GLEN JEAN, W.Va. (AP) — The New River Gorge National Park and Preserve is beginning summer operating hours with visitor centers open seven days a week, Superintendent Lizzie Watts said in a news release.

The Canyon Rim and Sandstone visitor centers will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; the Grandview Visitor Center will be open from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.; and the Thurmond Visitor Center will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

In addition, ranger guided walks and talks will begin soon along with guided hikes, guided bike rides, paddleboard programs, and other outdoor activities. Visitors can follow "Get Active in the Park" on social media for more information about these free activities.

Watts encouraged visitors to help avoid crowding by planning trips for less busy times. For hikers, she suggests have an alternate trail in mind in case their first choice is too busy.

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