The Endless Wall Trail packs more scenic overlooks into a relatively short, 3-mile hike than most trails. Located near the New River Gorge National Park’s main visitor center, this hike can be easily added to your itinerary as you plan a visit. This is one of those places where pictures can’t fully reproduce the amazing scenery. You really must experience this hike when you visit New River Gorge!
Key Facts about the Endless Wall Trail
With so many incredible viewpoints on this hike, it’s easy to overlook the trail before and after the main attractions. In fact, I forget how nice the trail was until after I looked back at my pictures. In the first and last sections of the Endless Wall Trail, if you complete a circuit hike, run through a shaded forest. Stream crossings, rhododendron trail tunnels, and manageable rock trails make these impressive sections for sure.
Trail Length: 2.4 miles end-to-end (Fern Creek Parking to Nuttall Parking.) You can walk the road back to your car for a total of 2.9 miles, which is what I did. If you want a shorter hike, you can hike from the Fern Creek Parking Area to Diamond Point and then return, which is about 2 miles in total. With only a mile difference, I would recommend completing the entire Endless Wall Trail…you will not regret it.
Rating: Moderate. This is a hike that almost anyone can do. The trail starts and ends in a beautiful forest and with a creek-crossing. When you get to the rim of the gorge, there a multiple side trails that take you to impressive viewpoints. Keep in mind that the rock climbers access trails have ladders that take climbers to the base of the cliffs. These are fun to try but not included in this hike review.
Family Friendly: The Endless Wall Trail is family-friendly…for the most part. If your child can walk a few miles and is sure-footed, they will do fine. The only warning is that you have to keep a close watch on them at viewpoints as there are many sheer cliffs.
Dog Friendly: Dogs on a leash are allowed on the trail. Please pick up after them and leave no trace.
Connecting Trails: There are a number of short side trails that lead to overlooks. Also, there are a few rock climbers access trails (that include ladders) that lead to the base of the cliffs. Finally, Lansing-Edmond Rd. connects the two trailhead parking areas to make a circuit hike (loop) easy.
More information about this Trail
Other: There are pit-style restrooms at the trailhead parking areas.
Our hike: I decided to hike the Endless Wall Trail late on our last day at New River Gorge National Park. Some rain moved in while I was on the trail and I had to rush the hike a little, but it was worth every step.
I was on the trail with a small group of other hikers, and most were progressing in the same direction as me (starting at the Fern Creek Parking area). Each of us knew about Diamond Point, although we just weren’t sure if it was marked or not. At least 2, or maybe 3 times prior to reaching the actual Diamond Point, a group of us were convinced that the overlook we were standing on was it. Turns out, Diamond Point is marked so there is no missing it. In my humble opinion, there are a handful of points that would qualify as the best scenic view…although Diamond Point is clearly the most amazing!
What I would do if I get to go back: I would hike this trail so that I arrived at Diamond Point at around sunset. The westward views would have to be incredible to see as the sun goes down.
The Endless Wall Trail is located near the Canyon Rim Visitor Center inside the New River Gorge National Park (southern West Virginia). See driving directions below.
The trailhead parking areas are a short drive from the New River Gorge’s main visitor center in Lansing, WV.
- Exit the visitor center and make a left, which brings you to Rt, 19. Make a right turn on Rt. 19 North and take the first right on Lansing-Edmond Rd.
- Trailhead parking is clearly marked and both parking areas on the right side of Lansing-Edmond Rd.
- The first trailhead is Fern Creek Parking. If this is full, proceed to Nuttall Parking and hike the trail in the reverse direction.
The Endless Wall Trail has views, views, and more views!
Squeezing in One Last Hike
We packed a lot into our 3+ day visit to New River Gorge National Park, but this hike wasn’t on our list. Having read about the trail, it was the first to come to mind when I had a little time left on our last day. When the opportunity presented itself, I jumped in the car late and drove to the trailhead. It was a pleasant surprise to find many empty parking spaces at the Fern Creek Parking area and squeezing in one more hike was easy.
My Hike on the Endless Wall Trail
There wasn’t much time for this hike as it was a late day, unplanned hike and we had to pack up to leave the next morning. I hiked at a fast pace and thoroughly enjoyed the forest, rhododendrons, and stream crossing. After crossing Fern Creek, the trail bends to the east for the main attractions of the hike.
Don’t Miss the Side Trails
Not long after crossing Fern Creek, you will see an unmarked side trail. There had to be at least 6 or 7 of these side trails. After deciding to walk down one, I was rewarded with the first of many amazing views and a sheer cliff dropoff. I am pretty sure that all of the side trails that I took, except one, led to cliffs with tremendous views. The one exception seemed to be a viewpoint that had become overgrown in recent years.
Another interesting aspect of this trail is the rock climbing access trails, which are clearly marked. These provide a route for rock climbing folks to get to the bottom of the cliffs for their climbs. These trails had ladders fixed to rock cliffs and are neat to explore. Walking up to one ladder revealed a climb down that ended in the dark. From my vantage point, I was unable to see the bottom. If I get to go back and hike with at least one other person, I would definitely go down the ladders to explore!
After several side trails, you reach a clearly marked Diamond Point trail. As you can imagine, this short trail leads to panoramic views and sheer cliffs. There was no one on the point when I arrived and only a handful of people came while I was there. Maybe folks were all at dinner? It was absolutely amazing to be in a national park, virtually alone at such a scenic overlook. You may want to try dinner time for your hike to see if you have the same experience.
If you are looking for a shaded, very manageable hike that contains a series of stunning overlooks, the Endless Wall Trail is for you. This hike gets a 5 out of 5 stars. I hope I get to hike it again someday!
A short video of the hike
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