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Contact: Eve West, 304-719-6364Glen Jean, W.Va. – For the fall 2021 hunting season, regulations at New River Gorge National Park and Preserve will remain the same as they have in previous seasons. New regulations for hunting are on the horizon in response to the park’s recent redesignation to national park and preserve, however hunters and hikers should be aware that these changes will not take effect until January 1, 2022. The park will announce the new hunting regulations this fall.
Areas where hunting is currently prohibited in the park include Grandview, Camp Brookside, the Arrowhead Trail Area, the Park Loop Trail Area, and the Burnwood Environmental and Education Area. Hunting is also prohibited within 500 feet of heavy visitor use areas, including established campgrounds, day-use areas, and visitor centers. Under West Virginia state hunting regulations, it is illegal to shoot a firearm within 500 feet of a school, church, dwelling, or other places where people socially gather. Regulations also prohibit ATV and ORV use on trails and off-road in the park.
Visitors enjoying the trails during hunting season should consider following a few extra safety precautions. Wear blaze orange and include an orange vest for pets. Stay on established trails, avoid cross-country travel and consider hiking in areas where hunting is prohibited. Leave No Trace principles are always encouraged, but especially important during hunting season, and remember to recreate responsibly when visiting the park.
Hunting is mandated by law within New River Gorge National Park and Preserve as directed in the enabling legislation that created the park, because it is a “national park and preserve.” For additional NPS units that allow hunting see https://www.nps.gov/subjects/hunting/visit.htm.
Information and maps for areas currently restricted to hunting and for areas that will take effect beginning January 1, 2022 are on the park’s website at Hunting - New River Gorge National Park and Preserve (U.S. National Park Service) (nps.gov). Additional information and regulations for hunting within the park and other areas can be found on the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources Hunting website at Hunting - West Virginia Division of Natural Resources : West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (wvdnr.gov)
Visitors should also be aware that COVID restrictions remain in place in the park. To promote our staff and visitors’ safety, masks are required in all NPS buildings, which include Canyon Rim Visitor Center, Thurmond Visitor Center, Grandview Visitor Center, and Sandstone Visitor Center, regardless of location or vaccination status. Additionally, masks must be worn in outdoors spaces where physical distancing cannot be maintained, such as narrow or busy trails and overlooks.
For current information on trail closures and other alerts in the park, visit the park website at nps.gov/neri. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Last updated: August 17, 2021