Four Seasons at the New River Gorge

With four seasons being everyone’s focal point throughout the state each season provides a unique scenery to Almost Heaven. In the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve each season brings an awe inspiring view that can be enjoyed by the whole family.


As the flowers begin to bloom and the robins return to the forests, a must see is Grandview. 

Grandview is a great place to see the spectacular displays of Catawba rhododendrons that bloom here every spring. The purple Catawba rhododendrons bloom in mid May, while the white great rhododendrons bloom in July. The exact bloom times are not always consistent year to year, so check with a ranger at one of our visitor centers. 

The Grandview section of the park includes overlooks of the New River, a visitor center (open seasonally), five hiking trails, ranger-led walks and talks, summer outdoor dramas, and picnic areas with playgrounds.

Nothing feels better than looking at the amazing views and feeling the burst of life right in front of you.


For some fun in the sun, check out Wonderland Waterpark at ACE Adventure Resort. Voted one of the “Best Places to Stay with a Water Park,” Wonderland is 5-acres and features a 40-foot tall Wet Willie Water Slide, tower zip line, two giant water slides, 50 inflatable toys, lounging spots on the shore and more. Let your inner-child run wild at this one-of-a-kind destination in the Gorge!

Babcock State Park  

The picturesque Glade Creek Grist Mill, a favorite spot for photographers, runs the waters of Glade Creek over a short cliff and into a relaxing swimming hole. Splash around or just take some time to soak in your surroundings. Also in Babcock State Park, Boley Lake offers swimming, boating, fishing and sunbathing during the hot summer months. 


While summertime in West Virginia is primetime New River season, don’t miss out on rafting this classic stretch during the fall! The New River Gorge fall foliage comes to life as it earned attention from Forbes for its colors and epic New River rapids. The 1,000 foot canyon lights up in a stunning display of changing colors every fall, and with fewer people rafting in the fall, you’ll experience a more secluded adventure. 

Also, you don’t want one of the most daredevil events WV calls home. The third Saturday of October, the New River Gorge Bridge shuts down to vehicular traffic, and thousands of people watch as BASE jumpers from around the world jump 876 into the canyon below. It’s truly a sight to behold.


Even though the New River Gorge is known for its amazing white water rafting, there are many, many activities local to the area that can be enjoyed even through the winter. Many outdoor activities have a completely different side to them that can only be seen through the lens of the winter snow and cold. Even if you aren’t a big “cold weather” person, the absolute beauty of the region will push away any shivers.

Exploring the mountains can be a breath-taking experience, no matter what time of year. However, the addition of snow and cold adds a level of stillness that would otherwise be unattainable. 

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This post was last updated on November 21, 2023