GLEN JEAN, W.Va. — West Virginia leaders on Friday unveiled new highway signage for the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve while also recognizing the recent attention toward the park.
The U.S. Congress approved the designation last December.
According to state Secretary of Tourism Chelsea Ruby, the state welcomed more than three million visitors in June in part because of the designation. Time magazine on Tuesday named the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve one of the world’s greatest places for this year, noting the recreational opportunities for climbers, rafters and BASE jumpers.
U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., said during a ceremony that lawmakers did not spurn the effort.
“It really came from a lot of you that are in the audience today,” she said. “It was a dream of this region of West Virginia. It was a dream of those who loved the river and love our beautiful landscapes who came to both me and Sen. (Joe) Manchin and said can you make this happen.”
Rep. Carol Miller, R-W.Va., led an effort in the House of Representatives to get the designation approved.
“This is such a beautiful, beautiful spot,” she said. “But to be able to have both Fayetteville and Hinton as these wonderful small towns welcoming people from all over the world … they are making memories in West Virginia.”
The state Division of Highways will install 87 new signs across three counties beginning Monday.