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West Virginia State Parks offer hikes, historic tours this holiday weekend

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Hikers and a park ranger enjoy a walk along the Bluestone River. National Park Service photo. Hikers and a park ranger enjoy a walk along the Bluestone River. National Park Service photo.
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This holiday weekend, families can enjoy ranger-guided tours and hikes along the Bluestone River hosted by the National Park Service on July 5 and 6.

On Saturday at 10 a.m., adventurers can meet at the Pipestem Resort State Park tramway, located at 3405 Pipestem Drive in Pipestem, to participate in either the Bluestone Walk or Bluestone Turnpike Hike.

The Bluestone Walk is a 2-mile walk within the Bluestone National Scenic River, which lasts until 11:30 a.m. Attendees are to bring $2 for the return tram ride.

For free, hikers can take the 10-mile Bluestone Turnpike Hike until 4 p.m. Hikers will travel with a ranger along the Bluestone Turnpike Trail, which runs along the Bluestone River to Bluestone State Park. The Park Service recommends that participants wear sturdy hiking shoes, and bring lunch and plenty of water. Call 304-466-0417 to make a reservation for the hike.

For those interested in learning some history about one of the New River Gorge’s most renowned towns, the Park Service is hosting a half-mile ranger-guided tour on both Saturday and Sunday. Beginning at 11 a.m., participants can meet a ranger at the Thurmond Depot Visitor Center, located at County Route 25/2 in Thurmond, for an informal tour of this once bustling railroad town, hearing stories of days gone by.

For directions, visit the Thurmond Depot website or call 304-465-8550.

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