• sun setting over the gorge

    New River Gorge

    National River West Virginia

There are park alerts in effect.
show Alerts »
  • Portions of Rend Trail closed for Bridge Repairs

    Portions of the Rend Trail, formerly known as the Thurmond Minden Trail, will be closed effective immediately due to safety concerns. More »

  • River Detours and Closures at the Thomas Buford Pugh Memorial Bridge

    The WV Department of Highways and the Federal Highways Administration is replacing the Thomas Buford Pugh Memorial Bridge on Route 41 in the town of Prince. Construction will require temporary full river traffic closures and long term river detours. More »

Rangers in Training

rappelling from a cliff
 

Rangers in Training is a free summer adventure program for high school students, ages 14-17,that engages participants in a series of safe, supervised, and fun adventures in New River Gorge National River.

 
students pose at an overlook

Participants will:

Explore New River Gorge!

Go Whitewater rafting!

Climb the Gorge!

Hike and mountain bike a trail!

Make new friends!

Have a great time!

 
students rafting on the river

The Rangers in Training program is offered by New River Gorge National River. The program is designed to engage underserved youth, ages 14-17, living in communities surrounding the park to get out in nature and participate in a series of outstanding outdoor adventures. Youth will participate in safe, supervised, fun and exciting educational adventures that will enhance their appreciation of New River Gorge National River, teach a lifelong love of the outdoors, and allow them to explore career fields with the National Park Service. The program is FREE for all participants.

During Rangers in Training, students will...

1. Participate in a series of adventure day-trips during the summer, such as rock climbing, whitewater rafting, hiking, swimming, mountain biking, archery and fishing to learn about and explore New River Gorge National River.

2. Connect with the outdoors through the adventure activities with the goal of inspiring a lifelong appreciation of nature and the outdoors.

3. Interact with park staff during the summer adventures and career shadowing opportunities to get to know the park staff and learn about their careers with the National Park Service.

A Few Things You Should Know Before Applying...

• The Rangers in Training program is offered at no cost.

• Filling out an application is free and there is no obligation to you.

• Teens selected to participate are expected to attend all four day-trips (barring emergencies). As an incentive, teens that attend all four adventures will be able to sign up for a fifth adventure trip.

• Students will need to have transportation to and from a local school, picking up at 8:00 am and dropping off around 6:00 pm.

• If selected, teens will be required to fill out an emergency contact form and provide signed safety release form(s) before attending the day-trips.

• Teens will be notified by early May if selected to participate in the Rangers in Training program.

 
students pose at a trailhead sign

2014 Schedule:

The program is a week-long and runs daily 9:00am to 5:30pm during the weeks of:
June 9-13, 2014 for Summers County youths
June 23-27, 2014 for Raleigh County youths
July 7-11, 2014 for Fayette County youths

A free bus will pick up and drop off participants:
June 9-13 at Summers County High School
June 23-27 at Woodrow Wilson High School
July 7-11 at Canyon Rim Visitor Center

A free lunch and all gear needed for the adventures will be provided daily.

 
rock climbing

Application: Get an application to sign up for this year's Rangers in Training program. Youth will be selected on a first come, first served basis. Get your application in early!

 

Rangers in Training Photo Gallery:

 

 

For a more in depth look at the Rangers in Training program, check out this video:

 

Did You Know?

AMTRAK train at Thurmond, WV

You can "catch a train" to visit the park! The AMTRAK Cardinal travels through New River Gorge on its route from New York, NY to Chicago, IL.