Contrary to its name, the New River is actually one of the oldest rivers on the continent. As it flows into West Virginia, it cuts through the Appalachian Plateau, forming the New River canyon and plenty of white water for pipes, rafting, and boating. Other recreational opportunities are around it: hiking, zip-lining, hunting, fishing, bird watching, camping, cycling and mountain climbing. One of the state’s most photographed attractions is the New River Bridge, the longest steel span in the hemisphere and the nation’s third tallest, 876 feet taller than the canyon floor. The national park maintains 70,000 acres of parkland along the river, and at Hawk’s Nest State Park you can take an aerial tram ride to the bottom of New River canyon, a prime spot for water rafting. The national river south of the New River in Bluestone State Park offers hiking, fishing, camping, and canoeing in the large lake behind Bluestone Dam.
The formation of the Seneca Cave dates back to 460 million years before the first limestone bed was formed. The indigenous Seneca people are said to have used the caves for refuge starting in the early 1400s. The caves were later found by a local farmer, Laven Teter, while searching for water for his family. His cattle, and the largest room, rose to 60 feet in places, named Teter Hall in his memory. You can access these hour-long guided tours down 165 feet below the entrance. The well-lit paths and cement steps with handrails help visitors navigate deeper into the cave. A separate Stratosphere Cave is located on the same building.