Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Guided activities highlight weekend in New River Gorge

Rhododendron on Endless Wall Trail
Guided hikes and water-safety programs will highlight the Memorial Day Weekend on the New and Bluestone Rivers in southern West Virginia, according to the National Park Service. The following events have been scheduled at locations across the parklands:

Bluestone Trail Walk
Bluestone Trail
10-11:30 a.m., Saturday, May 28
This two-mile walk follows the beautiful Bluestone National Scenic River for a mile and returns, passing notable flora and fauna along the way. Bring $2.25 for the return tram ride. Meet at the base of Pipestem Resort State Park tramway in Pipestem.

Water Safety Round-up
Canyon Rim Visitor Center
2-4 p.m., Saturday, May 28
Do you know how to throw a water-rescue bag or make sure you’ve the best life jacket for each person on your water adventure? Have fun trying your hand at smart water-safety techniques while safely on land. Meet at the Canyon Rim Visitor Center in Lansing. 

River Ranger Rendezvous
Sandstone Falls
2-4 p.m., Saturday, May 28
Learn easy tips to stay safe when you go out on your next fishing or boating river adventure. Come and go as you please for this informal program near the water’s edge. Meet at the Sandstone Falls Boardwalk on River Road near Hinton.

Historic Thurmond Walking Tour
Thurmond Historic District
11 a.m.-noon, Sunday, May 29
What was life like in one of the most renowned towns in the New River Gorge? Meet a ranger in Thurmond’s historic district for an informal half-mile tour of this once-bustling railroad town. Hear stories of days-gone-by. Meet at the Thurmond Depot Visitor Center in Thurmond. 

Rhododendron Walk
Grandview
2-3 p.m., Sunday, May 29
Learn about the beautiful pink blooms of Catawba rhododendron on this leisurely one-mile hike to the North Overlook and back. Meet at the Grandview Visitor Center at Grandview. 

Water Safety Festival
Bluestone Lake Marina
1-4 p.m., Sunday, May 29
This hands-on festival for all ages features watercraft safety and water-rescue demonstrations, life-jacket fittings, and throw-bag competitions. See how you can put these smart water-safety tips into action. Children will get the chance to become a Water Safety Junior Ranger. Meet at the “The Pits” boat-launch area on Bluestone Lake on WV-20 in Hinton.

Water-Safety-and-You Program
Sandstone Visitor Center
9 a.m.-5 p.m., May 28–30
Stop by the visitor center to see ways you can stay safe while on your next water adventure. Chat with a ranger about river tips too. Meet at the Sandstone Visitor Center at Sandstone. 

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