The United States’ newest National Park is also home to Get Active in the Park, a cooperative partnership between the National Parks Service and Active Southern West Virginia that seeks to empower our community to see outdoor spaces as a place for health and wellness to take place!

First established as a National River in 1978, the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve is a 113 square mile area stretching from Hinton to Ansted. It provides some of the most breathtaking scenery you can find in North America and features the eponymous bridge and dozens of trails. If you’re not sure where to start, be sure to head over to Active SWV’s website calendar to see when guided hikes are taking place!

If you’d rather go out for a small outing with friends and family, there is plenty to do on your own. Touted as one of some of the best whitewater rafting in North America, the Gorge features rapids ranging from simple Class I to challenging Class V. Beyond that, rock climbing the sandstone cliffs of the lower gorge has attracted world class athletes for decades while numerous waterfalls and campgrounds along the river provide easy and accessible outdoor adventures to the whole family.

Founded in 2014 with support from the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority, Active SWV serves a six-county region that includes Nicholas, Fayette, Raleigh, Summers, Boone, and Kanawha counties. Everyone within the organization is excited to share our mission with the residents of southern West Virginia and local community leaders. 

In fact, we are actively searching for members in Fayette and Summers Counties that would be interested in leading physical activity programs for their friends and family in the New River Gorge as part of our Get Active in the Park partnership. Training and the cost of certification are covered by Active SWV. Training includes risk management, CPR/First Aid, group dynamics, and activity promotion. Past activities have included hiking & walking groups, tai chi, water aerobics, stand up paddle boarding, and more! The possibilities are endless!

If you or someone you know is interested in free training to offer physical activity programs in Fayette or Summers County, please call 304-254-8488 or email Erin Reid at [email protected]