A series of winding switchbacks and hairpin turns with hair-raising dropoffs leads you down to the banks of the New River. Here you will be transported to a destination covered in thick vegetation and teeming with the sounds of life, far removed from the whir of traffic rushing by on the impressive New River Gorge Bridge up above. Fayette Station Road offers a scenic drive into the belly of New River Gorge National Park to where the original river crossing was located. The drive is stunning and the experience is an excellent opportunity to see the park’s icon from another point of view.
About New River Gorge National Park
New River Gorge National Park and Preserve in West Virginia became the United States’ newest National Park in 2020 (number 63! Nestled in the Appalachian Mountains, New River Gorge National Park and the New River itself is a popular destination for climbing, hiking, and white water rafting.
Here, the water of the New River, one of the oldest rivers in North America, continues to carve out this impressive gorge where bustling railway and coal mining communities once called home, long before the New River Gorge Bridge was constructed.
This 73,000-acre area of the canyon offers more than 100 miles of hiking in addition to amazing scenic overlooks and drives.
About the New River Gorge Bridge
Completed in 1977, after just three years of work, the New River Gorge Bridge created a new way for travelers to cross the gorge without having to use harrowing winding and narrow roads such as Fayette Station Road.
The New River Gorge Bridge is a steel arch bridge that holds the record as the longest steel span in the Western Hemisphere. With an arch 1700 feet long and a bridge just over 3,000 feet long, it is truly an engineering marvel. And at 876 feet in the air, it may be a bit nerve-wracking to drive over…
About The Fayette Station Road Scenic Drive
Traveling along Fayette Station Road allows you to travel back in time to the site of thriving towns and industries and see the original site of the gorge crossing, using a replica of the bridge that once existed there. The road is 100 years old and with it offers sites and tales worthy of its tenure.
Our adventure started at the Canyon Rim Visitor Center of New River Gorge National Park. This was a great place to embark on this journey as you can soak in views of the New River Bridge and the New River Gorge from above before making the trek down to the river’s edge.
Fayette Station Road Scenic Drive Quick Facts
Fayette Station Road offers not only amazing scenic views of the New River and the New River Gorge, but also allows you to get a unique perspective from below the impressive New River Gorge Bridge. Along the way, there are several scenic turnouts and interpretive exhibits. Here are some quick facts about the drive:
- Distance: 8 miles
- Time to complete: 1-2 hours (which includes stops)
When to Drive Fayette Station Road
For the best and safest experience, make this drive during daytime hours and during fair weather conditions. We toured this area on an early morning when the fog was heavy, but lifting, and it was truly a magical, moody, experience.
Fayette Station Road Limitations
Fayette Station Road is very tight, very windy, and in most places one-way. We were able to make the drive in our long-bed Ram 3500 dually, but it was a bit nerve-wracking at times. It is definitely NOT suitable for larger vehicles such as box trucks, RVs, or trailers. The road has many steep drop-offs and is best avoided during inclement or winter weather.
Fayette Station Road Audio Tour
Looking to learn more about the fascinating history of this area? Check out the great Fayette Station Road Audio Tour the National Park Service offers! It provides an in-depth account of the towns and industries that existed in this area in the past. You can also download a transcript of the tour if you would prefer to read about the history of this area instead!
Fayette Station Road Directions & Map
Fulfilling Travel Tips
While you could finish this drive in 30-40 minutes, this journey is one best traveled slowly. We loved being able to stop and take time to appreciate how the green vegetation is re-establishing its dominance in areas that were once home to busy towns and large operations or ponder the creation of the mighty bridge spanning the entire width of the gorge overhead.
Whether you take a few minutes to watch the roaring waters of the New River flowing by, breathe in the crisp air in the morning fog, or marvel at the sun shining against the rusted steel of the arch, the environment you will encounter along Fayette Station Road is perfect to take a few moments to slow down and appreciate this special place you have the opportunity to explore.
Where To Stay When Visiting New River Gorge National Park
Local Camping Options:
- Rifrafter’s Campground, Fayetteville WV* (convenient to the Canyon Rim Visitor Center)
- Army Camp Campground, Prince WV (NPS; first come, first served)
- Grandview Sandbar Campground, Prince WV (NPS; first come, first served)
- War Ridge Campground, Meadow Bridge WV (NPS; first come, first served)
Other Local Attractions:
- New River Gorge National Park
- New River Gorge Bridge
- Canyon Rim Visitor Center
- Arrowhead Bike Farm
- New River (popular for rafting)
Please protect these areas - for the wildlife, the environment, and for the enjoyment of future generations. Practice Leave No Trace