19 things you don’t want to miss at West Virginia State Parks in 2019

How many of these fun activities can you check off your to-do list?

As the calendar turns over to a new year, it’s time to make some resolutions for the coming months. Why not resolve to take part in some of the many fun and exciting activities occurring at West Virginia state parks and forests? To get you started, here are 19 things you don’t want to miss in 2019:

1. Sledding and Skiing

Hit the slopes at Blackwater Falls State Park and experience the thrill of racing down the longest sled run on the East Coast! If you’re feeling creative, you might even want to design and build your own sled for the park’s annual Cardboard and Duct Tape Sled Race. Then head over to Canaan Valley Resort State Park for some of the best downhill skiing in the state!

2. Experience History

Get a taste of what life was hundreds of years ago with living history demonstrations at Prickett’s Fort State Park and mansion tours at Blennerhassett Island. Relive Civil War battles at Droop Mountain Battlefield and Carnifex Ferry Battlefield state parks. Or visit Tu-Endie-Wei State Park to learn about the 1774 Battle of Point Pleasant.

3. Aerial Tram Rides

Savor breathtaking views while you enjoy a tram ride into the New River Gorge at Hawks Nest State Park or the Bluestone Gorge at Pipestem Resort State Park.

4. Camping

Get close to nature with tent camping at Audra State Park or Coopers Rock State Forest. For something a little different, try yurt camping at Tomlinson Run State Park or stay overnight in the Thorny Mountain Fire Tower at Seneca State Forest.

5. Gold Rush Fever

During the week of April 2-6, lakes at several parks and forests will run with gold during the West Virginia Gold Rush. During this special trout stocking of golden rainbow trout, you can win an exclusive Gold Rush T-shirt if you catch a fish with a golden tag!

6. Unique Features

Visit some of the features unique of each park, like the Pioneer Farm at Twin Falls Resort State Park, the Wildlife Exhibit at Chief Logan State Park, the homestead at Watters Smith Memorial State Park or the Grist Mill at Babcock State Park.

7. Lodging Packages

Attend a dinner-dance or other special event at any of our 10 lodge parks, like Twin Falls or Tygart Lake state park, and take advantage of great deals on overnight accommodations.

8. Outdoor Theater

Enjoy a summer theater performance at Chief Logan’s Liz Spurlock Amphitheater. Family-friendly shows are arranged by the award-winning theater group Aracoma Story, Inc.

9. Boating

Spend an afternoon on the lake at Beech Fork, Tygart Lake, Stonewall Resort, Bluestone, Moncove Lake state parks. Bring your own boat or rent a rowboat, kayak or paddle boat from the marina.

10. Train Rides

Board an antique Shay steam engine at Cass Scenic Railroad and take a scenic trip up the mountain, where you can tour the old logging camp at Whittaker Station.

11. Guided Hikes

Take part in one of numerous guided hikes offered at our parks and forests throughout the year. You can hike by the light of the moon, study wildflowers and birds, or even trek the eight miles from Blackwater Falls to Canaan Valley during the annual Walk Between the Parks event.

12. Quest Program

Have you always wanted to try rock climbing, kayaking or mountain biking but didn’t know where to start? Sign up for the Quest Program at North Bend State Park and learn a new outdoor skill!

13. Horseback Rides

Take a guided horseback ride at Cacapon, Pipestem or Lost River state parks. Or bring your own horse to ride to ride and camp out with at Camp Creek State Park.

14. Park Dining

Dine on locally produced cuisine at a Farm to Table Dinner, solve a “whodunnit” during a Murder Mystery Dinner or take your family out for a special holiday buffet at one of our lodge restaurants.

15. Pickin’ in the Park (or on the Porch)

Sit a spell and listen to some old-timey string music or bring your own instrument and join in! Concerts are held regularly during the warmer months at Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park and on the Company Store porch at Cass Scenic Railroad State Park.

16. Spend the Night in a Cozy Cabin

There’s nothing like sitting in your cozy cabin by a warm fire on a winter night. Snap up a great deal on a cabin. Choose from rustic pioneer cabins at Kumbabrow State Forest to a variety of modern styles or even the restored company houses at Cass Scenic Railroad. Some are designated pet friendly, so you can even bring your best buddy!

17. Amazing Overlooks

Take in the view from the top ot the world, from the awe-inspiring Cranny Crow overlook at Lost River to the stunning Cheat River Canyon views at Coopers Rock to the Cacapon Mountain overlook at Cacapon Resort, where on a clear day you can see into four states!

18. Learn About Nature

Take part in a naturalist-led program to learn about wildflowers and animals native to West Virginia. Check the events calendar or contact the park to learn what’s coming up.

19. Pamper Yourself

Soak in a Roman bath or treat yourself to a massage at Berkeley Springs State Park, named for the warm spring water that flows out of the mountain at a constant temperature of 74.3 degrees.

Which activity do you plan to tackle first? Make your 2019 plans today!

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