The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

September 25, 2013

Hidden History Weekend is here

GLEN JEAN — Who lived here? What happened here? Visitors often ask these questions when they explore national and state parks. Discover the answers and more with a visit to the region’s local parks that tell the stories of diverse people and places in the southern Appalachian Mountains.

Explore these stories this weekend at the 5th annual Hidden History Weekend, Sept. 27-29. Visitors can investigate historic sites and learn about native Indians, pioneers, miners, railroaders, loggers, whitewater entrepreneurs, and more, whose everyday lives contribute to the amazing history and heritage of southern West Virginia. More than 20 programs are offered at New River Gorge National River, Bluestone National Scenic River, the National Coal Heritage Area, Tamarack, and Babcock, Carnifex Ferry Battlefield, Hawks Nest, Little Beaver, and Pipestem Resort State Parks during this event.

Each Hidden History Weekend presentation delves into a different aspect of the rich sites and stories of our area’s diverse history:

-- Take a guided hike and hear stories of the tragic past of New River Gorge’s Red Ash Island and cemetery.

-- Rediscover the legacy of the Civilian Conservation Corps, the invaluable and distinctive work of individuals who developed Little Beaver, Babcock, and Grandview.

-- Hear compelling tales of coal miners and their daily challenges from storyteller Fred Powers at Tamarack.

-- Hike in Pipestem Resort State Park and the Bluestone National Scenic River to see the sites and hear stories from the pioneer past.

-- Join Youth Arts in the Parks cadet Girl Scout leaders on Saturday evening for a Haunted History Hike near Thurmond as the dark of night approaches.

-- View the screening of local filmmaker Jon Averill’s documentary “Averill’s Raiders & the 35th Star” at the Sandstone Visitor Center of New River Gorge National River or take a guided hike at Carnifex Ferry Battlefield State Park to learn about West Virginia’s role in the American Civil War.

-- Engage in a digital scavenger hunt at Hawks Nest State Park or Canyon Rim Visitor Center, where the National Coal Heritage Area will kick-off its new Letterbox program, the Coal Heritage Series.

For the full event schedule visit any of these websites:,,, and

In addition to these event programs, see photography exhibits of this year’s Hidden History Photo Contest winners and participants at Tamarack, the Coal Heritage Trail Interpretive Center at Bramwell’s Train Depot, and at the following National Park Service visitor centers: Canyon Rim in Lansing, Thurmond Depot in Thurmond, and Sandstone in Sandstone.

Spend this weekend in local parks celebrating the wonders of Appalachian heritage. 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. Check out the National Park Service Facebook page at, follow New River Gorge National River on Twitter at, or stop by any park visitor center.