Bluestone National Scenic River encompasses a total area of approximately 4,310 acres of land that begirds about 77 miles of the Bluestone River. A section of the river that is about 10.5 miles was designated a national scenic river on October 26, 1988, and the protected area is today managed by the National Park Service.
To access the protected areas of the river and the land you can use several routes including a tram that takes visitors to Bluestone River from Pipestem Resort State Park to the south. Visitors can also access the protected area by using Bluestone State Park to the north.
The national scenic river and its protected land is situated close to Route 20 between Hinton and Athens in West Virginia. The primary attraction of the Bluestone National Scenic River is that the main section designated as a scenic river protects natural and historic features of the Appalachian Plateau including the deep blue limestone streambed that lends the name to the river.
The river has created a gorge that is 1,000 feet deep. Other attractions to the park include boating, fishing, horseback riding, mountain biking, and hiking. Camping is not acceptable at the park, but those that want to camp can easily access the amenities at the nearby Pipestem Resort State Park and Bluestone State Park.
As you would expect, one of the favorite activities at the Bluestone National Scenic River is white water rafting. The upper section of the Bluestone River is rated Class III-IV and is therefore just right for experienced boaters while the lower part of the river is suitable for beginning paddlers.
Visitors to the Bluestone National Scenic River that have dogs can bring them along, but as is the case in other parks, dogs need to be kept on a tight leash. More specifically, dogs should be restrained on a leash that is no longer than six feet in length and dogs should also be kept away from restricted areas of the park.