The rugged area of the Bluestone National Scenic River was designated as a part of the National Park system in 1988. The river is named after the blue limestone that lines its bed at the river’s origin in Virginia. The park begins approximately 5 miles south of the New River Gorge National River and is managed by the same park staff as the New River Gorge National River.
The Bluestone offers hiking, biking, hunting, fishing and camping. Bluegill, smallmouth bass, and rock bass are among the river’s fish. Bobcats, otters, bears, and a variety of birds thrive in the wild area. Approximately 70% of the park allows hunting, and trapping and is managed by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources as part of the Bluestone Wildlife Management Area. The Wildlife Management Area has one of the highest wild turkey population densities in the country.
The Bluestone NSR features a 10.5 mile trail between the Bluestone State Park and Pipestem Resort State Park portions of which are within the boundaries of the Bluestone NSR. Visitors can also access the national scenic river by an aerial tramway in Pipestem State Park and a primitive road to the historic site of Lilly, a community that had to be abandoned when the Bluestone Dam was built in 1949.