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Long Point Trail – New River Gorge National Park

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The Long Point Trail leads to one of the best viewpoints of the New River Gorge Bridge that you can find. This trail offers an out-and-back hike that is around 3 miles roundtrip. While there are many superb trails in the New River Gorge National Park, the Long Point Trail is one hike that everyone should plan to do when at the Park.

 

The Long Point Trail
Approaching the point on the Long Point Trail at the New River Gorge National Park.

Key Facts about the Long Point Trail

Trail Length: 3.2 miles roundtrip

Rating: Moderate. This hiking trail is mostly level with a few ups and downs until the last section, which proceeds downhill to the point. Of course, the downhill section to the point means an uphill hike on the return trip.

Family Friendly: This is a family-friendly trail, and most children could hike. Just keep a close eye on smaller kids as the last section of the trail has cliffs on either side.

Dog Friendly: Dogs on a leash are allowed on the trail. Please pick up after them and leave no trace.

Connecting Trails: Timber Ridge Trail (at the parking area), Fayetteville Trail (about a quarter way to the point)

Other: There are pit-style restrooms at the trailhead parking area. Mountain bikes are allowed on most of the trail except for the last section leading to the point.

Our hike: We decided to hike this trail while walking on the catwalk under the New River Gorge Bridge. More than halfway through the Bridge Walk Tour, our tour guide pointed out the Long Point Trail viewpoint across the gorge. When she mentioned that it was her favorite trail, we decided to hike it.

 

The Long Point Trail viewpoint
The Long Trail viewpoint is seen from the New River Gorge Bridge.

The Long Point Trail leads to a fantastic spot to view the bridge. This popular trail may be crowded at times, although we experienced no problem parking at midday in late June. We hiked alone for much of our hike and saw groups of friendly folks at various points on the trail. There were 6 or 7 hikers when we arrived at the point; most of them left for the return hike. We stayed at the point for around 40 minutes with only 2 or 3 others.

What I would do if I get to go back: We found the mist (looks like clouds) covers much of the gorge from until 8:30 am or so. We never saw the gorge before 8 am, so it likely is there much earlier than that but cleared each day by 9 am. I would hike in early and record a time-lapse video of the mist lifting to reveal the gorge and the iconic bridge in the background.

Trail Location

The Long Point Trail is inside the New River Gorge National Park boundaries which is located in southern West Virginia (United States). See driving directions below.

The Long Point Trail Map
The Long Point Trail – Area Map

The trailhead parking area is about a 15-minute 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 left on Rt. 19 S. Be careful as you must cross 2 northbound highway lanes and merge onto the southbound lanes.
  • Just a short drive on Rt. 19 S and you will be crossing the New River Gorge Bridge. which looks like a typical bridge from the highway. Once out on the bridge, you will notice the gorge on either side.
  • Make a left on Rt. 16 (N. Court St.), which takes you through the town of Fayetteville, WV.
  • After leaving Fayetteville, look for a left-hand turn on Rt. 9 (Gatewood Rd).
  • Turn left onto Rt. 9-8 (Newtown Rd.).
  • The Trailhead parking lot will be on your left.

The Long Point Trail is 3 Hikes in One!

Long Point Trail - The First Section
Long Point Trail – The First Section

The Beginning

The beginning (and end since this is an out-and-back hike) of the trail is located near the trailhead parking area. This part of the trail is wide and made of gravel in some areas. On a sunny day, you will be exposed to the sun on this section of the trail. When headed to the point, houses can be seen on the right side of the trail. One or two houses created their own side trail to access the Long Point Trail, and one place cut grass right up to the trail. There is a wheelchair-accessible deck to the left, although we were unsure of what the deck was for as the view seemed to be on trees.

Long Point Trail - Middle Section
The Long Point Trail – The Middle Section

The Middle Section of the Hike

The middle section of the hike heads into the forest and gets narrow at places. We moved to the side once or twice to let mountain bikers pass by. As you get near to the point, there a mountain laurel and rhododendron along the sides of the trail, which make for enjoyable hiking.

The Point – The reason you hike this trail!

When you arrive at “the Point”, you will have one of the best views of the New River Gorge Bridge available. We were told that many of the professional photographs of the bridge were taken from this point.

There is enough room at the point for a group of hikers to share the view and there are rocks that provide seating if you want to hang out for a while. When we arrived in late June, there were tadpoles swimming in water that had puddled in the rock ledge.

If you are looking for a manageable hike that is mostly shaded and leads to a tremendous view, then The Long Point Trail for you. We enjoyed the hike after taking the Bridge Walk Tour.

A Short Video of the Hike


By Charlie Anderson

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