• sun setting over the gorge

    New River Gorge

    National River West Virginia

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  • 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 »

Stories

historic photo of coal miners
 

The New River Gorge area is full of wonderful, dreadful, exciting, and unusual stories. The geology of the gorge tells a story that dates back millions of years. There are stories of disasters, both natural and man-made. Floods, droughts, blights, coal mine explosions, and fires have all been a part of its history, as has the story of the struggle of the people making a life in this rough and rugged land.

There are many positive stories too - the beauty of the area, the plants and animals that thrive in the gorge, and most of all the people who lived, worked and played here. From the Native Americans that hunted, fished and traveled the gorge to the children that visit the park today, people have made stories that they will remember and pass on.

New River Gorge National River protects not only the natural resources of the park, but also the stories. By collecting and saving oral histories, photographs, artifacts, and records, the park hopes to keep these stories alive and help people create their own New River Gorge stories.

 
coke ovens at Red Ash

Coal Mine Disasters: Layland, Red Ash, and Rush Run were the locations of some of the worst coal mining disasters in the New River Gorge. more…

 
painting of batteau and crew

Batteaux on the New: Long before the coming of the whitewater rafting industry, commerce along the New River was carried out by long, flat bottomed boats called batteaux. more…

 
statue of John Henry

John Henry and the Coming of the Railroad: Construction of the Great Bend Tunnel on the C&O Railway just south of New River Gorge spawned the legend John Henry. more…

 
arrowhead

Arrowheads of the Past and Present: Arrowheads, from early Clovis points to the modern day symbol of the National Park Service, help tell the human history of New River Gorge from the time of its earliest inhabitants nearly 10,000 years ago through today. more…

 
ruins of an old homestead

Discovering Berry Holler and Big Branch Trail: Discover this popular hiking trail through the stories of Bertha Huffman, who grew up on Big Branch. more…

Did You Know?

Peregrine Falcon

Between 1987 and 1991, over thirty peregrine falcons were released within New River Gorge. Think you saw one? If so, please contact the park wildlife biologist at (304) 465-6542. More...