Sitting along a 10.5-mile stretch of the Bluestone River in West Virginia, Bluestone National Scenic River is home to diverse plants and animals and features beautifully carved landscapes. As part of the Wild and Scenic Rivers system in the US, Bluestone National Scenic River offers memorable experiences for visitors, ranging from water-related pursuits, to hiking adventures and scenic viewing opportunities.
At Bluestone National Scenic River, visitors can paddle on Bluestone River to amazing spots where the landscapes in the area come into full view. Visitors can equally enjoy angling for game and non-game fish species in the river. Ranger-led programs are also on hand to provide insights into the geological, cultural, natural, and historical aspects of the park. During hunting season, visitors with appropriate fishing licenses can enjoy hunting within around 70% of the park’s areas open to hunting and trapping. Bird viewing and nature observation, as well as wildlife watching are other ways to stay active and have fun in the park.
The Bluestone River is classified as a High-Quality Warm Water Stream by the state of West Virginia. Camping is not allowed within Bluestone National Scenic River but you can stay overnight in your RV at nearby Bluestone State Park or Pipestem State Park.
Located between Athens and Hinton in West Virginia, Bluestone National Scenic River is accessible via Bluestone State Park and Pipestem Resort State Park. Access from Bluestone State Park is along the Old Mill Campground road, while you can connect the park by an aerial tram from Pipestem Resort State Park.
There are no designated RV parking spaces available at Bluestone National Scenic River.
There are no direct public transportation services to Bluestone National Scenic River.
Located about 12 miles south of Bluestone National Scenic River, along Bluestone River, Pipestem State Park features 82 campsites available for RVs and tents. 31 campsites in the park’s campground are equipped with full hookup options (electric, water, and sewer hookups) for RVs, while 19 campsites have electric hookups only.
Maximum RV length within the campground is 25 feet, however if you have a larger rig, you should contact the park ahead to find out if there is space available. Amenities within the campground include laundry, bathhouses, a playground, and a store.
Campsites are available by reservation and open year-round. You can stay up to 14 consecutive days.
Bluestone State Park, located about 8 miles north of Bluestone National Scenic River, along Bluestone River, features 120 campsites within four campgrounds. A total of 76 campsites within two campgrounds can accommodate RVs up to 40 feet in length. Seven campsites offer electric and water hookups for RVs while 15 sites are equipped with electric hookups only. Bathhouses are available for campers.
Reservations are accepted for the campgrounds, and you can stay up to 14 days.
Paddling the Bluestone River is a refreshing activity at Bluestone National Scenic River. You may not necessarily find the waters thrilling, but you’ll definitely find that they lead to majestically beautiful scenery and wonderful settings. As you paddle the river, you’ll escape civilization and take in nature and river views.
Because the water levels are usually low, it may be quite challenging to find the perfect time to paddle on the river, especially in summer. So, take the opportunity when you have it.
The extreme topographic conditions in the Bluestone National Scenic River area are responsible for the diverse floral species occurring here. The plant species flourish in a range of habitats and microclimates, and vary from deciduous forests in upland areas to mixed conifer-deciduous forests in riparian areas.
At elevations above 2,000 feet, basswood, yellow birch, maple, and pine are common. Elevations lower than 2000 feet in the area, however, feature oak, poplar, hickory, and flowering dogwood.
Exciting ranger-led programs are available at Bluestone National Scenic River for visitors. The most popular ranger-led activities are the Bluestone National Scenic River Walk and the Bluestone Turnpike Hike.
Bluestone National Scenic River Walk is an easy two mile round trip stroll that begins at the bottom of the tramway at Pipestem Resort State Park and takes hikers along the Bluestone River where they can enjoy the sight of the flora and fauna in the area. Bluestone Tumpike Hike, on the other hand, is 9.5 miles long, and also offers exploratory opportunities for hikers.
Fishing is a very popular activity for visitors at Bluestone River, with smallmouth bass, rock bass, and blue gill being the favorite catches in the area. Other fish species in the river include crappie, suckers, and minnows. Anglers in the area are asked to exercise safety precautions and show proper respect for the river and its resources while fishing.
Make sure you have any of the necessary permits and licenses before you try to catch your dinner.
The mixed hardwood forests, cliffs, old fields, and rivers in the Bluestone National Scenic River area serve as home to a wide variety of bird species that find food, water, and shelter in these places. During spring and summer, great-blue herons, belted kingfishers, scarlet tanagers, Louisiana waterthrushes, and wood warblers are commonly seen along the river. Bald eagles and ospreys are also frequently seen in large numbers. The Wildlife Management Area is also popular as a home for wild turkeys.
Featuring wonderful wildlife habitats, Bluestone National Scenic River consists of lands open to hunting and trapping. Visitors and hunters are allowed to hunt in about 70% of the park’s area managed as part of the Bluestone Wildlife Management Area. To hunt in this area, a West Virginia state hunting license is required. State hunting regulations also apply.
During hunting season, visitors are advised to wear orange clothing within the park. The WV Department of Natural Resources Hunter Education Program provides information on safe hunting practices.