Trail, climbing areas reopen after New River Gorge fire

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Thunder Buttress at Beauty Mountain, Fayette County, New River Gorge Region
Endless Wall follows the rim of the New River Gorge in the distance. Photo by Rehbein.

LANSING, W.Va. — The Endless Wall Trail and adjacent climbing access areas above the New River south of the New River Gorge Bridge have been reopened to the public following a forest fire that was declared 100 percent contained and controlled today, April 27, 2014.

Ranger Leah Perkowski-Siski announced in a press release at 10:06 a.m. Sunday that a declaration of the official suppression of the blaze could come this week.

“Firefighters spent the day Saturday examining the fire area, they were unable to find any heat and/or smoke around the fire perimeter. There is still smoldering material within the interior of the burn, but it poses no threat to containment lines,” she said.

Visitors are reminded to be safe, she said, and use situational awareness when hiking and climbing in the area, especially below the cliff line from Diamond Point downstream to Fern Creek. 

The 2.4 mile Endless Wall Trail follows a cliffline along the rim of the New River Gorge, providing spectacular views and access to rock climbing areas. The gorge is one of the most popular climbing areas in the eastern U.S.

Perkowski-Sisk attributes success in managing the fire, which was located in steep terrain with difficult access, to the cooperation and support of many.

“The New River Gorge National River and the Fern Creek Incident Management Team would like to thank all of the area fire departments, local resources and national resources to who contributed to the successful fire suppression efforts. They would also like to thank the community for their contributions, cooperation, and support,” she said.