As our workplaces have become engulfed in technology, our grandchildren's playtime is seemingly controlled by electronics, and young families struggle to find quality time together, it's time to rediscover that getting outside is still as rewarding today as ever
Charleston, WV (Vocus) April 9, 2009
West Virginia state parks, forests and wildlife management areas provide many spring weather opportunities for outdoor recreation, including camping, hiking, golf, fishing, and vacation getaways. West Virginia is an affordable vacation option close enough to major populations but far enough away to be a true travel destination.
"As our workplaces have become engulfed in technology, our grandchildren's playtime is seemingly controlled by electronics, and young families struggle to find quality time together, it's time to rediscover that getting outside is still as rewarding today as ever," said Frank Jezioro, Director of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (WVDNR).
Stay in touch with West Virginia and the great outdoors. RSS feeds are available for West Virginia State Parks events, trout stocking reports, and news releases. Sign up here: http://www.wvdnr.gov/RSS_Feeds.shtm.
West Virginia State Parks and Forests has 20 areas that offer reservable sites from the Thursday prior to Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day and six areas that are totally first come/first served.
Campgrounds are generally open from mid-April to mid-October, with some extending into hunting seasons. Canaan Valley, Pipestem, and Stonewall resorts and Beech Fork State Park offer year-round options. Others allow camping if weather permits. Visit online http://www.wvstateparks.com for reservation applications and contact information.
Rustic campsites are available at many wildlife management areas near public hunting areas. Hunting is not permitted on state parks, but is allowed in state forests and designated wildlife management areas. Visit http://www.wvdnr.gov for information.
More than 800 miles of hiking trails are maintained within the state park system. Whether is it the view from Cranny Crow at Lost River in Hardy County, the Woodpecker Trail at Chief Logan, or Potato Knob Trail at Holly River in Webster County, every step rewards hikers with lush vegetation, history or scenery.
Two rail trails are railroad grades now maintained as multi-purpose trails for hiking, bicycling, and equestrian travel. The North Bend trail is 72 miles long and features 13 tunnels and 36 bridges. The Greenbrier River Trail is 78 miles long and is close to Greenbrier and Seneca state forests, Watoga, Droop Mountain Battlefield and Cass Scenic Railroad state parks.
Many individual parks offer special hikes during National Trails Day, scheduled this year on Saturday, June 6. Events are posted to wvstateparks.com under "Hikes and Walks."
Golfers of every proficiency can find a challenge at five championship courses at Cacapon, Canaan Valley, Pipestem, Stonewall and Twin Falls resort. These parks offer 18-hole courses and overnight packages at their year-round lodges and pro shops. Affordable golf packages are available at North Bend and Tygart Lake in partnership with area courses. Find information at wvstateparks.com under "Golf with Us."
WVDNR's fishing programs includes cold and warm water fisheries, management, trout and catfish stocking programs and, most importantly, an opportunity to go fishing.
Fishing packages are available at North Bend State Park and Greenbrier State forest, among others.
Streams, ponds, rivers and lakes open to the public have species such as channel catfish, walleye, trout, and bass. Don't forget to buy a fishing license, and kids 14 and younger fish for free. More information can be found at wvdnr.gov or in the West Virginia Fishing Regulations pamphlet.
Getaways and Vacations
West Virginia has an abundance of great outdoor attractions and vacation destinations.
- Equestrian enthusiasts will enjoy Camp Creek State Park with the Double C - Horse and Rider Campground. Bring your horse.
- Quiet camping and fishing fun are at Cedar Creek and Audra state parks.
- Beartown State Park is a wonderful day-use park and is close to Droop Mountain and Watoga state parks.
- Twin Falls is expanding its lodge from 20 to 48 rooms to compliment its golf course, hiking trails, Pioneer Farm and cabins, and it continues as one of the best getaway opportunities in West Virginia.
- Photography workshops are scheduled at parks across the state during the different seasons, providing great opportunities for shutterbugs of all experience levels.
- From bird and eagle watching, to observing white-tailed deer, turkey, chipmunks, squirrels in their natural habitat, to the West Virginia Wildlife Center in French Creek, the state abounds with wildlife for viewing.
"We maintain the places where people and nature meet for vacation, for fun, for outdoor sport, and for a better quality of life," says Jezioro. "You can't do better than to make West Virginia state parks, forests and wildlife areas part of your travel plans."
Public Information Officer
(304) 558-2003 ext. 365