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Long Point Trail – New River Gorge National River, West

The New River Bridge is the third largest single-span arch bridge in the world and the longest in the Western Hemisphere – measuring in at 3,030 feet long, 876 feet high, and an arch spanning 1,700 feet, it is an impressive sight – to view it in all of its glory make the hike to Long Point.

Long Point, a rock outcrop that juts into the New River Gorge, is located at the terminus of the 1.6 mile Long Point Trail – from this spectacular vantage point you can see the bridge in its entirety, the forested slopes of the canyon, the Wolf Creek Drainage, the beautiful New River, the CSX Mainline railroad tracks, seasonal Fern Creek Falls and the cliffs of the Endless Wall.

From the trailhead, located off Kaymoor Road, travel through field and forest on your way to the point – the first section traverses a field of wildflowers and grasses, complete with an elevated boardwalk observation deck, before entering the forest of deciduous hardwoods, hemlock, pine, rhododendron, and mountain laurel.

The first mile of the trail is fairly level and easy to follow – you will encounter two trail intersections, one at 0.4 mile and the other at 0.7 mile, just follow the signs to Long Point and you will soon reach your destination.

At approximately 1.1 miles into the hike, the trail will begin its descent into the gorge with a respectably steep section for the last 200 yards or so – dropping from an elevation of 1,956 feet at the trailhead to 1,721 feet at Long Point.

Emerging from a tunnel of rhododendron thicket so beautiful and dense it feels primordial, you reach the expansive views of Long Point – to the north of the rock outcrop you see the massive New River Gorge Bridge, to the west the Wolf Creek Drainage, and to the east the Endless Wall and if the season permits, the 90 foot cascade of Fern Creek Falls tumbling over the cliffs. Jaw-dropping views of the New River far below and the gorge stretch out as far as the eye can see – take your time enjoying the beauty of the West Virginian landscape before retracing your steps back to the car for a roundtrip hike of 3.2 miles.

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