Trivia time! Do you know these 11 facts about the Gorge?February 24, 2017
Our wild wilderness has its quirky side.
The New River Gorge teems with history, natural curiosities and memorable landmarks. With all that activity, it’s a trivia collector’s delight!
Check out these nifty facts:
1. The New River Gorge Bridge appears on the quarter for West Virginia— an honor it swept from the Mothman.
2. Something that’s a 100 years old or more qualifies as an antique. The New River Gorge Bridge was completed in 1977, but it’s already on the National Register of Historic Places.
3. Only 6 people live in the historic town of Thurmond.
4. The New River Gorge is home to the world’s biggest BASE jumping festival: Bridge Day.
5. Hellbenders, a rare type of gigantic salamander, live in the New River Gorge. Some of these amphibians reach 2 feet long!
6. Kaymoor One, a former mine in the gorge, produced more than 16 million tons of coal during its lifetime.
7. Speaking of mines, nearly 50 coal towns once existed in the New River Gorge. You can find abandoned shafts, coke ovens and building foundations today along many local trails. Nuttallburg, one of the best preserved industrial sites in America, makes a dramatic hike.
8. Most dams are named after the towns they replace— with the exception of Summersville Dam, which flooded the community of Gad. (Get it? Gad D*m!)
9. Country singer Hank Williams died in Oak Hill. If you visit the town library, you’ll see a bronze plaque in his honor. It’s a pilgrimage site for many music fans.
10. General “Stonewall” Jackson’s mother is buried at Westlake Cemetery in Ansted.
11. The New River Gorge has record numbers of bald eagles. You can help scientists survey them in the winter, when they migrate back for nesting.
What’s your favorite bit of New River Gorge trivia?