New River Gorge National Park increasing access to campgrounds

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New River Gorge National Park increasing access to campgrounds
Campers relax in a campground in the New River Gorge National Park & Preserve. (Photo courtesy Paul Chambers)

The New River Gorge National Park and Preserve will increase access to campgrounds this weekend with the reopening of six additional campground areas, including Thayer, Brooklyn, War Ridge, Army Camp, Meadow Creek, and Gauley Tailwaters.

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Campgrounds at Stone Cliff, Glade Creek, and Grandview Sandbar will remain open for a total of nine areas in the park where camping is available.

Park Superintendent Lizzie Watts is welcoming campers while emphasizing caution as a result of the recent Covid pandemic and an increase in traffic as a result of the park's new "national park" status.

In December, the park that was long classified as a "national river" attained status as a "national park" through Congressional action.

“The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners remains a priority,” Watts said.

“Please continue to recreate responsibly and practice Leave-No-Trace principles when visiting the park.”

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Visitors and campers are encouraged to bring hand sanitizer and maintain a six-foot interpersonal distance in outdoor areas.

Wearing a mask is required outside on all federal property where social distancing cannot be maintained.

Located mostly along the river, all national park campsites are primitive with limited restroom facilities and do not include drinking water and hookups.

Camping accommodations vary. Rent sites available in all campgrounds and small-to-medium-sized RV sites available at the Glade Creek and Grandview Sandbar.

Camping is free in park campgrounds and available on a first-come-first-served basis, and reservations are not accepted for individual sites, with a limit of eight people and two camping units per site.

Stays are limited to 14 days within a 28-day period in any park campground.

Group camping areas are also available in the park for groups of nine or more people with a Special Use Permit. Permits can be obtained by calling 304-465-6517.

Developed campgrounds are available at state parks and private campgrounds throughout the surrounding area.

For more information on camping in the park, visit the park website at nps.gov/neri/planyourvisit/camping.

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