Perhaps West Virginia’s most spectacular river canyon, the NEW RIVER GORGE lies thirty miles west of Lewisburg along I-64. Stretching for more than fifty miles, and protected as a national park, the 1000ft chasm was carved through the limestone mountains by the New River – ironically one of the oldest in North America. There’s no easy access to most of the gorge; to see it in full, you have to get out on the water. Any of the three visitor centres can provide full details on all the cycling, climbing, hiking and rafting options available. The Canyon Rim centre sits near the New River Gorge Bridge, dramatically suspended 900ft above the river.
HINTON, at the southern end of the gorge (and another Amtrak stop), is an almost perfectly preserved company town, beautifully sited, with brick-lined streets angling up from the water, lined by dozens of grand civic buildings as well as rows of old worker housing.