The NPS is
offering ranger-guided activities throughout the New River Gorge National River, the Bluestone National Scenic River, and the Gauley River National
gorgeous, just gorgeous,” said Lova Wright Tuesday evening while visiting the
main overlook at New River Gorge National River in Grandview.
She and her
husband Bruce of Huntington were visiting the area to attend the Theater West
Virginia outdoor dramas.
actually celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary,” she said. “You just have so
many good thoughts seeing all this.”
about how God created nature, how he created all of this and made it for us to
enjoy. And I’m so thankful,” she said.
you feel insignificant in the scheme of things, because its beauty is
overwhelming,” added Bruce Wright.
were among a steady flow of visitors to the Grandview overlook for what the NPS calls The
Ranger on the Rock talk, offered before every Theater West Virginia production
held at the park’s amphitheater.
“It’s a big
part of what we do,” said Ranger Richard Altare, a 25-year veteran of the
National Park Service, and leader of the evening’s talk.
“We want to
preserve and protect the parks and their resources and one of the best ways to
preserve and protect is have people understand them,” he said. “Then they’ll
want to protect them because this is public land; the true public lands in the United States are the national parks.”
maps and shared information and binoculars with dozens of guests.
of Raleigh County brought his visiting grandchildren from
Carolina to the park.
where the New
comes from,” said Altare to the children.
from the mountains of North Carolina. It’s 320 miles long and it started
in Blowing Rock and comes down through Virginia,” he explained.
“We have 55 miles
of it protected here as a national park area, and just about 40 miles
downstream the New River and Gauley River form the Kanawha River which takes
you by the Capitol, goes over to the Ohio River at Point Pleasant, from the
Ohio to the Mississippi, then eventually all this water is going to go to the
Gulf of Mexio through New Orleans, LA.”
on the Rock talk kicks-off a season of National Park Service outdoor
discussions, hikes, seminars and workshops held along the New River, Bluestone and Gauley rivers.
include walks through Pipestem, wildflower gardening, bird-watching and
photography lessons at Canyon Rim, Bat Chats at Grandview, and exploration of the once
bustling railroad town of Thurmond and the coal mining town of Kaymoor.
shared the vista at Grandview, he pointed out the remains of the
mining town of Quinamont, trains that still run on track
built by the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad, and remnants of
a bridge at a former lumber company town.
truly a history book with many pages, many stories here, and what pulls
everybody in is Grandview,” said Altare. “It really lives up
to its name. It’s the best single view you’re going to get of the gorge in the park.”
list of ranger-guided activities can be found at the National Park Service website.