Nestled in the heart of whitewater rafting country, Hawks Nest State Park encompasses 276 acres bordering a rugged section of the New River Gorge National River and known for the panoramic views. The New River was designated an American Heritage River on July 30, 1998. There are currently fourteen American Heritage Rivers in the country.
The name of this area comes from the numerous osprey (some call them, “fish hawks”) that once nested on the cliffs. Today, many hawks, turkey vultures,, black vultures and the occasional bald and golden eagles are seen soaring above the canyon. Additionally, peregrine falcons study within New River Gorge National River has been part of a restoration program for the species.
Below the 31-room lodge, built in 1967, the New River forms peaceful Hawks Nest Lake. Above the lake, the narrow canyon and rushing water create one of the most challenging whitewater boating waterways in the nation.
Hawks Nest State Park has welcomed visitors since the mid-1930s.