Sandstone Falls – New River Gorge National Park And Preserve is Stunningly Beautiful

One vantage point of the beautiful Sandstone Falls in West Virginia. Photos by David Taylor

By David Taylor

“Stunningly beautiful” are probably the best two words to describe the largest waterfall on the New River in Summers County, WV.

Bev and I recently trekked the boardwalk to Sandstone Falls where it spans the river and is about 1,500 feet wide. Divided by a series of islands, the river drops 10 to 25 feet.

The drive northward on New River Road, from the small town of Hinton, alongside the New River provides spectacular views of the river and of the two smaller falls on the river. There were several places to pull over and walk to the river to enjoy the views.

Though its beauty is captivating, there is no vantage point from which you can view the entire falls. The closest is an overlook high above the falls. A series of trails and boardwalks are located on the western edge of the river and they take you to some up close and personal views of different parts of the falls.
Sandstone Falls is an enormously wide and complicated waterfall on the New River. The thousand plus foot wide river tumbles over a sandstone ledge creating a number of segments of different heights and widths. Board walks take you out into the middle of the falls, but only distant views of the largest drops are available.

Sandstone Falls marks the transition zone of the New River from a broad river of large bottomlands, to a narrow mountain river roaring through a deep boulder strewn V- shaped gorge. The falls form the dramatic starting line for the New Rivers final rush trough the New River Gorge to its confluence with the Gauley River to form the Kanawha River.

Following the latest guidance from the CDC in areas of substantial or high COVID community transmission rates, visitors, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear a mask when entering Canyon Rim, Grandview, and Thurmond Visitor Centers.


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