Fall fun kicks into high gear during October. West Virginia State Parks celebrate “Park-tober” by offering a wide variety of special events to appeal to everyone from leaf peepers to rail riders.
Temperatures are cool, the leaves are at their most colorful and life is just more relaxed – a great time to visit state parks. Here are just a few Park-tober offerings:
View fall foliage on foot or afloat
Pipestem Resort State Park staff will lead you on a free walk around the arboretum, cabin areas and Long Branch Lake for a bird and wildlife identification adventure on October 2 at 9 a.m. (304) 466-1800.
Beech Fork State Park offers an unusual way to view fall foliage – from a kayak. Every Sunday in October, instruction and tours for kayaking and canoeing will be provided at Beech Fork Lake. The cost is $38 for kayaks and $22 for canoes per person. Call (304) 528-5794 to reserve a spot.
North Bend State Park provides an opportunity to experience fall colors during a free 10-mile guided hike on the North Bend Rail Trail on October 8 at 8:15 a.m. Besides the beautiful views, you’ll also explore historic landmarks along the way. Bring a flashlight for the tunnels! Register by October 2 at (304) 643-2931 to secure shuttle service.
Cass Scenic Railroad State Park’s monthly Full Moon Hike is October 16 at 7 p.m. Visitors are encouraged to experience the outdoors in the chilly fall weather for a free nighttime guided hike on the nearby Greenbrier River Trail. Call (304) 465-4300 for information.
View fall foliage by train or boat
Tygart Lake State Park gives train enthusiasts a chance to view beautiful fall foliage while riding the New Tygart Flyer on a four-hour round trip that departs from the Elkins Depot. Lunch will be served on the train. Seating is limited. Call (304) 255-6144 to make reservations.
Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park closes out its 2016 season with a relaxing country-style dinner during its Fall Dinner Cruise aboard the sternwheeler Island Belle on October 22. Board at Parkersburg’s Point Park. The cost for the dinner and cruise on the Ohio River is $27 for adults and $21 for youth. Call (304) 420-4800 to make reservations.
Cass Scenic Railroad State Park’s rail season continues its regular day runs in October and will offer its annual Halloween Haunted Train on October 29 at 6 p.m. with a night ride to Whittaker Station for a hot dog roast. To reserve tickets, call (877) 686-7245. Arrive earlier for a Halloween Celebration in the town of Cass, including a costume contest, the Haunted Company House and refreshments.