New River Gorge National River
Completed: October 11, 2014
Junior Ranger – Senior Friendly
This was my first visit to this park site. Being there in the Fall added to the beauty of the area with colorful leaves. This park stretches for fifty-three miles protecting unique natural resources and plenty of historical and recreational opportunities. We visited the Sandstone Visitor Center, Thurmond Historic District and finally the Canyon Rim Visitor Center. This allowed me to work on the Junior Ranger booklet as we travelled from south to north.
The program is listed as Senior Friendly, as no age requirements were given. To become a Junior Ranger you must complete the ten activities in the booklet and attend a program or talk with a ranger. I talked with a ranger, as there were no problems available the day I visited. I spoke with a ranger at the Thurmond Historical District which is housed in an active AMTRAK station. He was a seasonal ranger who majored in history, and his love of history was evident during our visit to the historic railroad station.
The booklet activities are; Is the New River Special?, Explore Your Park, Junior Naturalist, Responsible Junior Rangers, Make the Connection, Paddling the New River, New River Rocks, Puzzled by History, Play Safely, and Visit Your National Parks.
A favorite activity was finding the answers about the park in Explore Your Park: I learned that it may be one of the oldest rivers in North America and it flows north. The information provided in the Junior Naturalist activity of matching animal tracks to the local animals was very well done and useful. The Puzzled by History crossword puzzle covered a lot of information and made it interesting.
Once we arrived at the Canyon Rim Visitor Center and after driving across the world-famous New River Gorge Bridge in a dense fog I turned in my completed Junior Ranger booklet. Beside receiving the standard badge I also received a multi-colored patch and a certificate of completion.