• sun setting over the gorge

    New River Gorge

    National River West Virginia

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    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 »

Ranger Programs

ranger conducting a program for kids at Grandview

Ranger-led activities provide an opportunity to learn more about the natural world around us and the people who shaped our past. Discover the diversity of nature in the gorge, learn about the rich cultural history of coal mining, railroading, logging, and subsistence farming, learn how to be safe on the river, or join a ranger for a guided hike. Programs are offered throughout the year, but primarily during the spring, summer, and fall months. All programs are free of charge and everyone is welcome.

Throughout the year groups may arrange programs as staffing permits. Please call or email the park if you would like a park ranger to present a program for your group.

Upcoming Programs and Events:

August 2014 Activity Schedule

August Ranger Programs
(activities listed alphabetically by program title)

Adventure of the Night Hike
9:00 pm to 10:00 pm, 1 mile
LOCATION: Grandview Visitor Center
Experience the sights and sounds of nature at night on this liesurely walk after dark. Find out what really does go bump in the night.

Be a Junior Ranger!
2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
LOCATION: Grandview Visitor Center
Children of all ages have the opportunity to become a Junior Ranger and earn the official Junior Ranger badge. Spend the afternoon with a ranger to learn more about Healthy Parks, Healthy Living and take a guided hike.

Bluestone Stream Stomp
2:00 pm to 3:00 pm
LOCATION: base of the tramway, Pipestem Resort State Park
Explore the river ecosystem as you help a ranger to determine the water quality of the Bluestone River. Be prepared to get your hands and feet wet as you look at the aquatic insects and creatures that live in the river. Bring $2.25 for the return tram ride.

Bluestone Turnpike Hike
10:00 am to 4:00 pm, 10 miles
LOCATION: base of the tramway, Pipestem Resort State Park
RESERVATIONS requested: 304-466-0417
Take a walk on the wild side through Bluestone National Scenic River and explore the beauty and diversity of this remote area. Meet a ranger at the bottom of Pipestem’s tramway to hike the Bluestone Turnpike Trail along the Bluestone River to Bluestone State Park. A FREE shuttle is provided for the return trip to Pipestem. Wear sturdy hiking shoes, bring lunch, and plenty of water.

Bluestone Walk
10:00 am to 11:30 am every Saturday, 2 miles
LOCATION: base of the tramway, Pipestem Resort State Park
Meet a ranger at the bottom of Pipestem’s tramway to walk within Bluestone National Scenic River for a mile and return. Along the way, enjoy the flora and fauna of the area and discover regional history. Bring $2.25 for the return tram ride.

Grand Birding
9:00 am to 10:30 am, 1 mile
LOCATION: Grandview Visitor Center
Stroll the park looking and listening for birds. Bring binoculars or some will be available.

5-minute Photography
2:00 pm to 4:00 pm, 5 minutes to 1 hour
LOCATION: Canyon Rim Visitor Center
Try your hand at photography in just 5-minutes. Learn the basics of photo composition and other hot photography tips, then take a few photos on site. Print out your favorite image to take home for free. Cameras will be available for use.

Historic Thurmond Tour
11:00 am to 12:00 pm every Saturday & Sunday, 0.5 mile
LOCATION: Thurmond Depot Visitor Center
What was life like in one of the New River Gorge’s most renowned towns? Meet a ranger in Thurmond’s historic district for an informal tour of this once bustling railroad town, hearing stories of days gone by.

Ranger on the Rock
6:30 pm to 7:45 pm, 15 minutes to 1 hour
LOCATION: Grandview’s Main Overlook
Come and go as you please for this informal program with a ranger at one of the best views of the New River Gorge. Enjoy the scenery and discuss area natural and cultural history.

Snakes Alive!
2:00 pm to 4:00 pm, 15 minutes to 1 hour
•August 23: Grandview’s Main Overlook area
•August 30: Canyon Rim visitor Center
Come and go as you please for this informal program about snakes. See who is who of West Virginia snakes, debunk some myths, plus learn how to best around (behavior) these slithering creatures. No live snakes will be at this program, unless they show up on their own.

Super Thurmond Tour
9:30 am to 11:00 am, 1 mile
LOCATION: Thurmond Depot Visitor Center
Explore the stories of community life during Thurmond’s boom years around the turn of the 20th Century. On this special extended tour, see more places and hear more stories of the most well known town in the New River Gorge. Be prepared for some steep terrain during this walk.

Walk in the Moccasins: West Virginia’s Native People
9:30 am to 12:00 pm, 3.0 mile
LOCATION: Fern Creek Trailhead of Endless Wall Trail
Hike the Endless Wall Trail in a new light, exploring the life and challenges faced by the Native American Indians who have traveled these lands for centuries. Be prepared for some moderate terrain on this walk.

August 2014 Activity Schedule

Download a copy of the August Activity Schedule.

living history interpreters portray life at a Shawnee camp

Living history interpreters portray the culture of the Shawnee

Dave Bieri

Harvest & Hunt: New River’s American Indian Heritage
September 21, 2014

Join us at Sandstone Visitor Center for a special program by Doug Wood. Living history interpreters will set up an 18th century warrior camp and be on hand to discuss the culture of the American Indians of the New River Gorge area including men and women’s social roles, regional agricultural practices, warrior/hunter skills, trail food preparation, and tracking prowess.

Hidden History Photo Contest flier

Did You Know?

Historic Logging Railroad at Garden Ground

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.