Grand View Main Overlook Trail Photos And Reviews At The Grand View Area Of New River Gorge

by Adam on May 25, 2012

Adam Jewell By The Sign At The Grand View Section Of New River Gorge National River In West Virginia

Adam Jewell By The Sign At The Grand View Section Of New River Gorge National River In West Virginia

When you go to New River Gorge you probably think of the New River Gorge Arch Bridge but there is a lot more to see in  the New River Gorge Area of West Virginia than just the sights around the bridge.  The Grand View Area is at the southern end of the park and as the name implies offers a grand view of the New River.  It is convenient to drive to if you are coming up from the south but a bit of a haul if you are staying up near the bridge and driving down to see the Grand View.

The Sign At The Start Of The Path To The Main Overlook At The Grand View Section Of New River Gorge National River

The Sign At The Start Of The Path To The Main Overlook At The Grand View Section Of New River Gorge National River

If you’ve ever seen national park photo books that contain the famous Horseshoe Bend out near Lake Powell in Page, Arizona, the Grand View At New River Gorge is sort of the eastern version of that.  To get to the trail for the Main Overlook at Grand View, you will pass through the town of Grand View just before you get to the national park service area.  You’ll see a visitor center and a large parking lot there.  The visitor center is small and only open during the summer.  When you get out of your car you will see signs across the parking lot for the Main Overlook at Grand View.

An Early Morning View From The Main Overlook At The Grandview Overlook In The Grandview Section Of New River Gorge National River

An Early Morning View From The Main Overlook At The Grandview Overlook In The Grandview Section Of New River Gorge National River

The hike to Grand View is short, maybe a quarter mile at most.  It is flat and accessible so that anyone can make their way to the Grand View Overlook to take in the awesome views of the New River.  Of the three overlooks you can hike to in the Grand View area, the Main overlook is the only one that offers views and the opportunity to photograph a “big bend” in the New River.  There are photos in some of the brochures that look a little bit like the view from the Main Overlook but may have been taken when there were fewer trees there.

An Early Morning View From The Main Overlook At The Grandview Section Of New River Gorge National River In West Virginia

An Early Morning View From The Main Overlook At The Grandview Section Of New River Gorge National River In West Virginia

Once you get to the overlook you will be near the edge of a large cliff.  There will be a wooden fence there set back far enough from the edge that if a child fell or climbed over the fence they would probably not fall off the cliff.  It is also set back just far enough that you will get a portion of the rock cliff in front of you in a wide angle photo of the New River from the Main View overlook at Grand View.  Because the fence is set back 5 or more feet from the edge in some places, if you want to get photos of the bend in the river there is enough room to stand on the other side of the fence and setup a tripod.  Of course this is very dangerous and you should never climb over such a fence just to take a photo!

A Mid-Afternoon View From The Main Overlook At The Grandview Section Of New River Gorge National River In West Virginia

A Mid-Afternoon View From The Main Overlook At The Grandview Section Of New River Gorge National River In West Virginia

In the Grand View area of New River Gorge, the Main View Overlook is the most popular viewing point.  There are a handful of trails to hike in this area along with picnic pavilions, a theater and baseball diamond and other things to keep groups and kids occupied.  Because of these other activities the Main Grand View Overlook tends to be less crowded that you would expect.  If you would like to take in more views from different overlooks while you are there at Grand View you can also hike to the North Overlook and the Turkey Spur Overlook.

A Look To The Right From The Mani Overlook In The Grandview Section Of New River Gorge National River In West Virginia

A Look To The Right From The Mani Overlook In The Grandview Section Of New River Gorge National River In West Virginia

The views from these two overlooks are nowhere near as impressive as the view from the Main Overlook, however if you have made the trek down to this area of the park you might as well go and see the views from all three overlooks.  The North Overlook is a short (about a quarter mile) hike from the Main Overlook while the Turkey Spur Overlook is about a 1.6-mile hike that you can also drive to.  The North Overlook is an overlook right along the trail and easy to walk to.  The Turkey Spur Overlook is a large complex of wooden stairs and balconies from which you can take in a number of different views of the gorge below from many different angles.

One More Afternoon View From The Main Grandview Overlook At New River Gorge National River In West Virginia

One More Afternoon View From The Main Grandview Overlook At New River Gorge National River In West Virginia

Overall, the Main Overlook at the Grand View Area of New River Gorge is an area you should put you on your list of places to visit.  The Main Overlook in particular will reward you with the best views of a big bend in the New River from the highest point in the New River Gorge National River Area in West Virginia.

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