Camp Prince, or Army Camp as it was known locally, lies in the middle of New River Gorge National River and is located on the tip of the sharpest meander within the park. Along this section of the river, the New flows west, north, and east, all within a half mile. This area, being relatively flat, was first used as farmland, and around 1950 the U.S. Army established a training and testing ground for the quick assembly of floating bridges, operated by the 1428th Engineer Float Bridge Company. These bridges were used for stream crossings of military equipment and personnel. There were usually between 100 to 150 soldiers stationed here at any one time. Each training session in the assembly of these bridges took approximately six to eight weeks to complete. The temporary bridge building came to an end in 1957, and the camp closed for good in the early 1960s.
In recent years, the land was turned over to the National Park Service and included in New River Gorge National River. Today, this site is used as a campground as well as a day use area. Along the riverbank, the only rmains of Army Camp are the foundations and concrete floors of the eleven buildings and a concrete water tank that were utilized by the soldiers.
Did You Know?
The New River Gorge was logged extensively thoughout the past century. The landscape is now recovering, with the park ecosystem returning to its more natural state, but there are still plenty of signs of the past activities.