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Our 10 Favorite Waterfalls in the New River Gorge

March 23, 2024

The extremely tall Cathedral Falls surrounded by lush green trees. To the right, the full white cascade of Kaymoor Trail Waterfall.
Cathedral Falls & Kaymoor Trail Waterfall

Here in the New River Gorge, there are too many waterfalls to count, but we do have some favorites! Who are we? Amy & Shawn, New River Gorge hikers, WV Master Naturalists, and owners of Lafayette Flats Boutique Vacation Rentals in downtown Fayetteville, WV – the heart of New River Gorge National Park.

Here are the 10 waterfalls we enjoy the most, and the ones we recommend to our guests.

Cathedral Falls

Why we love it: It’s the tallest waterfall in the New River Gorge, it’s absolutely stunning, and it’s inside a deep canyon all its own.

How to find it: Cathedral Falls sits directly off US Rt. 60 in Gauley Bridge, WV. You can see it from your car as you descend Gauley Mountain. There is a parking lot for easy access, and no hiking is required.

Kaymoor Trail Waterfall

Why we love it: This groundwater-fed waterfall is quite literally within arm’s reach of the Kaymoor Trail and it’s always running.

How to find it: From Fayetteville, turn right (north) onto US Rt. 19, drive across the New River Gorge Bridge, and take the second right onto Lansing-Edmond Road (County Rt. 5/82). In 1/4 mile, turn right onto the road with a sign marked Fayette Station Road. The road forks almost immediately; take the left fork. Follow the long, winding old road to the Kaymoor Trailhead. The waterfall is only a few yards up the trail. Only minor hiking is required. Try to visit during non-peak hours. This is a popular area.

Four hikers in front of Craigs Branch Waterfall. To the right, Butchers Branch Waterfall surrounded by rhododendron covered in light pink booms.
Craig Branch Waterfall & Butchers Branch Waterfall

Craig Branch Waterfall

Why we love it: This waterfall is far enough away to feel secluded but close enough to hike to within an hour. It’s also very approachable.

How to find it: Craig Branch Waterfall is best accessed from Kaymoor Top. To get there from Fayetteville, head south on Rt. 16 to Gatewood Road. Go 2.0 miles on Gatewood and turn left on Kaymoor No. 1 Road. Follow this road 0.9 miles to a T intersection. Turn left and park at the Kaymoor Top Trailhead. From Kaymoor Top, take the Kaymoor Miners Trail 1/2 mile to the intersection with the Kaymoor Trail. (yeah, we know, that’s a lot of “Kaymoors” to keep track of). This section is steep with a lot of switchbacks and stairs. When you intersect the Kaymoor Trail at the old mine opening, turn right and go about .7 miles. This trail is mostly level and wide, following an old road.

Butchers Branch Waterfall

Why we love it: It’s framed by hundreds of big rhododendron blooms in early summer.

How to find it: From Fayetteville, follow Rt. 16 south to the intersection with Gatewood Road. Follow Gatewood Road for 2 miles and turn left onto Kaymoor No. 1 Road. Follow this road for 0.9 miles then turn left at the T intersection and park at the Kaymoor Top Trailhead. Take the Butchers Branch Trail for .4 miles, then use the 0.16-mile climber’s trail spur to descend to the waterfall. Very brief but somewhat strenuous hiking is required on the last leg.

Visible sunbeams shining on the single drop of Coal Run Waterfall. To the right, the clear pool in front of Dunloup Creek Falls.
Coal Run Waterfall & Dunloup Creek Falls

Coal Run Waterfall

Why we love it: It’s one of the taller single-drop waterfalls in the New River Gorge.

How to find it: Follow Rt. 16 south through Fayetteville. Take a left on Gatewood Road (the sign indicates Kaymoor and Cunard). Follow Gatewood Road for 4.6 miles and turn left at the sign for Cunard. Go 1.8 miles and turn left at both of the signs indicating Cunard River Access Road. Look for the Brooklyn Mine Trail sign and parking area. The waterfall is across and below the road.

Dunloup Creek Falls

Why we love it: It’s always flowing and it’s always gorgeous.

How to find it: Dunloup Creek Falls is directly beside Rt. 25 which leads to Thurmond, WV. Once you cross into the National Park property, you will travel about 1.8 miles and see the falls on the right. No hiking is required.

The blue-green swimming hole below Glade Creek Falls. The the right, the three tiers of Kate's Falls with a blue sky in the background.
Glade Creek Falls & Kate’s Falls

Glade Creek Falls

Why we love it: This water falls into the best swimming hole in the New River Gorge!

How to find it: Take Glen Jean exit on US Rt. 19. Turn right at the immediate stop sign and travel on Rt. 16/61 for 2.8 miles. Turn Left on Rt. 61 and travel 4.4 miles. Turn left onto Rt. 41 at the Y intersection and travel 4 miles. Turn right and travel 5.6 miles on the gravel Glade Creek Rd to the NORTHERN trailhead. The waterfall is 0.8 miles into the trail.

Kate’s Falls

Why we love it: We almost always have this breathtaking remote waterfall to ourselves.

How to find it: This waterfall is on a .11-mile marked trail spur on the Glade Creek Trail. From the NORTHERN Glade Creek Trailhead (near Prince), Kate’s Falls is 4.6 miles into the trail. From the SOUTHERN Glade Creek Trailhead (near Beaver), the falls are 1.09 miles into the trail.

The heavy flowing water of Mill Creek Falls. To the right, the very wide Sandstone Falls with green vegetation growing all around.
Mill Creek Falls & Sandstone Falls

Mill Creek Falls

Why we love it: It’s a big beautiful waterfall within a lovely creek that runs alongside one of our favorite trails, the Hawks Nest Rail Trail.

How to find it: From Fayetteville, take US 19 5.3 miles to the intersection with US 60. Turn left (west) and drive 6.3 miles to Ansted, WV. Turn right on Ansted Bank Road.  Turn left on Hawks Nest Road. This road goes under US 60 and leads to the trailhead.

Sandstone Falls

Why we love it: It’s the widest waterfall in the New River Gorge and the National Park Service has created a beautiful boardwalk to explore it.

How to find it: Sandstone Falls is near Hinton, WV. Use exit 139 on I-64 and continue south on Rt. 20. Pass through Hinton and turn right, staying on Rt. 20 to cross the bridge. Turn right off the bridge onto Rt. 26/River Road and continue for 8.2 miles to a large parking lot that serves the easily accessed boardwalk.

Anniversary Getaway Guide. Get your guide here.

Craving more data for your New River Gorge exploration? Read “Our 10 Favorite New River Gorge Micro-Seasons” and “Enjoying Nature in the New River Gorge National Park.

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