Each year, tens of thousands attend Bridge Day, one of the largest events in the extreme sports world. This year’s event is scheduled for October 15, 2016, and marks the one day a year when spectators can safely and legally walk across the New River Gorge Bridge. Year after year, spectators come to see hundreds of BASE jumpers leap or rappel down from the world’s second longest single arch bridge that stands 876 feet tall. The New River Gorge landscape, in full autumn splendor, provides not only the perfect backdrop for Bridge Day but also an excellent reason to extend your stay in the area. Two of West Virginia’s most scenic state parks are nearby and offer their own special attractions during this time of the year.
Hawks Nest State Park
Just three miles west of the bridge, Hawks Nest State Park sits on the rim of the gorge. The view from the overlook, especially colorful in mid-October, is one of the most photographed parts of the state. In addition, Hawks Nest’s lodge offers breathtaking views of the New River. Hikers can trek the two-mile rail trail to the bottom of the gorge to visit the nature center and ride the jet boat. An aerial tram also is available to access the bottom of the gorge. Hawks Nest Lake provides excellent fishing and boating opportunities. There’s so much to do, you’ll definitely want to spend extra time here.
Babcock State Park
Glade Creek Grist Mill at Babcock State Park is one of the most-photographed structures in the state. Although beautiful throughout the year, autumn is undeniably the best time to see this attraction. Boley Lake is well known for boating and fishing, and there are miles of trails to explore throughout the park. Montgomery’s Outdoors Adventures provides horseback riding that takes riders deep into the peaceful, wooded setting where they have an excellent chance to see wildlife in its native habitat. Babcock State Park is less than a 30 minute drive to the New River Gorge Bridge and has 28 cabins available for rental through the end of October. These cabins book quickly as the fall foliage season progresses, so be sure and book your Bridge Day stay today!
Autumn is the perfect time to schedule a getaway. Get back to nature, enjoy outdoors activities and the fall colors, or just relax after the excitement of Bridge Day.