• sun setting over the gorge

    New River Gorge

    National River West Virginia

There are park alerts in effect.
show Alerts »
  • 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 »

Army Camp

historic photo of Army soldiers training on the river
Soldiers train on New River to assemble floatation bridges.
 

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.

 
historic photo of temporary bridge crossing the New River
 
Army Camp - training military to assemble floatation bridges during Korean War
Soldiers train on New River to assemble floatation bridges.

Did You Know?

smallmouth bass

The New River is a very popular warm water fishery. The West Virginia state record for length of Smallmouth Bass - 25.5 inches and 7.5 lbs - was caught in the New River in 1976.