Uncover Hidden History in the New River Gorge, WV

History buffs, think you know it all? Dig a little deeper and discover the lesser-known side of the New River Gorge’s past.
Grist Mill Hidden HistoryHidden History Weekend spans across West Virginia, bringing together 3 historical organizations and 5 state parks to explore and share state history, Sept. 27-29.
A large portion of the events are concentrated in the New River Gorge. Here’s a sample of some of the free history events in the Gorge area:

Hawk’s Nest History Quest

1 p.m.- 3 p.m. | Friday, Sept. 27 | Hawks Nest State Park

Bring a camera, and go do some discovering for yourself on a scavenger hunt through Hawk’s Nest. Bonus: You’ll get a free ride on the aerial tram. Maybe you’ll spot a few of the items your after while you’re peering over the treetops from above?

History Round-About

11 a.m.- 3 p.m. | Saturday, Sept. 28 | Canyon Rim Visitor Center

This event is a mix hands-on historical explorations. Learn about the roots of mountain music on the dulcimer and bowed sultry, and see if you can strum your own folk tunes. Or get a look at ancient tools and old toys: see how arrowheads were carved by pre-historic people, then play with toys through the times, spanning from way-back-when to yester-year.
While you’re there, catch a presentation of “The Nation’s Most Dangerous Women” on Mother Jones. Or venture out and see some history for yourself on another scavenger hunt, this time with puzzles and clues to keep you moving along.

Haunted History Hike

7 p.m.- 9 p.m. | Saturday, Sept. 28 | Thurmond-Minden Trailhead

History can get a little creepy. As night sets in across the New River Gorge, guides will lead you down its spooky trails, and through its haunting tales. A ranger will lead your group through safe paths around the spirits and hosts, but bring a flashlight to scare off the creatures of the night… and to avoid any tripping on tree branches along the hike. The stories are scary, so you might want to leave anyone younger than 9 at home.

Movie time: Paddles of the Past

11 a.m. and 2 p.m. | Sunday, Sept. 29 | Canyon Rim Visitor Center

Not too long ago, the wilderness of the New River Gorge, and the rapids of the New and Gauley Rivers, had hardly been explored. A few adventurers realized what an amazing playground nature had created here in West Virginia, and set out to share it with everyone. How did one of the world’s top whitewater rafting destinations become the thriving lifestyle it is in the Gorge today? Find out in this 20-minute documentary.

Milling Around at Glade Creek Grist Mill

3 p.m.- 4 p.m. | Sunday, Sept. 29 | Babcock State Park’s Glade Creek Grist Mill

Get an inside look at West Virginia’s most photographed structure: The iconic Glade Creek Grist Mill. The mill, and many others like it, were an important tool for early residents of the New River Gorge. Learn how it worked, and the role it played in the community.
For the full list of events across WV, check out the Hidden History Weekend pamphlet.  The events are organized and held by the New River Gorge National River, the National Coal Heritage Area, Tamarack, along with Babcock, Carnifex Ferry Battlefield, Hawks Nest, Little Beaver, and Pipestem Resort State Parks.
Which piece of WV history are you most excited to dig into?