Bridge from the scenic overlook.

America's Longest Single Arch Steel Span Bridge

Field review by the editors.

Fayetteville, West Virginia

West Virginians are proud of this bridge over the New River Gorge, the third highest in America (876 feet down to the water). We even saw a painting of it in the West Virginia State Penitentiary, by an artist-convict who was later killed by a knife through the eye.

The view of the bridge from its overlook near the visitors center is impressive, but it's to West Virginia's credit that they not only look at their bridge -- they have fun with their bridge. That happens every third Saturday in October, on Bridge Day, "West Virginia's largest one-day festival." The bridge is closed to traffic and a quarter of a million people converge to watch hundreds of thrill-happy rappellers and BASE jumpers disappear into the gorge below.

It is, as official state tourism literature makes clear, "the only day that jumping from the bridge is permitted."

America's Longest Single Arch Steel Span Bridge

US Hwy 19, Fayetteville, WV
Northeast of town on US 19 across the New River Gorge. The overlook is just north of the bridge, east side.
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Nearby Offbeat Places

Bridge Walk: 88 Stories HighBridge Walk: 88 Stories High, Fayetteville, WV - < 1 mi.
Grave of Stonewall Jackson's MomGrave of Stonewall Jackson's Mom, Ansted, WV - 5 mi.
Mystery HoleMystery Hole, Ansted, WV - 5 mi.
In the region:
Pocahontas Exhibition Coal Mine, Pocahontas, VA - 55 mi.

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July 15, 2020

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