GRANDVIEW, W.Va. — Though travel to West Virginia is increasing statewide, a blogger best known for helping families with children find good hiking options says she's fielding more inquiries about the nation's newest national park.
Ruthie Witmer, who operates the Instagram page at Mountainmamahiking, says the newly designated New River Gorge National Park and Preserve in southern West Virginia is now front and center among hiking destinations about which she's asked.
The national park's legendary Endless Wall and Kaymoors Miner's trails near Fayetteville are ever-popular, though she reminds hikers that the park is full of trails, and the best are not necessarily near Fayetteville.
“Endless Wall Trail is always on the top of my list for both West Virginians and out-of-staters,” she says. “If you want a good workout and to learn about West Virginia coal history, Kaymoor Miner's Trail is a unique West Virginia experience.”
The Endless Wall Trail is the most popular in the park and follows the rim of the lower gorge near Fayetteville and the New River Gorge Bridge. The Kaymoor Miner's trail is the most strenuous in the park and requires hikers to walk up and down the flank of the gorge.
Parking is difficult to find at either trailhead due to the increased popularity of the park, but that's not necessarily the case at other renowned park trails.
Grandview is another part of the New River Gorge that Witmer encourages her followers to seek out and says it’s especially beautiful when the rhododendrons are in bloom.
The Grandview Rim Trail at Grandview is similar to the Endless Wall Trail, though more spectacular, featuring views of the gorge at its deepest and widest.
Witmer says to follow the New River Gorge's social media pages to find out when the blooms at Grandview are at their peak when planning trips.
Other trails in the state that Witmer recommends are the Seneca Rocks Trail at Seneca Rocks, the Cliffside Trail at Hawks Nest State Park, Elakala Trail at Blackwater Falls State Park, the boardwalk at Beartown State Park, and the North Bend Rail Trail between Clarksburg and Parkersburg, which she says is great for family bike rides.
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