If you know, you know. West Virginia is one of the best states to explore the outdoors. The entire state is mountainous (yes, its nickname is The Mountain State) and this place truly is “almost heaven.” Hawks Nest State Park is in the heart of whitewater rafting country and has one of the best scenic overlooks in the country.
The whitewater rafting down New River Gorge National River is among the most challenging whitewater boating in the country. And if the Class III rapids are a bit too wild for you, there are much calmer sections that are family-friendly.
For the anglers, Hawks Nest Lake is full of catfish, muskies, and panfish. On the southern border of the park, Mill Creek is stocked with trout.
If you’ve come for the history, you can dive into the nearby Canifex Ferry Battlefield State Park, a Civil War battlefield with a museum, trails, and reenactments. The park is also adjacent to Midland Trail National Scenic Byway, where you can find a beautiful view of this portion of West Virginia.
And then there’s the tram. This scenic lift takes you from the top of the New River Gorge canyon at the park’s lodge to a marina at the bottom. From the marina, you can catch a ride on a jet boat out to see the iconic New River Gorge Bridge from the river below.