Celebrating the Centennial at New River Gorge
The National Park Service turned 100 on August 25, 2016, and we're celebrating all year long! Throughout 2016, we invite you to participate in Find Your Park Experiences to learn, discover, be inspired, or simply have fun in national parks. Find Your Park Experiences offer unique opportunities to explore national parks both in person and online. Check out the experiences in this park or search all experiences to identify an opportunity that matches your interests. You can also share your national park story at FindYourPark.com.
A Call to Action remains the foundation for our 2016 centennial efforts. It is the National Park Service's blueprint for the future, outlining the innovative work we want to accomplish. New River Gorge National River is a big part of this effort. Take a look at what we're doing and get involved!
Join NPS Rangers Kirsten Minor and Julie Bugg for a video introduction to whitewater rafting, mountain biking and rock climbing at New River Gorge National River. Read more
Got an iPhone or iPad? Download a free app at Klickaklu.com and go on a digital quest for historic features at New River Gorge. You'll probably see things you've never noticed before and learn more about the history of coal mining, railroading and other aspects of the park's rich cultural past. Remember to leave no trace of your travels! Hunt Codes for the two historic scavenger hunts are 1) Hidden History Hunt: 7J5IzCEcUY 2) Hidden History Hunt Bonus Round: bemzt04Mrd Read more
In 2012, New River Gorge National River adopted 30 students from a nearby middle school. Currently, these 9th grade students are participating in education programs, service learning projects, and recreation adventures that will teach them about the National Park Service, New River Gorge National River, and their local community. The program is also designed to enable students learn about career opportunities and to develop leadership and communication skills. Read more
National Heritage Areas in five states are implementing a number of innovative education, recreation, and interpretation programs this year thanks to almost $60,000 in special project funds made available by the NPS Northeast Region's NHA Program Office. Read more
Forty-five Junior Rangers found their park adventure at New River Gorge National River's Outdoor Adventure Fest, Saturday, July 25. About 500 people attended the two day event that included a street fair on Saturday at Grandview, a popular park day use area, and a Leave No Trace information booth on Sunday at Canyon Rim Visitor Center. Saturday's street fair highlighted recreational activities at New River and included booths on Water Safety, Rafting and Kayaking, Mountain Bike Safety and Maintenance, Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics, GPS Wayfinding, Digital Photography, Water Quality, and the NPS Junior Ranger Program. Guided walks were offered throughout the day. Children who completed a punch card indicating they'd attended all nine activities were rewarded with a Junior Ranger badge, certificate and a FindYourPark photograph on the park's Flickr site (https://www.flickr.com/photos/newrivergorgenps). Assisting with the event were the National Leave No Trace team, YMCA of Southern West Virginia, Elevation Sports in Beckley, Beckley Camera Club, WV Department of Environmental Protection and the US Army Corp of Engineers.
Students participated in a day of performances and activities that focused on West Virginia's history, which ties into the 4th grade school curriculum. After arriving, students rotated through pop-up stations focusing on Native Americans, early settlers, African American heritage, coal mining, railroading, and timbering. Each class visited the Main Overlook, which provides breathtaking views of the gorge and the river 1,400 feet below. Later all of the students attended a special performance at Theatre West Virginia, an outdoor theater located in the park that has provided musical dramas for over 50 years. After a welcome from New River Gorge Superintendent, Trish Kicklighter, performers with Theatre West Virginia presented short first-person presentations of historical persons significant in WV's history including Gorge Washington, Stonewall Jackson, Mary Draper Ingles, and Devil Anse Hatfield. After the event students ate lunch and then visited the pop-up stations again before heading home.
The park partnered with the Hinton Area Foundation to distribute funding to school districts for bussing, and with Theatre West Virginia to provide a free performance. The park also partnered with the National Coal Heritage Area, History Alive!, and the West Virginia Mine Wars Museum to assist with the pop-up stations. Park staff from all divisions pitched in to make the event a success.
Park staff filmed the event to make it possible for other students throughout the state to participate. Videos of the event will be made available to 4th graders throughout the state. Rangers will visit the schools this spring for a follow up activity.
Check out our YouTube page to see a video of the event.
A variety of experts were on hand to help visitors learn how to play, stay safe, and leave no trace while adventuring in the park. NPS staff provided opportunities for visitors to try out kayaks and stand up paddle boards while US Army Corps of Engineers rangers taught water safety tips and techniques. Wildland fire staff provided fire safety tips and let youngsters knock down "flames". The Subaru Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers helped visitors up their outdoor ethics knowledge and skills. Piney Creek Watershed Association demonstrated why taking care of our watershed is important and the Raleigh County Solid Waste Authority offered recycling tips and information. As if all of this wasn't enough, the YMCA of Southern WV and Active Southern WV helped with suggestions for other healthy ways to utilize the park.
Many thank to all those who participated and made Outdoor Adventure Fest 2016 a success!