Concord University promoting proximity to state, national parks

Concord University promoting proximity to state, national parks
Students are finding West Virginia higher education ideal when outdoor recreation is a concern. (Photo: Neal E. Johnson)

ATHENS, W.Va. — Three of West Virginia's best-loved state and national parks are a drive of fewer than 15 minutes from Concord University, which is maximizing that advantage to the benefit of students.


Officials are working with nearby to provide students discounted opportunities for zip-lining, water recreation, and other outdoor adventures, though the school has long attracted outdoor enthusiasts.

Forty-eight bells hang in the bell tower at Concord University. (Photo: Concord University)

University President Kendra Boggess says the initiative bolsters student health and helps attract students who are enthusiastic about the outdoors.

“Pipestem is such a great outdoor resource, and it’s located right here,” Boggess said of the 4,050-acre park.


Pipestem is perhaps best known for its scenic aerial tramway and a new 1.5-mile system of zip-lines that descends into the canyon of the Bluestone River.

Boggess says promoting the school's advantages where nature is concerned is important, especially considering the benefits of attending an institution insulated from metropolitan issues.

“We want our students to be active and to know the great area in which we are located,” she said.

In addition to Pipestem, Concord students similarly benefit from the school's proximity to Bluestone National Scenic River, which is adjacent to Pipestem, and the nearby the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve, both of which are managed by the National Park Service.


The vast Bluestone Lake Wildlife Management Area also protects more than 17,000 acres of lake and remote forest less than 10 miles away.

Also a stone's throw from the university, Bluestone State Park and Camp Creek State Park attract tourists year-round, while the vast extend for miles along the southern border of West Virginia.

In addition, ski resort is a drive of fewer than 30 minutes from campus and employs many Concord students in winter.

Celebrating its 147th year, the university boasts some of West Virginia's most highly accredited bachelor's and master’s programs and a student-to-faculty ratio of fifteen-to-one.


For more information on Concord University, visit .

Zipline tours of the Bluestone Gorge open at Pipestem

Ziplines lead adventurers on a remarkable canopy tour into the Bluestone River Gorge.

Pipestem Resort State Park unveiled the state’s newest aerial adventure—a series of zip-lines that lets riders soar for more than a mile above the breathtaking Bluestone National Scenic River. Stephen McDaniel, director of the state Division of Natural Resources, heralded the zip-line network as among the world’s most fantastic canopy-tour venues and thanked the state’s governor for emphasizing tourism as a leading industry.

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