National Parks

Parks & public lands dot the landscape of West Virginia. Our national parks and park areas, designated by the federal government, are scenic or historically significant areas in West Virginia that are created to preserve the natural beauty and wildlife of the region. The parks tell the rich history of the state and showcase the breathtaking beauty of Almost Heaven.

Get to know the nation’s 63rd National Park

Home to more than 70,000 acres of public lands, the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve has been a hallowed spot for locals for centuries – earning mentions from major publications like Condé Nast Traveler, AFAR, Forbes and USA Today. The recent designation as the nation’s newest national park invites travelers, like you, to visit, explore and discover your own slice of heaven.

Easily accessible by Route 19 and I-64, the New River Gorge is one of West Virginia’s most photographed areas. The iconic steel arch bridge was once the longest in the world and welcomes travelers to this cherished region. Widely known as the second oldest river in the world, the New River cuts through extensive geological formations, creating epic whitewater rafting opportunities. Bald eagles and peregrine falcons call this park home, and you’ll often spot a few along your travels. Hiking trails here take you to spectacular overlooks and through remnants of old coal mining towns.

World-Class Whitewater Rafting

West Virginia has been selected as one of National Geographic’s “Best of the World” Top 20 Travel Experiences for 2024 because of world-class whitewater rafting at the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve. Whether travelers are looking for heart-pounding, high-adrenaline rafting or a family-friendly float, the New River Gorge National Park provides one of the world’s best experiences.

New River Gorge National Park and Preserve

The New River Gorge in the News

Visit one of the nation’s premiere historical parks

Located at the confluence of the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park is perhaps one of the most unique places in the United States.

The upper portion of Harpers Ferry is a traditional town, while the lower part is part of a surrounding National Historical Park. The park has plenty of outdoor activities, but the real beauty lies in the old-time offerings in both sections of town. This quaint 19th-century town is designated a National Historic District by the National Register. The architecture of the houses and shops reflect the town’s history as a transportation hub 1800 – 1860, a strategic location during the Civil War, a thriving industrial center based on water power in the late 1800s. The Harpers Ferry National Historical Park offers museums, events, and tours. The Appalachian Trail courses through town as its halfway mark between Georgia and Maine.

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

Explore More National Parks and Areas

Bluestone National Scenic River

The Bluestone National Scenic River is a secluded yet majestic gorge, earning its place as a National Wild and Scenic River.

Explore the Bluestone River

Gauley River National Recreation Area

Located in the southern part of the Mountain State, the Gauley River National Recreation Area is known for epic rapids and stunning views.

Discover the Gauley River

Appalachian National Scenic Trail

Weaving through the grand Appalachian Mountains, a rolling pathway welcomes thousands of explorers each year. 

Meet The Appalachian Trail

Chesapeake & Ohio Canal

Experience the historic Chesapeake and Ohio Canal for yourself through the quaint mountain towns of Almost Heaven.

Explore the C&O Canal

Featured Itinerary


Trip Inspiration

Hidden Gem Hikes within America's Newest National Park

The New River Gorge National Park and Preserve has plenty of iconic trails, but it’s also got some secret routes that you must explore. ...

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5 best ol-time stops in this National Park’s living history village

Harpers Ferry is perhaps one of the most unique places in the United States. The upper portion of Harpers Ferry is a traditional town, wh...

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Traversing the Mon: 9 must-see sites in WV's massive national forest

The Monongahela National Forest: nearly 1 million acres of breathtaking scenery and mountain recreation. The woodland wonderland covers th...

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Your Guide to Exploring the Monongahela National Forest

The Monongahela National Forest covers a massive area of nearly one million acres and is bursting with breathtaking scenery and adventurous...

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