Michael Cardinal, FISM News
A white-water rafting and rock-climbing enthusiast destination has become America’s newest national park, thanks in part to the stimulus package passed at the end of 2020.
The New River Gorge, located in southern West Virginia, boasts over 70,000 acres of preserved land and 52 miles of some of the most iconic whitewater rapids on the east coast. Designated a national river in 1978, this new designation will bring more notoriety for what Outside Magazine calls a “premiere adventure destination.”
Alongside the class III to V rapids, visitors to the park can enjoy over 1,400 established rock climbing routes, scenic driving tours, miles of hiking and mountain biking trails, and world-class fishing.
The new designation makes the New River Gorge the 63rd National Park in America. West Virginia Senator Shelley Capito remarked, “Being a national park is a gold stamp of approval and excellence.”
The new classification comes at a time when national parks have seen a huge surge in usage due to COVID-19 restrictions. People have turned to the outdoors in droves over the past year as other forms of entertainment have been restricted or shut down.