A Walk Through the Super Structure of the new River Gorge Bridge
Wondrous and educational!
Oh sure, it's interesting and all to drive across the New River Gorge Bridge. And stopping at an NPS Visitor Center overlook gives you an overall view of the Bridge itself. But neither of those can hold a candle to one of the most unique walking tours on Earth—BridgeWalk. This trek takes place on a 24-inch wide catwalk under the Bridge and inside of her superstructure. The catwalk runs the entire 3030 foot length of the Bridge, and allows you access to a place few people in the world have ever seen.
Of course, the Bridge herself is rich in history, so this tour is as interpretative as it gets with education focus on engineering geology, coal mining, wildlife and local history.
Tours operate year-round, weather permitting for all ages and abilities. Bridge Walk is for anyone who is healthy, willing and able to walk, plus you must be at least 48 inches tall, 10 years or older and under 310 pounds. We promise, you'll feel a sense of exhilaration, excitement and awe viewing the New River Gorge from this indescribably unique vantage point.
TRIP LENGTH1 - 3 Hours
SEASON(S)Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer
Once upon a time, it was illegal for all but authorized personnel to stroll the New River Gorge Bridge catwalk. Of course, that didn't stop a few odd, brazen outlaws from sneaking out there in the middle of the night. Since we opened BridgeWalk, though, you can go legally and with a much higher degree of security from the steel cable your harness will be clipped to!
What's so special about the Bridge?
The New River Gorge Bridge is one of the most famous icons in West Virginia. Built from 1974 to 1977, the Bridge was for many years the longest Steel Arch bridge in the world. It is still the longest in North America. It is the highest vehicular bridge in the Americas, and the second-highest in the world - 3,030 feet (924 m) long and its arch extends 1,700 feet (518 m). Located along US Route 19—876 feet (267 m) above the New River, The New River Gorge is crossed by more than 16,200 motor vehicles very day—talk about a thrilling place to take a walk.
Is BridgeWalk physically difficult?
BridgeWalk is only as difficult as a mild hike! We will walk—all told—almost a mile, though, so keep that in mind.
What does BridgeWalk provide?
We provide a harness, which you'll use to attach yourself to a steel cable that we've strung along the entire length of the catwalk under the Bridge. Other than the Bridge herself, you don't need much more.
What else should I bring?
Closed-toes shoes for one—no sandals of flip flops allowed. Also if you have any medications you need during the 3-hour activity, bring them. Everything else, like car keys, etc., it's best not to bring. Also, even though we'll be under the roadway most of the time and sheltered from the rain, you should dress for the weather. This is an outdoor adventure, after all!