LANSING, W.Va. — The Endless Wall Trail has again been ranked one of the best hiking trails in the U.S. However, officials with the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve say hikers can expect crowds and may wish to consider alternate trails.
Following an article in The Discoverer, park ranger Dave Bieri concurred that the trail is among the most breathtaking in the Mountain State but stressed that visitors on weekends are likely to find trailhead parking difficult and crowded overlooks along the rim of the New River Gorge.
"There's a good reason these trails are so popular," Bieri said. "Endless Wall and Long Point are two of the best viewpoints in the park, plus neither trail is very long, and there's not much change in elevation."
In her article in The Discover, writer Morgan Love surveyed the best hikes in all 50 states and underscored the trail's epic cliff line scenery.
Love writes that hikers "skirt the cliff line that forms the north rim of the New River Gorge on the 2.7-mile Endless Wall trail."
"Scenic vistas are a staple of this footpath, so it’s easy to see why this area is popular amongst experienced climbers. At about the two-mile mark, the overlook at Diamond Point is the perfect place to stop for lunch and take in the views from 1,000 feet above the ground."
Bieri said he recommends that visitors who plan to hike to Endless Wall Trail on weekends should arrive early in the morning to be sure to find parking spaces, reminding motorists that parking is not permitted on the road near the trailhead.
Hikers might otherwise opt to hike the nearby Long Point Trail, which boasts a larger parking area. However, crowds are likely to be as large, considering record-breaking visitation to the park, America's newest national park.
A drive of 45 minutes south of the Long Point and Endless Wall trails, the national park's cliff-line trails and overlooks at Grandview offer equally beautiful views of the gorge and its broadest and deepest.
USA Today also ranked the trail as the nation's "Best National Park Hike" in its Readers' Choice contest in 2015 before the park was established as a national park and designated as a national river.
For more information on touring the New River Gorge National Park, visit the official park website.
Visitors encouraged to hike lesser-known New River Gorge trails
Now that more than 1.6 million people visit the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve annually, several popular trails are suffering from heavy traffic, and park patrons are working to steer visitors onto lesser-known trails. Deb Lamey, president of Friends of New River Gorge National Park, says her organization is initiating a trails-less-traveled program to encourage visitors to give lesser-known trails a try. READ THE FULL STORY HERE.
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