New River Gorge?
does anyone know much about the new river gorge in west virginia? i'm asking because the summit-bechtal ranch the new boy scout high adventure base is located their and my venture crew is looking into it
This past August I was at the Summit Bechtel Reserve. I had a free afternoon for exploring and went to the visitors center at Thurmond. The park is a national river, so there are only a few trails as the focus is the river. Here is the web site:
I didn't look at any of the camping sites. They are on the river and reachable by car.
Rafting trips are day trips as are the hikes. There is a lot of history to explore here. Old coal and railroad towns, history of organized labor and rail transportation. I think a great trip would be to combine the outdoor hiking/camping/rafting with exploring the history. The area is beautiful, however the abondoned towns and houses give the area a feeling of sadness.
A few years ago I took the Am Track train to Thurman, WV. I then hiked back to the trail head near the visitors center at Fayetteville. It was the best overnight hike I have ever had. I camped at Cunard, a launch site for rafting. There is a primitive camp ground there. The sites were basically mud holes. I walked up the mountain a short distance and did a "no trace overnight'er." The worst part was the next morning. I had to walk up the mountain on the road which is narrow and filled with buses and trucks hauling rafters and equipment down the mountain. The scenery is spectacular and the trail for the most part is easy walking. I highly recommend the trip.
It depends on what you are looking for. The area is mostly known for it's whitewater rafting. If you are looking for hiking and backpacking that area is a few hours from the best WV has to offer. The Dolly Sods, Seneca Creek, North Fork Mountains areas are the nicest for that. There are plenty of day hiking trails in the Thurman area and a few decent overnight ones, but nothing compared to what you have further east. Plenty of places to hang a hammock to be sure. I grew up in WV and still frequently backpack down there, I can not think of any local that would venture near Thurman for anything other than whitewater, but as a father of 3 Scouts, I am sure I will be down there soon enough for the reserve.