. There's also a pull-off on the south side with a bridge over Wolf Creek and a hiking trail to the old Kaymoor Mines, if you want to stretch your legs.

2. Swirl Ice Cream Parlor

Located in downtown Fayetteville, this ice cream shop has lots of toys and goodies for kids you probably haven't seen in years. Retro trinkets and toys are on display and available for purchase here. And oh yeah, they have great hand-dipped ice cream too.

3. Take flight in a WWII Biplane

Wild Blue Adventure Company offers biplane rides over the Gorge in an authentic WWII Biplane. With an open cockpit, you'll have great views of the Gorge from Thurmond to Fayetteville. Make sure you hang on. It’s a wild ride.

4. Long Point Trail

Just a couple of miles outside of Fayetteville, this 3.2 mile round trip hike will give you a wonderful view of the New River and the Bridge. If you're looking for more hiking there, are also trails that branch off the main trail that can take you to Fayetteville, Fayette Station Road or the Kaymoor mines. This trail is a local favorite, so you know it’s worth the hike.

5. New River Jet Boats

Docked on the New River just below Hawks Nest State Park Lodge, this is another fun and interesting way to enjoy the river and see the Bridge. You can access the Jet Boat dock area by either riding the tram from Hawks Nest Lodge to the river or driving down Mill Creek out of Ansted. Either way, the trip on Miss M. Rocks is a great way to enjoy a little time on the New River and a wonderful view of the Bridge. This is an especially great option for those who aren’t able to raft the New River.

So this spring (or on your next visit to the Gorge), try one of these unique activities.

What are your ‘must-do’ adventures in the New River Gorge?