People have many questions about this program. Here are details that might help you on your way to completing this challenge. Happy hiking!
What is this challenge?
Get to know the local national parks by spending time hiking in New River Gorge National Park and Preserve and Bluestone National Scenic River. This challenge is a fun way to explore local national parks, plus maintain and improve health.
Why was the New River Gorge 100 Mile Challenge created?
This challenge was originally created as a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service (1916 – 2016). With 413 parks in the United States and U.S. territories, each site preserves different parts of America’s story. These parks belong to all of us, preserving this heritage for the enjoyment of present and future generations. This 2016 program was so popular, that it was extended to inspire more adventures in park adventures.
Who is leading this challenge?This celebration of parks and health is a partnership between:
• National Park Service –New River Gorge National Park and Preserve
• Active Southern West Virginia
• YMCA of Southern West Virginia
Is there a fee to participate in this challenge?There is no fee to take part in this challenge.
Who can participate in this challenge?Any person can take part in this challenge, from beginners to advanced hikers. Each individual is challenged to hike 100 miles in New River Gorge National Park and Preserve and Bluestone National Scenic River. Youth can participate in this challenge too, but every participant must hike the 100 miles under their own power. Miles in a backpack carrier or stroller do not count toward challenge completion.
Can pet companions participate in this challenge?
Pets are great companions for enjoying the outdoors and are allowed in New River Gorge National Park and Preserve. By popular demand, pet companions can participate in this challenge. To complete this challenge, each participating pet must hike 100 miles in the park with their human companion, following park pet policies.
Do I need to I register for this challenge?
You do NOT need to register to participate in this challenge.
Where do I get a copy of the Challenge Log Form?
You can pick up a copy of this form at the Canyon Rim Visitor Center in Lansing or the Sandstone Visitor Center in Sandstone. Each participant must keep track of their individual miles hiked in the national parks on a Challenge Log Form. Keep track of pet companion miles on your log form too.
When can I hike for this challenge?
Hike on trails in New River Gorge National Park and Preserve and/or Bluestone National Scenic River any time January 1, 2017 and beyond. Keep track of the miles you hike on the Challenge Log Form.
Where do I get a copy of the park trails map?
There are nearly 100 miles of trail in New River Gorge National Park and Preserve and Bluestone National Scenic River that can be hiked for this challenge. Here are the ways to get a copy of park trails information:
ALWAYS THINK SAFETY FIRST: be sure to check in with the park in advance of your hiking adventure for updates on current trail conditions. Any news on current trail conditions will be announced on the park’s website and through social media.
What modes of transportation are accepted to reach the 100 mile goal of this challenge?
A main point of this challenge is to get people into their national parks, but this program does specifically focus on the activity of hiking. This would include the closely related trail activities of: walking, hiking, trail running, and snowshoeing (you’re still walking when you’re using this tool). This challenge does NOT include the following types of park recreation that are also popular activities at these local sites: cross-country skiing, mountain biking, rock climbing, or boating on the river.
What miles count toward the 100 mile tally for this challenge?
With 100 miles of trail in New River Gorge National Park and Preserve and Bluestone National Scenic River, there are many options to accumulate your challenge miles. You can hike as many park trails as you like or hike the same trail repeatedly to reach the 100 mile goal. Though hiking on established trails is recommended, making trailhead connections by walking on a road within park boundaries would also count toward your 100 mile goal. Keep track of miles hiked on your Challenge Log Form.
Smart device tools and APPs can help you track your miles for this challenge
Many people use a smart device (phone or watch) to keep track of their fitness activities. If you use one of these devices, remember you still need to log your trail miles on the Challenge Log Form.
How can I hike with others for this challenge?
Hundreds of people have registered for this challenge. You can choose to hike trails on your own or with others. Hiking with others often helps keep people motivated to reach their goals. Here are some ways to connect with other challenge participants:
How can I share my challenge experiences with others on social media?
Share photos, stories, and other reflections of your challenge experiences with others on social media. This is a fun way to stay motivated during this challenge, plus may inspire others as well.
What do I do when I complete 100 miles for this challenge?
Once you have completed your 100 miles of hiking in the park, turn your completed Challenge Log Form in at the Canyon Rim Visitor Center in Lansing or Sandstone Visitor Center in Sandstone.
Last updated: November 8, 2021