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Town of Fayetteville

Thousands of birds and almost 200,000 people agree that the New River Gorge, just outside of Fayetteville is a great place to stop and view the scenery. Each year, neo-tropical birds make the Fayetteville area their temporary home on their journey to find warmer lands. This massive migration is celebrated every spring at the New River Birding and Nature Festival. Last year, over 200 species were spotted and many of these feathered beauties are very rare in other states. In fact, the blue-winged warbler is so rare that it may soon be listed as an endangered species although there are thousands in the Mountain State. Of course even an everyday robin would seem majestic when surrounded by the vast untouched beauty of the New River Gorge.

Bridge Day

But warblers and owls aren’t the only flying animals that find Fayette County so attractive. On October 15th, 2005, over 200,000 people are expected to take part in the Bridge Day festivities. Bridge Day is the largest extreme sports gathering in the world and hundreds of BASE jumpers (courageous men and women that parachute off of stationary objects) are expected to leap off the side of the bridge. Remember, this is no ordinary bridge; the New River Gorge Bridge is the second tallest bridge in the United States and the second longest single span bridge in the world. For those less inclined to jump off a bridge, there is the Taste of Bridge Day with over a hundred different vendors on both sides of the bridge.

Outdoor Activities

Despite its name, the New River is actually considered to be one of the oldest rivers in the world and the same forces that dug the beautiful gorge can still be seen in the tumultuous New River today. The New along with its northern neighbor, the Gauley, host over 15 licensed rafting companies. In addition to world-class rafting and kayaking, the gorge area has plenty of areas suitable for rock climbing and hiking as well. Visitors in the fall are treated to one of the most spectacular views of fall foliage in the nation.


Ready for a break from the outdoors? There are plenty of homey little shops ready for browsing. Wisteria Gifts is known for its selection of Boyds Bears and Fenton glassware. Hidden Cottage and Gallery-Studio B have many works from local artists including sculptures, collectibles, and jewelry. For an evening of performing arts, visit the Historic Fayette Theatre. Its quaint plays are sure to be entertaining for the whole family.


After finishing a day’s hike on one of the gorge’s many beautiful trails, head towards downtown Fayetteville to refuel at one of the town’s numerous restaurants. The Cathedral Café was once an old church and its unique interior helps to make the exquisite cheesecake even more memorable. For a taste of something different, go to Gumbo’s and try the crawfish and if you are really feeling adventurous, try the alligator tail. For a great pizza, give Pies & Pints a ring. Also, many whitewater rafting companies have their own restaurants or small delis and some even offer packed lunches for all-day rafting trips.


Following a full day of rafting, give your sore muscles a place to rest at one of Fayette County’s Bed and Breakfasts – let these cozy homes pamper you with soft beds and small town congeniality. The Ponderosa Lodge is a rustic former hunting lodge that can accommodate groups of up to 30 people. The Woodcrest has five bedrooms perfect for a quiet night in the country. Sometimes guests even find Civil War relics forgotten by soldiers long ago. For camping, try Canyon Rim Ranch or Babcock State Park. Canyon Rim Ranch offers unforgettable horseback and ATV rides in addition to its fine campgrounds. Hawk’s Nest State Park’s air tramway is a hit with families for its great views and the New River Jetboat is an exciting way to see this scenic river. Also, many whitewater rafting companies have adjacent campgrounds and a few even have lodges for their visitors to stay in.

With all of its scenic wonders and open spaces, it is amazing that Fayetteville has still maintained its small town stature. The New River is so well known for its varied activities and wondrous views that the federal government has recognized it as a National River, protecting it so that future generations can partake in its natural splendor. So whether its birds, rapids, relaxation, cliffs, or parachuting that bring you to Fayetteville, be assured that this small town gem will show you the time of your life.

For more information, click here to visit Fayetteville Convention and Visitor's Bureau.

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