During the afternoon of our second day of vacation (May 10), we drove to the bottom of the New River Gorge (near Fayetteville, WV), via County Road 82 known also as Fayetteville Station Road. The road wasn’t as bad as I had been led to believe from a description that I had read on the Internet. The route is highlighted on the MotorcycleRoads.us website. Two comments had been left from riders.
Comment #1: “Quite twisty road (mostly one way) through the New River Gorge. You travel right under the New River Gorge Bridge. This used to be the only way to travel from one side to the other. Route also has several scenic stops along the way.” – Rick Stewart (6/26/08)
Comment #2: “Also known as Fayetteville Station Road, this is more of a trail than a road in some ways…most of it is one way, so you’ll need to start on the Lansing (north) side. There are extremely tight (walk your bike through tight) switchbacks on the way down, and the road condition is fair at best. Coming up the other side is much easier.” – Rider from Durham, NC (6/23/09)
Both comments are not recent. Perhaps the road is better maintained now than it was when these two individuals rode their motorcycles to the bottom of the gorge.
We drove the car to the bottom of the gorge. We started on the Lansing (north) side, as noted in comment #2 above. Here are some of the views, as we were making our way to the bottom of the gorge.
The worse part of the drive was at the bottom, going over the railroad crossing, right before the Tunney Hunsaker Bridge. The railroad crossing has a big dip in it. Bob drove over that crossing very slowly. We didn’t bottom out!
Bob said he would have been able to ride the motorcycle on that road. There were a couple switchbacks that would have been a little hairy, but overall it would have been a good ride. He was just as happy driving the car, though. He didn’t want to risk having something happen so early in the trip. The views at the bottom of the gorge were well worth the trip!
After our drive to the bottom of the New River Gorge, we returned to the hotel. We stayed in for rest of the afternoon and evening. We even ate dinner in our hotel room. Dinner was light, after our hearty lunch at Dirty Ernie’s Rib Pit. We ate a picnic lunch – tuna salad with crackers, peaches and cookies.
Our second day of vacation was such a great day! It was picture perfect too. We saw the Glade Creek Grist Mill at Babcock State Park, the Gauley River National Recreation Area that includes Summersville Dam and Lake, and the bottom of New River Gorge — places that I have wanted to see for years. We have driven through the New River Gorge area several times over the years, crossing the New River Gorge Bridge each time. It was so nice to have the opportunity to explore the area!