the southern gateway
Explore the Southern Gateway of the New River Gorge National Park & Preserve in beautiful southern West Virginia.
From the historic river town of Hinton to the iconic beauty of Sandstone Falls, the Southern Gateway offers a peaceful experience for travelers. Stroll the boardwalk, hike a river trail, take a walking tour, float the river, view an eagles nest or explore the surrounding state parks of Pipestem and Bluestone.
HINTON HISTORIC DISTRICT
Hinton sits along the banks of the New. Established in 1872 and chartered by the state on September 21, 1880, the Historic District is comprised of more than 200 historic buildings, within a 24 block area. In February of 1984, this area was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Take a self guided walking tour and discover eclectic architecture, colorful shops, and loads of history.
Sandstone Falls is the largest waterfall on the New River. It spans the river at 1,500 feet, and drops between ten and twenty-five feet. The scenic drive along the river brings you to a 0.25 mile boardwalk that gives easy access to some pretty awe-inspiring views. Leave the boardwalk for an easy hike along the 0.5 mile Island Loop Trail, which was once the sight of a grist mill. Looking for a longer hike? Big Branch Trail is a 2 mile loop trail that offers cascading mini falls and views of the New below.
SANDSTONE VISITOR CENTER
Sandstone Visitor Center is an 11,800 square-foot complex that offers state-of-the-art green design and construction. Interactive displays educate visitors on the New River watershed. Native gardens cover the grounds, and a gift shop offers books, souvenirs, and other novelty items.