Come join your THOG Friends for a Memorial Day weekend of hiking and camping in the New River Gorge area of West Virginia!
"Established in 1978, New River Gorge National River encompasses over 70,000 acres of land along 53 miles of the New River from Bluestone Dam to Hawk's Nest Lake. A rugged, whitewater river flowing northward through deep and spectacular canyons, the New River is actually among the oldest rivers on Earth. Here in southern West Virginia, the New River has carved and continues to carve the deepest and longest river gorge in the Appalachian Mountains.
When looking out from Grandview, Diamond Point, Long Point, or one of the many other viewpoints in the park, you are actually looking at a globally significant forest containing the most diverse flora of any river gorge in the south and central Appalachian Mountains. The Appalachian Mountain forests are some of the oldest and most diverse ecosystems in the world. Here in southern West Virginia, the New River has sliced through the mountains, creating a mosaic of habitats: unfragmented forest, cliff and rimrock habitats, forest seeps and wetlands, and mature bottomland forests. These habitats provide a refuge for endangered mammals and rare birds and amphibians, including the endangered Virginia big-eared bat and Indiana bat and the Allegheny woodrat, a species of special concern in West Virginia and in decline throughout the eastern United States. The waters of the New River system contain a mosaic of hydrologic features and aquatic habitats that support a highly productive aquatic ecosystem that includes distinct populations of native fish, mussels, crayfish, and a broad array of other aquatic life, including rare amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals."
Today, New River Gorge National River is renowned for its excellent recreational opportunities: whitewater rafting, canoeing, hiking, rock climbing, fishing, hunting, bird watching, camping, picnicking, biking, and just enjoying the solitude the natural world. The Lower Gorge of the New River is a premier whitewater rafting location with imposing rapids ranging in difficulty from Class III to Class V, many of them obstructed by large boulders which necessitate maneuvering in very powerful currents, crosscurrents, and hydraulics. Commercial outfitters conduct trips down the river from April through October. The upper part of the river offers somewhat less challenging class I to III rapids for whitewater canoeing."
During our weekend at the New River Gorge we will concentrate on hiking the trails of the Gorge that should provide us with many opportunities to see the scenic beauty of the area.
Saturday May 25, 2013 - We will meet in the Chapel Hill area at 7:00am with exact location supplied via email to participants. From the carpooling location, we will drive out to the area of the New River Gorge and upon arrival we will secure a campsite in the area. In and around the New River Gorge there are a variety of camping opportunities available and most are on a first come first served basis. Expect camping fees to range from free to $12 per person per night depending on a variety of circumstances out of my control. So please be prepared to pay up to $24 per person for camping fees for the weekend.
Once securing a campsite, we will venture onto the trails of the New River Gorge where we will spend the remainder of the day enjoying the sights and sounds of the gorge.
Sunday May 26, 2013 - On day 2 , we will spend a majority of the day hiking and enjoying the sights and sounds of the area. Some areas in mind are Grandview, Diamond Point, Long Point, Turkey Spur Rock, Beauty Mountain, and the Endless Wall before the weekend is over.
Monday May 27, 2013 - On day 3, before returning to the Chapel Hill area, expect more hiking in the area. There are also some West Virginia State Parks in the area such as Hawks Nest and Pipestem with a visit of one or both is not out of the question before the weekend is over. Also, Cathedral Falls is a weekend possibility.
To be eligible for this event you must:
- Be in a hiker/camper in very good physical condition.
- Be prepared to hike 10+/- miles each of the 3 days.
- Be able to adequately stay with the rest of the group.
- Supply all your food, water, and camping gear. A backpack to carry your camping gear is recommended.
- Be willing to bring and carry a day or waist pack for the day hiking on the trails to carry food, snacks, and water.
- Be willing and able to hang or store all food to keep it from bears or other animals. Storing of food in your tent will not be an acceptable practice.
- Be willing to carry your cell phone with you at all times in event of an emergency.
- Be willing to sign a THOG waiver of liability.
- Be responsible and only sign up if you are sure this event is for you and you have the necessary time available to attend.
- Bring rain gear as this event will proceed rain or shine.
- Bring a workable headlamp with an extra set of fresh batteries.
- Be willing to see potential sunsets/sunrises which could involve hiking in darkness.
- Be willing to reply to sent e-mails within 12 hrs of their issuance.
- Please be prepared to camp under primitive conditions meaning flush toilets, running water, or showers may not be available. The lower the overall weekend camping fee, the more primitive the camping will be. Once again, the camping fees will range from free to $12 per night per person.
- A carpool location in the Chapel Hill area will be chosen at a later date and will be supplied via email.
- Please split the cost of fuel with your driver.
- The drive to the New River Gorge will require driving on the West Virginia Turnpike which charges a toll fee. The fee per toll is $2.
Drive time -
- Drive time from the Chapel Hill area to the New River Bridge is about 255 miles or 4 hour 10 minute of travel time.
- Please expect to be back in the Chapel Hill area around 11pm or so on the 27th.
- Weather updates will be issued as the event nears but this event will proceed rain or shine.
- When you RSVP, please answer the series of supplied questions. Sorry, but your RSVP will be removed if the questions are not answered or ignored.
- *** IMPORTANT NOTE: It is recommended to RSVP with a laptop or home type computer. Some smartphone apps. will not display the RSVP questions.***
As always, if you should have any questions, please email me directly from my profile page @ http://www.meetup.com/Adventures/members/8448964/?a=viewBioRsvpList_control2