Bluestone National Scenic River

History

The Bluestone River, named for the deep blue limestone streambed of its upper reaches in Virginia, has created a gorge 1,000 feet deep. The bottomland within the gorge was first used by American Indians.

In the late 1700s, the Lilly, Meadow, and Farley families built homesteads along the river. At the confluence of the Bluestone and Little Bluestone rivers, the community of Lilly flourished. The Bluestone Turnpike, a riverbank road used by those who farmed and timbered the area until the 1940s, is used today by visitors to the park.