GLEN JEAN — The New River Gorge National River — in conjunction with the National Coal Heritage Area, Hinton, Bluefield, Tamarack and the state parks of Babcock, Carnifex Ferry Battlefield, Hawks Nest, Pipestem Resort and Twin Falls Resort — once again will present its Hidden History Weekend this month.
The Hidden History Weekend, scheduled for Friday, Sept. 27 through Sunday, Sept. 29, offers a wide array of free programming designed to celebrate the Appalachian heritage, sites and stories of Southern West Virginia’s history.
Hikes, bike rides, photo walks and hands-on history events highlight the weekend. All children must be accompanied by an adult for the programs.
Following is a list of the weekend’s activities.
Friday, Sept. 27
Country Roads Walk — 10 to 11:30 a.m. 1.5 miles. Meet at Pipestem Resort State Park’s Park Headquarters, Pipestem. See the area’s pre-park history on this easy walk along the road and through the woods to an old farm site.
Active SWV: Edmond Hike on Endless Wall Trail — 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. 3 miles. Meet at the Fern Creek Parking Area of the Endless Wall Trail on Lansing-Edmond Road, Lansing. Hike one of the most scenic trails in the New River Gorge to see the stunning views at Diamond Point, which includes an overview of historic Kaymoor and Nuttallburg.
Step Back to the Civil War: Carnifex Ferry Battlefield and Patterson House — 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. 1 mile. Meet at the Patterson House in Carnifex Ferry Battlefield State Park, Summersville. See the site where history happened, the Battle of Carnifex Ferry of the Civil War. Get an inside look at the historic Patterson house on this easy walk.
Haunted History Hike — 7 to 9 p.m. 2 miles. Meet at the Rend Trail parking area on Route 25 near Thurmond. Hear legends and stories from Appalachia into the dark of night. Program not recommended for children under nine years old. Bring a flashlight.
Saturday, Sept. 28
Active SWV: Cunard Bike Ride on Southside Trail — 9 to 11 a.m. 4 miles. Meet at New River Gorge National River’s Southside Trailhead one mile upstream from the Cunard River Access near Cunard. Bike along New River through remains of the historic towns of Brooklyn and Red Ash. Bring your mountain bike or one can be provided by making a bike reservation at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Red Ash-Rush Run Coal Town Hike — 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. 6 miles. Meet at New River Gorge National River’s Southside Trailhead 1 mile upstream from the Cunard River Access near Cunard. An old cemetery, building foundations, and coke ovens are all that remains of Red Ash and Rush Run. See these sites and discover more stories from this area’s early industrial times. Most of this hike will be on level terrain, be prepared for some moderate off-trail explorations. Bring water and lunch.
Walking Tour of Historic Hinton — 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. 1 mile. Meet at Summers County Visitor Center on the corner of Temple St. and 2nd Avenue, Hinton. Explore Summers County on this stroll through the Hinton Historic District. Tour stops will include the Railroad Museum, Veteran’s Museum, Campbell-Flannagan-Murrell House Museum, and other notable structures. Tour participants will receive a complimentary bag lunch following this program.
Bluestone Walk with History Bonus Hike — 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. (plus optional bonus to 1:30 pm). 2 miles (bonus adds 0.5 mile). Meet at the bottom of Pipestem Resort State Park’s tramway, Pipestem. Explore the area where the region’s earliest settlers called home in the Bluestone Gorge. Bonus: hike to an old farmstead site along the Bluestone River.
Sandstone Falls: The Story Behind the Scenery — 3:30 to 5 p.m. 1⁄2 mile. Meet at the boardwalk at Sandstone Falls on River Road near Hinton. Explore the beauty of Sandstone Falls and its rich human history, stories of the native people, early settlers, the railroad, and even George Washington. Be prepared for uneven footing on the Island Loop Trail.
Sunday, Sept. 29
Active SWV: Cunard Hike on Brooklyn Mine Trail — 9 to 11 a.m. 5.4 miles. Meet at New River Gorge National River’s Brooklyn Mine Trailhead near the top of the Cunard River Access Road, near Cunard. Hike to the site of the historic Brooklyn coal mine.
Nuttallburg Headhouse Hike — 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. 2 miles. Meet at the new Short Creek parking area on Beauty Mountain Road, Lansing. See the area’s most intact 1920s-era headhouse and coal conveyor in the New River Gorge on this hike to the historic Nuttallburg mine.
Active SWV: Prince Hike on Glade Creek Trail — 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. 3 miles. Meet at the Glade Creek Trail parking area at the end of Glade Creek Road, 6.2 miles from Route 41 near Prince. Join in on a fun hike along the banks of beautiful Glade Creek, the site of a historic railroad line once used for moving timber in the early 1900s.
Old Growth Pioneer Times Hike — 1:30 to 5:30 pm. 7 miles. Meet at New River Gorge National River's Stone Cliff Trail parking area near Thurmond. Join guide Mitchell Dech to see old-growth trees near New River. Get a better idea of what it was like for people to live and travel this area in the mid-1700s, from the Native American people to the region’s early pioneers like Mary Draper Ingles.
Hands-on History: Tools of the Coal Miner — 3:00 to 4:00 pm. Meet at New River Gorge National River's Canyon Rim Visitor Center, Lansing. Come and go as you please for this informal talk highlighting the history of coal mining in the New River Gorge. See tools used underground by coal miners of the early 1900s.
Walking Tour of Historic Bramwell — 2 to 4 p.m. Four block walk. Meet at the Coal Heritage Interpretive Center (Depot), Bramwell. Join Mayor Lou Stoker and hear stories of early coal barons and their families on this sidewalk tour of historic downtown Bramwell.
Focus Photo Walk: Thurmond — 4 to 5:30 p.m. Meet at the deck next to the Thurmond Depot Visitor Center, Thurmond. Grab your favorite camera and explore this historic railroad town through a different lens. All ages, skill levels, and cameras are welcome. Ranger Leah Perkowski-Sisk will share tips and tricks on this no-pressure photo stroll (not a technical photography program).