Adjacent to New River Gorge National Park and Preserve, Adventures on the Gorge has developed a half-day scenic driving tour showcasing the park's cultural and natural history, according to resort CEO Roger Wilson.
“Most visitors are fascinated to learn the human and natural history of this rugged destination, so we introduced this tour to provide our guests with an in-depth overview of its most magical places,” Wilson said.
“Guests will gain a broad understanding of the destination while traveling its famous country roads.”
Departing from the resort, where guests board a resort shuttle, the tour travels down the winding roads that descend from the gorge’s rim to the New River.
Wilson said that before the New River Gorge Bridge was completed in 1978, the drive across the gorge took some 45 minutes, whereas it now takes a minute.
Once home to booming mining towns, the gorge has various remnants and the town of Thurmond. Thurmond was located along the railroad line taking coal and timber to various points on the C&O Railway.
The town once featured hotels, banks, restaurants, stores, businesses, and a movie theater. With just four residents today, Thurmond has more than 20 preserved structures and is on the National Register of Historic Places. It is a popular stop for visitors to the national park.
The tour's last stop is the National Park Service’s Canyon Rim Visitor Center. An exhibit room is filled with photos and artifacts depicting the region’s people, towns, and industries. Views from the visitor center extend two miles upstream, and nearby boardwalks and decks provide more views.
The tour costs $89 for adults and $69 for youths. The minimum age is six. More information and links for reservations can be found online at Adventures on the Gorge.
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