By the 1960s, it was becoming clear that our national policies and attitudes towards rivers were creating a crisis. Industrial and municipal pollution was depriving entire river systems of life. Pesticides were pouring in virtually unchecked. Rivers were being dammed, dredged, diked, diverted and degraded at an alarming rate. Legislation, such as the Clean Water Act, began to stem the chemical flow. To lend balance to our history of physically altering our waterways, Congress created the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. In October of 1968, the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act pronounced,
It is hereby declared to be the policy of the United States that certain selected rivers of the Nation which, with their immediate environments, possess outstandingly remarkable scenic, recreational, geologic, fish and wildlife, historic, cultural or other similar values, shall be preserved in free-flowing condition, and that they and their immediate environments shall be protected for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Congress declares that the established national policy of dams and other construction at appropriate sections of the rivers of the United States needs to be complemented by a policy that would preserve other selected rivers or sections thereof in their free-flowing condition to protect the water quality of such rivers and to fulfill other vital national conservation purposes.
How I do get there?
Bluestone National Scenic River is located in southeastern West Virginia and is best accessed via one of two West Virginia State Parks that lie at each end, Bluestone State Park to the north and Pipestem Resort State Park to the south. To reach these parks from I-64, take exit 139, then south on Rt. 20. Bluestone State Park is 15 miles and Pipestem is 22 miles. From I-77 take exit 14 to Rt.20 north. Pipestem is 14 miles and Bluestone is 22 miles. For more information contact the Sandstone Visitor Center of nearby New River Gorge National River.
What is there to do?
Hiking, fishing, hunting, hiking, bicycling and horseback riding are all popular activities at the Bluestone.