Ancient and exciting, the New River Gorge is one of the world’s oldest waterways (probably the oldest in North America). Within its walls are some of the greatest whitewater rapids known to man. And around all that churning whitewater is an ecosystem that is as diverse as any on the planet.
The gorge is an amazing place. Here are some facts about it…
- The New River flows generally south to north.
- There’s an average of 1000 feet of elevation change from the rim of the gorge to the river, the most being 1470 feet and the least being 760 feet.
- The New river splits several geographic regions in the Appalachians, and is considered a pathway for southern plant and animal species to migrate from south to north.
- The deepest point of the river in the gorge is about 55 feet deep near the abandoned mining town of Sewell.
- The rock within the New River Gorge is all sedimentary rock, made up mostly of sandstone flecked with quartzite.
- The famous seam of New River Coal is about 2/3 of the way up the gorge from the bottom on both sides of the river.
- There are more than 20 named whitewater rapids in the New River Gorge.
The river is unique in most ways; its age, its direction, its size. Water from the river carved the deep gorge, and continues to do so, ever winding its way downstream. For a visit or for a lifetime, the New River Gorge is a spectacle to behold.