New River Gorge trail named Best National Park Hike in USA Today's contest

Photo courtesy of Gary HartleyDiamond Point overlook off the Endless Wall Trail offers sweeping views of the Endless Wall rock formation and the New River. The trail is in the running for USA Today’s 10 Best Readers’ Choice contest.

The Endless Wall Trail in New River Gorge National River recreation area has been named the Best National Park Hike in USA Today's Best Readers' Choice contest.

It was a close race between the top two nominees, as Endless Wall Trail and runner-up Cadillac Mountain in Maine's Acadia National Park, edged each other out for the top slot over the last month, but Endless Wall Trail held on for the title.

The trail derives its name from the Endless Wall rock formation, a popular rock climbing area. The 2.4-mile moderate hike winds through forest and along the canyon rim, offering numerous vistas along the way. Hikers often can hear the voices of whitewater rafters in the New River nearly 1,000 feet below.

Commissioner of Tourism Amy Shuler Goodwin said, “The New River Gorge is one of the many beautiful places in our state, and the Endless Wall Trail offers breathtaking views of the river.”

A panel of experts picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Greg Miller, American Hiking Society; Michael Lanza, The Big Outside; Lisa Maloney, Hiking Expert at; Diana Gerstacker, The Active Times; and Karen Catchpole and Eric Mohl, Trans-Americas Journey, were chosen to develop the 20 nominees based on their extensive knowledge of hiking and outdoor recreation in the U.S.

Here is the ranking of the top 10 hiking trails:

1 —Endless Wall Trail- New River Gorge National River

2 — Cadillac Mountain - Acadia National Park

3 — Kilauea Iki Trail - Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

4 — Hoh River Trail - Olympic National Park

5 — Ramsey Cascades- Great Smoky Mountains Nat. Park

6 — The Narrows - Zion National Park

7 — Bright Angel Trail - Grand Canyon National Park

8 — Angels Landing - Zion National Park

9 — Upper Geyser Basin - Yellowstone National Park

10 —Highline Trail - Glacier National Park

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