Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2018 - 43
Anna Ruby Falls, Chattahoochee National Forest, Georgia.
Chimney Rock State Park, North Carolina.
tures; with handicapped accessible
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, Harpers Ferry
At West Virginia's easternmost
point the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers created a grand backdrop for some of
the nation's key historical events.
Hundreds of millions of years before human involvement, though,
the waters of today's Potomac had
started cutting through the surrounding mountains. The bedrock
layers are fascinating to explore
now, with plenty of opportunities
Beckley Exhibition Coal
The City of Beckley is proud of
its role in American coal mining,
but that industry has contracted.
These days there's less coal coming
out of the ground, but coal-country
towns have found ways to use old
coal mines and equipment for educational purposes and implemented
practices to restore damaged land as
parks. Beckley's underground mine
tour is one way to connect the past
with the future.
New River Gorge National River & New River Gorge
Bridge, Office at Glen Jean, W.Va.,
Visitor Center near Fayetteville
The New River Gorge is a national treasure, a canyon carved by an
ancient watercourse through thousands of feet of rock. Embedded in
these strata are fossils, coal seams,
and sculpted overhangs. For generations, the scope of the gorge limited
local transportation and commerce,
but a magnificent steel bridge now
spans the distance; once a year it's
Bridge Day, for pedestrians only. The
gorge is a recreational hub.
Spruce Knob - Seneca Rocks
National Recreation Area, Elkins
An otherworldly rockscape, severe and windswept, awaits visitors
who want to explore the 100,000
protected acres of this recreation
preserve within Monongahela National Forest. West Virginia's highest peak, 4,863-foot Spruce Knob,
has an observation deck for getting
the big picture. Also noteworthy are
the specialized plant communities
that have found ways to survive the
grueling climate conditions.
Tygart River Dam and Lake,
Tygart River Dam is emblematic
of the many flood-control projects
that helped tame the wild rivers
of Appalachia and make life better
for residents. The interesting twist
at this dam is the chance to take a
summertime tour of its operations;
reservations are required and nonU.S. citizens must provide 30 days'
notice. Any time of year there are
trails at the adjacent state park for
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