Guided Activities

ranger with visitor

Carey Woods

 

Guided activities led by park rangers and park partners provide an opportunity to learn more about the natural world around us and the people who shaped our past. Discover the diversity of nature in the gorge, learn about the rich cultural history of coal mining, railroading, logging, and subsistence farming, learn how to be safe on the river, or join a ranger for a guided hike. Programs are offered throughout the year, but primarily during the spring, summer, and fall months. All programs are free of charge and everyone is welcome.


Throughout the year groups may arrange programs as staffing permits. Please call or email the park if you would like a park ranger to present a program for your group.

 
Get Active in the Park:

This summer, the National Park Service at New River Gorge National River and Active Southern West Virginia have teamed up to bring free, beginner-level programs to the New River Gorge Region. All programs are free and open to the public. All equipment and supplies will be provided. All programs are listed on the Activity Schedule below:
 
July 2016 activity schedule
 
August Get Active schedule
 
Tai Chi
July 16, 2016; 9:00 am -10:00 am
August 7, 2016; 10:30 am -11:30 am
August 24, 2016; 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
LOCATION: Camp Brookside Environmental Education Center in Brooks;Meet at the Mess Hall Porch. *
Wear comfortable shoes for this indoor, beginner level Tai Chi Qi Gong.

Outdoor Yoga
July 14, 2016; 6:00 pm-7:00 pm
July 26, 2016; 6:00 pm-7:00 pm
August 18, 2016; 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
August 30, 2016; 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
LOCATION: Camp Brookside Environmental Education Center in Brooks*
Find your breath right on the river's edge.

Beginner Archery
August 27, 2016;9:00 am - 11:00 am
LOCATION: Camp Brookside Environmental Education Center in Brooks*
Beginner level instruction, ages 14 and up. Meet at Camp Brookside Mess Hall. *RSVP Required.

Beginner Running Clinic
July 28, 2016; 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
August 25, 2016;5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
LOCATION: Camp Brookside Environmental Education Center in Brooks* Learn new running techniques and go for a jog. Meet at Camp Brookside Mess Hall.

Cooking Class: Picking and Preserving Produce
August 30, 2016;12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
LOCATION: Camp Brookside Environmental Education Center in Brooks* Learn healthy cooking techniques and new recipes. Meet at Camp Brookside Mess Hall. *RSVP Required

Stand Up Paddle Boarding
July 16, 2016; 10:00 am -1:00 pm
July 23, 2016; 10:00 am-1:00 pm
July 31, 2016; 12:00 pm-3:00 pm
August 7, 2016; 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm
August 21, 2016; 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm
August 27, 2016; 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm
LOCATION: Camp Brookside Environmental Education Center in Brooks*
Learn to float on flat water. All equipment provided.
Reservations required: 304-894-2129 or getactiveinthepark@gmail.com

Intro to Fly Fishing 101
July 30, 2016; 9:00 am-11:00 am
August 14, 2016; 9:00 am - 11:00 am
LOCATION: Camp Brookside Environmental Education Center in Brooks*
Cast on land before taking your skills on the river. All equipment provided.
Reservations required: 304-894-2129 or getactiveinthepark@gmail.com Brookside
Brookside Guided Hikes LOCATION: All Camp Brookside guided hikes meet at Camp Brookside Environmental Education Center in Brooks;Meet at the Mess Hall Porch. * Wear comfortable shoes for a moderate walk and bring water. All field guides, binoculars and materials provided.

Photowalk
August 14, 2016;11:30 am at Sandstone Falls
August 24, 2016;7:00 pm - 8:00 pm at Camp Brookside
Meet in the parking lot with your phone or camera on these 1 mile guided hikes to capture stunning shots of the New River.

Instameet at Camp Brookside
August 5, 2016;7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
LOCATION: Camp Brookside Environmental Education Center
Take photos at Brooks Falls and around this historic site to share with #getactiveinthepark,#activeSWV, and #NewRiverNPS. Meet at Camp Brookside Mess Hall.

Brookside Guided HikesJuly 11, 2016: 10:00 am-11:00 am (Senior Walk)
July 17, 2016; 10:00 am-11:00 am (Gentle Hike)
July 19, 2016; 8:00 pm (full moon walk)
July 21, 2016; 6:00 pm-7:00 pm (Gentle Hike)
July 30, 2016; 11:00 am-12:00 pm (Habitat Hike)
August 2, 2016: 6:00 pm -7:00 pm (Owl Prowl)
LOCATION: All Camp Brookside guided hikes meet at Camp Brookside Environmental Education Center in Brooks;Meet at the Mess Hall Porch. * Wear comfortable shoes for a moderate walk and bring water. All field guides, binoculars and materials provided.

Brookside Island Birding
July 16, 2016; 9:00 am to 11:00 am
LOCATION: Camp Brookside Environmental Education Center in Brooks*
Explore this special riverside habitat to look and listen for birds loving along the New River. Bring binoculars and a favorite field guide or some will be provided.


Bluestone Walk
1.5 hours, 2 miles
Every Saturday from Memorial Day through October 8, 2016
10:00 am to 11:30 am
LOCATION: base of Pipestem Resort State Park tram
Meet a ranger at the bottom of Pipestem's tramway to walk within Bluestone National Scenic River for a mile and return. Along the way, enjoy the flora and fauna of the area and discover regional history. Bring $2.25 for the return tram ride.

Bluestone Turnpike Hike
July 2, August 6, and September 4, 2016; 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
6 hours, 10 miles
LOCATION: base of Pipestem Resort State Park tram
Take a walk on the wild side through Bluestone National Scenic River and explore the diversity of this remote area. Meet a ranger at the bottom of Pipestem Resort's tramway to hike the Bluestone Turnpike Trail, which runs along the Bluestone River to Bluestone State Park. A FREE shuttle is provided for the return trip to Pipestem. Wear sturdy hiking shoes, bring lunch, and water. Reservations required: 304-894-2129 or getactiveinthepark@gmail.com

Be a Junior Artist
July 17, 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
LOCATION: Grandview Visitor Center.
Join a ranger to learn about nature and the importance of parks while you make your own nature inspired craft, a work of art.

Grand Birding
July 9, 23, and 30, 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
LOCATION: Grandview Visitor Center at Grandview
Stroll the park looking and listening for birds of the New River Gorge. Bring binoculars and a favorite field guide or some will be provided. 1 mile or less.

Historic Thurmond Walking Tour
Every Saturday and Sunday, 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., plus Sundays 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
LOCATION: Thurmond Depot Visitor Center in Thurmond What was life like in one of the New River Gorge's most renowned towns? Meet a ranger in Thurmond's historic district for an informal tour of this once bustling railroad town, hearing stories of days gone by. 0.5 mile.

Ranger's Choice at Canyon Rim
15 minutes to 2 hours Every Saturday, 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
LOCATION: Canyon Rim Visitor Center in Lansing Come and go as you please for this informal program with a ranger at one of the best views of the New River Gorge. Enjoy the scenery and discuss area natural and cultural history. Check the park's social media platforms for each week's topic.

Ranger on the Rock
5:30 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. (15 minutes to 1 hour) July 1,2,3,6,7,8,9,10,12,13,14,15,16,20,21,22,23,24,26,27,28,29, and 30
LOCATION: Grandview Main Overlook at Grandview
Come and go as you please for this informal program with a ranger at one of the best views of the New River Gorge. Enjoy the scenery and discuss area natural and cultural history.

Beginners Birding at Camp Brookside
July 16, 8:00 am to 9:00 am
Location: Camp Brookside
Explore the Camp Brookside site to learn the basics of bird identification in the field. Field guides, binoculars, and materials provided.

Bluestone Stream Stomp
July 6, 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Location: base of Pipestem Resort State Park tramway
Explore the river ecosystem as you help a ranger to determine the water quality of the Bluestone River. Be prepared to get your hands and feet wet as you look at the aquatic insects and creatures that live in the river. Bring $2.25 for the return tram ride.

Outdoor Adventure Fest
Let's get active in the park! Learn how to play, stay safe, and leave no trace on all outdoor adventures. Locations and times:
  • July 29, 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm, NRG 100 Mile Challenge Hike, 4 miles. Meet at Grandview Visitor Center at Grandview.
  • July 30 Adventure Street Fair at Grandview, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. Come and go as you please for this informal, yet active adventure.Topics include: Active WV, digital photography, early bird watching (9:00 am), Enviroscape, GPS wayfinding, guided walks (10:30 am, 12:30 pm, and 2:30 pm), Jr. Ranger, Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics, mountain bike maintenance, rafting display, and YMCA healthy lifestyles.
  • July 31: Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers at Canyon Rim Visitor Center in Lansing, 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. Meet this national trainer team and learn hot outdoor ethics tips.
Thurmond Train Day
July 16, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, plus 2:00 pm history hike on nearby trail
Location: Thurmond Historic District Celebrate the rich stories of this historic town and the railroad that built it. Come and go as you please in this day full of history.
Event features:
  • Operation Livesaver: tips on railroad safety.
  • Junior Ranger program: kids complete activities to earn a special junior ranger badge.
  • Handcart closeup: try your hand at using a RR handpart, plus get a photo taken in historic Thurmond.
  • Historic Thurmond Tours: 10:00 am, 11:00 am, 12:00 pm, and 1:00 pm Meet at the Thurmond Depot Visitor Center.
  • Live music: 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, music performed by the Duffy Boyd Band.
  • Center for Railway Tourism: stories, activities and fun things to learn about trains. Read aloud time for kids at 11:00 am and 1:00 pm
  • Rend &the Railroad Hike: 2:00 pmto 4:30 pm, 3 miles. Take a look backin time at the railroad and the area's industrial boom in the New RiverGorge. Hike along this historic Rendline and see where history happened.Meet at the Rend Trailhead on Route 25 (one mile from Thurmond).

(NRG) New River Gorge 100 Mile Challenge Adventure Hikes
Get on the trails and celebrate 100 years of the National Park Service as part of the New River Gorge 100 Mile Challenge. Celebrate parks and health as you strive for the goal to hike 100 miles in local national parks in 2016.
* Reservation REQUIRED for most of these hikes: 304-894-2129 or getactiveinthepark@gmail.com
Dates and Locations:
  • July 1, 7:00 am to 9:30 am, Endless Wall Trail, 3 miles, meet at Nuttall Trailhead on Lansing-Edmond Road in Lansing. * RSVP - first eight cars (carpool encouraged).
  • July 8, 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm, Long Point Trail, 3.2 miles, meet at Long Point trailhead off Gatewood Road near Fayetteville. * RSVP - first 15 cars.
  • July 12, 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm, Rend Trail, 3.2 miles, meet at Rend Trailhead of Route 25 near Thurmond. * RSVP - first 12 cars.
  • July 18, 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm, Park Loop Trail, 1.5 miles, meet at Park Loop trailhead parking area on Park Drive near Fayetteville Town Park in Fayetteville. * RSVP.
  • July 29, 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm, Grandview Rim Trail, 4 miles, meet at Grandview Visitor Center.


*Camp Brookside Environmental Education Center is located at 309 N Mullens Rd. in Brooks, WV (just north of the Summers County High School on Route 20)


 
July 2016 Activity Schedule

Download the July Activity Schedule

 

Other Upcoming Events:

 
kids on a RR handcart

Thurmond Train Day
July 16, 2016

Discover what life was like in one of the New River Gorge's most renowned towns! Join National Park Service rangers and Operation Lifesaver on Saturday, July 16th, 2016 from10:00 AM –2:00 PM to explore the historic railroad town of Thurmond and to learn safety tips for rail crossings and along the railroad tracks. The National Park Service, the Thurmond Performance Team, and Operation Lifesaver are partnering to sponsor the third annual Thurmond Train Day for visitors of all ages to come and go as you please. more...

 
ranger and young visitor by Find Your Park sign

Outdoor Adventure Festival
July 30-31, 2016

Meet the Leave No Trace (LNT)Traveling Trainers at this outdoor ethics hot spot. Experience many outdoor adventures and learn best practices to minimize impacts on the parks we enjoy. A schedule of events will be posted soon.

For more information see the Outdoor Adventure Festival page.

 
American Indian re-enactment
On the Trail to Peace
Saturday, September 3, 2016

In the late 1760s, the Middle Ground between European Settlements and American Indian Nations was alive with diplomats opening up trade and peace negotiations after the end of a decade of war. At Sandstone Visitor Center, Living history interpreters will portray a diplomatic party traveling through the New River region to negotiate peace between northern and southern native nations, formerly at war. Materials and protocols of diplomacy, trade, and long-distance travel will be discussed, displayed, and demonstrated in an interactive setting of a peace mission encampment.
 
visitors at mine ruins

Hidden History Weekend
September 23-25, 2016


Celebrate the wonders of Appalachian heritage, the rich sites and stories of our area's diverse history! Free programs will take place at New River Gorge National River, the National Coal Heritage Area, Tamarack, and Babcock, Carnifex Ferry Battlefield, Hawks Nest, and Pipestem Resort State Parks. more...

 

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 246, 104 Main Street
Glen Jean, WV 25846

Phone:

(304) 465-0508

Contact Us