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New River Gorge National Park and Preserve, West Virginia

Tim Pennington / Getty Images.

New River Gorge National Park and Preserve spans over 70,000 acres in West Virginia, protecting one of the oldest rivers in the Americas. The gorge can be traced back 500 million years to water draining from the slopes of the newly formed Appalachian Mountains. Because the river is so old, unique plant and animal species, including several endemic fish species, have established stable habitats there.

Rock climbers love the park’s sandstone cliffs with their jagged and rough facade. And the whitewater rapids provide some of the wildest rafting on the East Coast.

—Prepared by the World Tribune staff

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