Nature & Science

purple red-bud flowers blooming over the gorge
Redbud trees bloom along the Bluestone Gorge.

NPS photo/Dave Bieri


The rugged and ancient Bluestone River Gorge is a richly diverse and scenic area of the southern Appalachian Mountains. Time spent in thoughtful solitude along this little mountain river offers the visitor a vestige of primitive America. There are over a thousand species of plants growing in several diverse Appalachian forest habitat types. Two hundred species of birds have been spotted in the park. The Bluestone also provides excellent areas for watching many mammal, amphibian, reptile and insect species. The riverbed habitat is alive with a carpet of macro-invertebrate aquatic species, and supports healthy populations of many warm water game and non-game fishes. The Bluestone River is classified as a High Quality Warm Water Stream by the state of West Virginia.

box turtle on the Bluestone

The diversity of habitats in the Bluestone Gorge make this a haven for wildlife.

asters by the Bluestone River

Extremes in topography and elevation account for the great diversity of plant life found in the park.

Ranger and volunteers collecting macro-invertebrates in the river
Natural Resource Monitoring

Learn more about natural resource monitoring at Bluestone National Scenic River.

view of Bluestone gorge
Natural Features and Ecosystems

Check this section to learn more about the geology, geography, and ecosystems found at Bluestone National Scenic River.

Sun shining over river with trees
Climate Change

Learn what Climate Change means for Bluestone National Scenic River.

yellow flower with bee
Resource Management Minutes

Learn about what our resource management staff is up to through a series of short videos.

Last updated: November 6, 2023

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 246
Glen Jean, WV 25846



Contact Us