butterfly

Learn from rangers at the National Park Service about a painted lady butterfly and the other many butterflies that enjoy the native flowers of the New River Gorge.

Leah Perkowski-Sisk, NPS
For The Fayette Tribune

Have you ever seen a painted lady, a silver spotted skipper, a swallowtail, or a sulphur? These are a few of the many butterflies that enjoy the native flower at some visitor centers in New River Gorge National River. See these beauties close-up and learn more about them in a program at Canyon Rim Visitor Center.

There are many adventures to take in New River Gorge National River by participating in a ranger-guided hike or talk, fun ways 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, a snack, camera and binoculars are other useful tools to bring along.

Here’s what’s happening this week at area National Park Service sites:

Every night from Tuesday, July 24 through Sunday, July 29

Ranger on the Rock — 6:30 to 7:30 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.

Wednesday, July 25

Coal Display and Junior Ranger — 6:30 to 8 p.m. Meet at the Theatre West Virginia concession stand area at Grandview. Kids see a display on historic coal mining and have fun working on Junior Ranger activities. Open to Theatre West Virginia ticket holders.

Thursday, July 26

Naturalist Notebook Skills Series: Trees — 6:15 to 8:15 p.m. Meet at the Burnwood Day Use Area in Lansing for this 1-mile hike. Build naturalist skills in this mini-nature course focusing on tree identification. Bring binoculars and a hand lens or some will be available. Advanced sign-up encouraged; call 304-574-2115.

Friday, July 27

Ranger on the Spot: Arrowhead — 2 to 4 p.m. Ride a mountain bike or walk the new trails of the Arrowhead area and meet a ranger along the way. Discover more of the rich heritage found the park during this informal program. The trails of the Arrowhead system are located near Kaymoor Top, outside Fayetteville.

Ranger’s Choice: Snakes of West Virginia — 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Meet at the Canyon Rim Visitor Center in Lansing. Come and go as you please for this informal, hands-on program about snakes. See how these often feared wonders of nature make a life in the gorge, plus learn ways to stay safe when snakes slither by.

Coal Display and Junior Ranger — 6:30 to 8 p.m. Meet at the Theatre West Virginia concession stand area at Grandview. Kids see a display on historic coal mining and have fun working on Junior Ranger activities. Open to Theatre West Virginia ticket holders.

Saturday, July 28

Grand Birding — 9 to 11 a.m. Meet at Grandview Visitor Center for this 1-mile walk. Stroll the park looking and listening for birds. Bring binoculars or some will be available.

Hike of the Week: Endless Wall — 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Meet at the Endless Wall Fern Creek Trailhead in Lansing for this 2-mile hike. Explore the amazing diversity of nature on this hike through two types of Appalachian forest on the way to one of the most spectacular overlooks of the New River Gorge, the cliff line at Endless Wall. This trail is an easy walk, but does have some moderate sections, so wear sturdy walking shoes. Bring water too.

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

Historic Thurmond Tour — 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Meet at the Thurmond Depot Visitor Center or join the ranger in the historic district for a 0.5-mile walk through 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.

Youth Arts in the Parks: Recycling — 2 to 4 p.m. Meet on the path to the Main Overlook at Grandview. Come and go as you please for this informal, hands-on program for kids. Trash impacts on a watershed can be severe. See how people can help the environment through art. Kids will make an art project to take home.

Ranger’s Choice: Youth Arts in the Parks — 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Meet at the Canyon Rim Visitor Center in Lansing. Come and go as you please for this informal, hands-on arts program for kids. Children will use their talents to create art work inspired by nature.

Sunday, July 29

Historic Thurmond Tour — 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Meet at the Thurmond Depot Visitor Center or join the ranger in the historic district for a 0.5-mile walk through 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.

Ranger on the Spot: Nuttallburg — 2 to 4 p.m. Drive, hike, or bike at your leisure to the historic coal mine and community area of Nuttallburg. Meet a ranger there to learn more about this rich cultural site.

Ranger’s Choice: Butterflies — 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Meet at the Canyon Rim Visitor Center in Lansing. Come and go as you please for this informal, hands-on program about butterflies. Explore the native flower garden and see who’s flown in on gossamer wings for a flower nectar snack.

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 www.facebook.com/newrivergorgenps; or stop by any park visitor center.

 

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