Hawks Nest, the site of Hawks Nest State Park, is a peak on Gauley Mountain near Ansted overlooking the New River Gorge. The cliffs rise above the New River, providing a breathtaking view of the river and the wooded hillsides below. John Marshall, chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, visited the area in 1812, and for a time the cliffs were known as Marshall’s Pillars. When the James River & Kanawha Turnpike was constructed in the 1820s, the rocky formation overlooking the gorge became a popular stopping place for travelers. Hawks Nest gets its name from the hawks that ride the thermals between the high cliffs.