• sun setting over the gorge

    New River Gorge

    National River West Virginia

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  • 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 »

Ranger Programs

ranger with visitor
Carey Woods

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:

September 2014 activty calendar

September Ranger Programs
(activities listed alphabetically by program title)

Artists in Action
10:00 am to 6:00 pm
LOCATION: Tamarack, Beckley
Visit with stone carver Earl Grey and textile/fabric artist Suzanne Kniceley. See how these artists have mastered their art forms and how each put their own creative spin on the use of traditional materials.

Babcock and the CCC
1:30 pm to 3:00 pm1.0 mile walk
LOCATION: Babcock State Park’s park office, Clifftop
Step back to the days of the Civilian Conservation Corps on this walking tour. See how this national program helped build Babcock for all to enjoy.

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.

Camp Brookside: Return to the Isle of Fun
2:00 pm to 5:00 pm
LOCATION: Shuttle bus to and from site; meet at Summers County High School on WV Route 20, Hinton
Explore newly restored Camp Brookside, historic site of a residential summer camp for children of Alloy’s Union Carbide plant employees. Tour the historic buildings and site, plus meet original campers, as they share their memories and photos of their time on the Isle of Fun. Try your hand at classic 1940s/50s-era camp games, activities, and much more in this relaxing day at camp.

Campfire Stories: History by the Fire Presented by Bugs Stover and Fred Powers
7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
LOCATION: Twin Falls Resort State Park’s campground campfire circle, Mullens
Let stories ‘round the campfire take you away. Hear tales of life and work in the coal mines, plus some local ghost stories too.

Harvest & Hunt: New River’s American Indian Heritage
10:00 am to 3:30 pm.
LOCATION: Sandstone Visitor Center, Sandstone.
Living history interpreters set up an 18th century warrior camp and discuss the culture of 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.

Haunted History Hike: Presented by Youth Arts in the Parks
7:00 pm to 9:00 pm, 2.0 miles
LOCATION: Meet at the Rend (Thurmond-Minden) Trailhead parking area on Route 25 near Thurmond
Appalachia is filled with spooky stories. Join scout youth leaders and a ranger for this haunting forest walk as night approaches. This program is not recommended for children under 9 years old due to spooky content of some stories. Bring a flashlight.

Hawks Nest Digital History Quest
11:30 am to 1:30 pm
LOCATION: Hawks Nest State Park’s lodge lobby, Ansted
Discover Hawks Nest history on a scavenger hunt in the park. Bring a camera, plus get a FREE ride on the aerial tram.

Main Street Bramwell History Tour
2:00 pm to 3:00 pm, 4 block walk
LOCATION: Coal Heritage Interpretive Center (Depot), Bramwell
Join Mayor Lou Stoker and hear stories of early coal prospectors and their families on this sidewalk tour of historic downtown Bramwell.

Making Parks: Role of the CCC
2:00 pm to 3:00 pm, 1.0 mile at Little Beaver SP
3:30 pm to 4:30 om, 1.0 mile at Grandview
LOCATION: Little Beaver State Park Headquarters, Beaver and Grandview Visitor Center, Grandview
Discover how the Civilian Conservation Corps developed parks, like Little Beaver State Park and Grandview. Also learn how logging and reforestation impacted these sites. Attend one or both parts of this program.

Milling Around at Glade Creek Grist Mill
3:30 pm to 4:30 pm
LOCATION: Babcock State Park’s Glade Creek Grist Mill, Clifftop.
See the inner workings of a grist mill and how this tool helped provide a food staple for people’s daily lives.

No Deposit Required: Bank Tours
9:30 am to 11:30 am
LOCATION: Glen Jean Bank Building, Glen Jean
Get a glimpse into early finance in the New River Gorge on tours of two historic bank buildings. Start in the Glen Jean Bank, then car caravan to Thurmond for a walk downtown along commercial row to discuss the two banks that once operated in this boom town.

Ranger Booth at Gauley Fest
Friday, September 19: 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm, festival entrance fee required
Saturday, September 20: 2:00 pm to 8:00 pm, festival entrance fee required
LOCATION: Nicholas County Veterans Memeorial Park, Summersville
Meet with rangers at festival booth to learn more about New River Gorge National River and Gauley River National Recreation Area. For complete Gauley Fest times and details visit www.americanwhitewater.org.

River History Trek
9:30 am to 12:30 pm, 3.5 mile hike, $2 for return tram ride
LOCATION: Pipestem Resort State Park’s Canyon Rim Center (top of the tram), Pipestem
Meet at the top of the tram and walk the old Bench Road and several park trails to look for clues of community life in Pipestem and Lerona. Pass old home sites and a cemetery. Be prepared for some moderate terrain, plus bring an extra pair of wading shoes to ford the Bluestone.

September 2014 activity schedule

Download a copy of the September 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.

web_POSTER-general-HiddenHistoryWKND-Hidden History Weekend flier

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.