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Bluestone National Scenic River




Location: Mercer and Summers counties   Map

Length: 10.5-mile (16.9 km)

Elevation: 1,637 ft (499 m)





Description of Bluestone National Scenic River

Bluestone National Scenic River is a picturesque river that carved through a gorge in the Mercer and Summers counties of the South West Virginia. Protected reserve of Bluestone National Scenic River covers a length of 10.5-mile (16.9 km) of its flow through southern Appalachian Mountains. First people settled these lands during Ice Age. Paleo- Indians who hunted mammoth, mastodon and other mega fauna that lived in the valley. Later they were replaced by the native tribes of Cherokee, Delaware and Shawnee. One of the distinguishing features of this park is lack of human presence along much of its length. You won't see roads or houses for most of its flow. The best ways to access is by entering through Bluestone State Park at downstream location or at upstream end in the Pipestem Resort State Park.




Recreation and access

Because Bluestone National Scenic River lies in a deep gorge with no immediate road access, getting to the area can be challenging. The best means of access is at its ends. At the downstream end, guests can enter through Bluestone State Park. At the upstream end, visitors can ride the seasonal aerial tram at Pipestem Resort State Park to reach the bottom of the gorge.

A hiking trail, the Bluestone Turnpike Trail, runs the length of the National Scenic River at the bottom of Bluestone Gorge. There are limited opportunities for canoeing and kayaking, with the spring paddling season most likely to provide adequate water levels. The Pipestem Tram will transport canoes and kayaks as well as bicycles for an additional charge.

Fishing is a popular activity along the Bluestone, with game fish such as smallmouth bass and bluegill being favored in the area. Hunting is also permitted in Bluestone Gorge; visitors should wear appropriate blaze-orange clothing during hunting seasons.





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