The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

July 31, 2013

Nature’s wonders found at New River Gorge National River


GLEN JEAN — Great blue heron, deer, and bear all call the Bluestone River Gorge home. Get back to nature and explore wonders like these and more on a ranger-guided hike through Bluestone National Scenic River on Aug. 3. Meet at the bottom of the Pipestem State Park’s tramway for this 10-mile walk. Bring lunch and water for this day of adventure. A free shuttle is provided for the return trip to Pipestem.

This is just one of several ranger-guided programs featured in the parks this week. Walks and informal talks in New River Gorge National River and along the Bluestone provide a fun way to get outdoors and learn more about the natural world that surrounds us and the people who shaped our past. All programs are free unless otherwise noted. Wear comfortable walking or hiking shoes for all guided hikes. Water, snacks, camera and binoculars are other useful tools to bring along. Below is a list of this weekend’s featured ranger programs:



Daily programs Aug. 1 to Aug. 4

Ranger on the Rock — 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. Meet at Grandview’s Main Overlook. 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.



Saturday, Aug. 3

Bluestone Walk — 10 to 11:30 a.m. Meet at the base of Pipestem Resort State Park tramway for this 2-mile walk. 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 for the return tram ride.

Bluestone Turnpike Hike — 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Meet at the base of Pipestem Resort State Park tramway for this 10-mile walk. Take a walk on the wild side through Bluestone National Scenic River and explore the beauty and diversity of this remote area. Hikers will travel with a ranger along the Bluestone Turnpike Trail, which runs along the Bluestone River to Bluestone State Park. A free shuttle will be provided for the return trip to Pipestem State Park. Wear sturdy hiking shoes and bring a lunch and plenty of water.

Historic Thurmond Tour — 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Meet at the Thurmond Depot Visitor Center for a short one-half mile walk. 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.



Sunday, Aug. 4

Historic Thurmond Tour  — 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Meet at the Thurmond Depot Visitor Center for a short one-half mile walk. 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.

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For more information about New River Gorge National River and upcoming ranger activities, visit http://www.nps.gov/neri, check out the park Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/newrivergorgenps, follow the park on Twitter at https://Twitter .com/NewRiverNPS, or stop by any park visitor center.