LANSING, WV (WVNS)– New River Gorge National Park and Preserve celebrated the Burnwood Trail as an old-growth forest.

The Burnwood Trail is getting inducted into the Old-Growth Forest Network after recent research confirmed roughly 12 acres of forest having trees that were established before the 19th century. The ceremony was on Friday, August 4, 2023, at 2 p.m., and discussed the work of Dr. Tom Saladyga and his students from Concord University, along with the importance of this finding to the park.

The research, led by Dr. Tom Saladyga from Concord University is celebrated along with the old growth of the trail itself. New River Gorge Park Ranger Chance Raso, said the trail is a fine example of what the original forests looked like.

“We have trees that are over 350 years old and this is already on an established trail right next to the new River Gorge Bridge. So, it’s a really accessible trail for people to come out here and see what the original forests looked like.”

Chance Raso, New River Gorge National Park and Preserve Park Ranger

Along with the ceremony, there was an optional hike down the trail for those who attended.