FAYETTEVILLE, WV (WOAY) – U.S. Senators, Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito were in town Wednesday, to officially mark a new beginning at what is now called, The New River Gorge National Park and Preserve.

Manchin and Capito marked the historic day with the unveiling of a new sign. The New River Gorge National Park and Preserve is America’s 63rd and newest National Park.

“We’ve allowed for years and years and years for people to define us,” Manchin said. “They didn’t know us, never come to our state, had no idea who we were. And defined us in sometimes the most unflattering terms. He also told the people gathered for the unveiling that. We have a chance now to show them who we really are and this park is basically a window to West Virginia, and I’m so appreciative and pleased to be apart of it. This is a new turn for the state of West Virginia and within the next two years, we’re going to see a wild and wonderful transformation which will in turn bring more visitors to see what all West Virginia has to offer.”

“We’ve got a whole big, broad east coast out here that is looking to come and visit and not go to the congested maybe areas of the past where they used to vacation and look for a different experience and we’re going to give one to them”, Capito said.

New road signs are expected to be up by memorial day and you’ll start to see even more markers within the year.

National Park and Preserve Superintendent, Lizzie Watts said, “We’re just showing the rest of the world the gem that we already knew.”

What was once just a national river is now paired with a national park. It is a great way to kick off the summer.

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