I’ve never stopped and visited a National River, so when we passed a sign for the New River Gorge National River and still had hours to kill until our hotel check in time, I asked if we could take a detour. It ended up being a great choice, Brady and Brandon did some filming, I did some writing, and we all moved from the cramped space of a car into the wide open mountains of West of Virginia.
One interesting thing about the New River Gorge is its willingness to connect with its visitors. Despite having spotty service and no service at all deeper into trails, the trail maps and visitors centers have this display which outlines all the various ways to connect with the park through social media:
While many National Parks have social media pages, New River Gorge’s extra effort aligns with West Virginia’s overall push for tourism, as they encourage visitors to share their experiences using #GoToWV and have this hashtag plastered as an ad on their interstate rest stops. This is a pretty great marketing scheme, stimulating organic and constant publicity from a steady stream of new users and relieving the tourism office of the heavy lifting for photography, video, and multimedia.
Linville Gorge in NC has spoiled me and set the bar incredibly high for these kinds of hikes and vistas, but I still had a great time at New River Gorge. It’s a beautiful and well maintained park that is definitely worth a visit and I highly recommend the Castle Rock Trail if you’re up for the hike. While tomorrow will reveal a different side, today this is what the Digital Divide looked like:
New River Gorge National River said it best: