Bridge Day: For Thrill-Seekers and Spectators

It’s time for the 32nd annual Bridge Day at New River Gorge National River, an event that takes advantage of the New River Gorge Bridge’s 876-foot elevation and 3030-foot span. It has all the fun and festivities that can be expected from a family-friendly community event: tasty foods from local restaurants, souvenir vendors, a farmers’ market, car show, chili and cornbread cook-off, and more. But the main attraction makes use of New River Gorge’s stunning scenery and the bridge itself.

More than 80,000 people are expected to watch BASE jumping, rappelling, and ziplining off of the bridge. Jumpers must register weeks in advance, rappellers are chosen by lottery, and zip-liners must pre-register. However, anyone can watch and take in the excitement from vantage points on the bridge, below within the gorge, or from surrounding hiking trails on the gorge’s rim.

The New River Gorge Bridge was built in 1977 to solve transportation problems, but it has since distinguished itself as an ideal BASE jumping spot. Last year, over 800 jumps were made. Bridge Day is the only day when visitors may walk across the bridge, but the surrounding area of New River Gorge National River offers plenty of adventure and activities. Boating and whitewater rafting, of course, are popular activities on the river. The rocky terrain, typical of West Virginia, offers camping, hiking, biking, and much more.

Where:
New River Gorge National River
Fayetteville, West Virginia

When:
October 15, 2011
5:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Check out pictures from past Bridge Days and the full schedule of events.

Image: New River Gorge Bridge. Source: NPS.gov