When people from outside of West Virginia think of the Mountain State, they are constantly drawn to the scenery and diverse nature offered down every country road.
However, what some may not realize, is that they may come across one of the oldest country rivers in the world.
The New River, which flows through both West Virginia and Virginia, is not as new as its name portrays.
According to the National Parks Conservation Association, the New River is estimated to be anywhere from 260 to 375 million years old. This makes the New River the oldest river in North America. When looking abroad at other rivers around the world, the New River still remains in the top-5 oldest rivers at the number four spot.
This means the river was formed before the Triassic Period nearly 252 million years ago.
Many point to the New River Gorge Bridge when a thought of the New River pops up. However, the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve houses only 53 miles of the river that originates south of the Mountain State.
New River Basin Documents state how the river begins in northwestern North Carolina before flowing through southwest Virginia and along side country roads in West Virginia before joining the Gauley River to help spawn the Kanawha River.
The New River has grown alongside the land and people that inhabit the surrounding regions. Many spend time whitewater rafting or even just floating in the same river that their loved ones did many generations before. The New River was there long before West Virginia and will be there long after we are all gone.
One thing is for sure, while country roads will always take you home, country rivers will take you back in time.