After leaving Cuyahoga National Park (previous blog post), we made our way south to the New River Gorge National Park near Fayetteville, West Virginia. Along the route we visited Hocking Hills State Park near Logan, Ohio and some covered bridges and grist mills. It’s 300 miles and five hours drive from Cleveland to Fayetteville. Here’s what you might see.
Hocking Hills State Park is three hours south of Cleveland. Queer Creek has created a gorge that you can walk through and see numerous waterfalls. The tallest one is Cedar Falls.
Logan, OH also has 17 covered bridges. We visited a handful.
The last location to see in Logan is Lake Logan.
Before heading into the New River Gorge, we stopped off at Babcock State Park to photograph one of the most iconic locations in West Virginia – the Glade Creek Grist Mill. We were not disappointed.
Finally, we took a few days to explore New River Gorge. The locals just call it “The New.” New River is all about waterfalls. Though much of the fall color was already on the ground, we found the juxtaposition of the waterfalls and the leaves (nature’s confetti) irresistible.
Our favorite waterfalls were Glade Creek Falls, Dunlop Falls, Sandstone Falls, Brooks Falls, and Kanawah Falls. All were pretty easy to access.
When you are not in the gorge photographing waterfalls, you are on top of the gorge enjoying big vistas and longest single span arch bridges in the world. Before the bridge, a car trip from one edge of the gorge to the other took 30-40 minutes on a narrow and steep winding road (we know because we drove it for fun to get to the bottom). Now, with the bridge, it takes about 10 seconds on WV 19.
There are numerous lookouts. Our favorites were the appropriately named Grand View and North Grandview.
One note of caution for this Park and Fayetteville, WV. It is our newest National Park and it seems like the local infrastructure has not caught up to interest in this area and the need for lodging and food options. Be prepared to have limited options for both and book your hotel room early as the is a popular location for fall color. This area never felt over crowded, just in need of more restaurants and hotels.