The name is ironic since the New River is one of the oldest rivers in the country. Geologists say it is older than the Appalachian Mountains that it courses through. The deep gorge made the area inhospitable to settlement until trains arrived and soon the forests were cut and the area of southeast West Virginia was mined. The New River gorge National RIver was established to protect the area.
In 1977, the world’s longest steel arch of 1,700 feet was built to span the 3,000 feet across the gorge. You can also find it on the West Virginia state quarter.
What most captivated me in the park was the incredible abundance of butterflies.