New River Gorge National Park

The clouds hang from the sky in one uniform blanket, while the tree-covered mountains flank the river. Here at the New River Gorge National River, beauty, history, and opportunities for learning abound.

New River Gorge National River. A river can be seen flanked by two tree-covered mountains, and a white cloud-covered sky is above them.

 

100+ stairs is a small price to pay for this kind of view, though my knees might feel differently. No matter; my handy knee braces do their job, and I do not stumble. And the descent is worth it.

For someone who loves water, trees, and bridges, this place is breathtaking, and taking the time to really notice the details of this natural beauty is a gift. So we stay a while, and the children enjoy learning about the history of the area and completing park activities.

 

Bridge and trees as seen from the New River Gorge National River Lookout

 

Much like the Xplorers program in Canada, the Junior Rangers program in the U.S. helps children learn about science, history, and more. And once they complete their booklets, they can be sworn in as Junior Rangers, pledging to “explore, learn and protect!” at National Parks. The children are then given a badge, which I’m sure the children will cherish for many years to come. By the time this trip is over, the children will have a nice collection of dog tags and badges from all of the parks we visited/will visit this year.

Park Ranger swearing in a junior park ranger

As we leave West Virginia for South Carolina, the memories of this beautiful forested state is ingrained in my mind forever. The wild and wonderful, whether in land or person form, are often kindred spirits.

Pinterest Image: West Virginia: Wild & Wonderful, www.marianamcdougall.com, National River Gorge National River in background

 

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