New River Gorge National River is a National Park, who knew? I found it by accident on my map as we looked for something to kill time with in West Virginia. The bridge and the whitewater rafting is what attracts most to the area.
The bridge is impressive, built of steel in the late 1970’s, it is taller than the Eiffel Tower plus two Statues of Liberty. Viewing it from the river side is particularly impressive. The area played an important role in the industrial revolution, it hauled coal on the railways from the mines tunneled in to the mountain there. People came from all over for the jobs that were available in the area.
The Park Service has taken ownership of 70,000 acres, but for once, they haven’t shrunk the value of the area. I am not one to criticize the National Park Service, I love the properties they have preserved for the future. What they have done differently with this one is to continue to allow use of the river for commercial purposes and there is even hunting on NPS land. That makes great sense to me.
So when you visit, plan a trip with a whitewater guide, take the “Bridge Walk”, be sure whatever you do, you get near the water and look up. Look at the land that was used to fuel the Industrial Revolution, and look at the way nature has reclaimed it. Appreciate the value that land offers, no matter the season, it always takes care of itself.