100 Mile Challenge Celebrates National Parks and Health

hikers on a trail
Hikers enjoy the Long Point Trail near Fayetteville in New River Gorge National River

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News Release Date: December 22, 2015

Contact: Jodi French-Burr, 304-574-2115

GLEN JEAN,WEST VIRGINIA: This new year brings about an exciting celebration in America, the 100thanniversary of the National Park Service. Parks across the U.S. will host centennial events throughout 2016, including New River Gorge National River. The first local event to kick off 2016 is a 100 Mile Challenge. Celebrate these 100 years by hiking 100 miles or more on trails in New River Gorge National River and Bluestone National Scenic River in 2016.

This on-going hiking challenge is open to everyone. Simply register online by sending your name and email address to:e-mail us. Then start hiking in New River Gorge National River and Bluestone National Scenic River! Learn more about this challenge at www.nps.gov/neri/planyourvisit/new-river-gorge-100-mile-challenge.htm. Download the Challenge Log Form to keep track of your miles throughout 2016. See a park trails map at this site too, and learn how to share your Challenge highlights on Facebook and Twitter, encouraging others to explore the wonders of national park.

Hike on any park trail you choose to meet this challenge. With over 100 miles of trail in New River Gorge National River and 10 miles on the Bluestone Turnpike Trail in Bluestone National Scenic River, each path highlights the natural and/or cultural features of these National Park Service sites. Whether you like nature, history, or just want to enjoy the great outdoors, there are trails here for everyone to explore. Hike at your own pace with friends or alone, or join rangers for walks scheduled throughout the year.

“This challenge is a good way to help people realize there are national parks in their neighborhood,” says Dave Bieri, District Supervisor of Interpretation and Visitor Services at New River Gorge National River. “Plus this encourages people to get out and use their parks for fun and fitness. It’s all about getting out and enjoying our parks!”

All challenge participants that hike 100 miles or more betweenJanuary 1 and December 31, 2016will receive a prize. The first 100 participants to complete the challenge will receive an additional award.

Join in on the first official kick-off event,100 Mile Challenge Start-up Hike, onJanuary 2, 2016 from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm. Meet the ranger at the Grandview Visitor Center in the Grandview area of the national park, then hike just over three-miles on the Grandview Rim Trail. Bring water and wear appropriate walking shoes for this easy to moderate hike, plus dress appropriately for anticipated weather conditions. This will be a great way to start the new year on an adventure in a national park!

This celebration of parks and health is coordinated by the National Park Service, Active Southern West Virginia, and the YMCA of Southern West Virginia. Happy hiking!


Last updated: December 30, 2015

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