At the beginning of 2016, West Virginia State Parks Chief Sam England issued a challenge to hikers of all ages: Hike 100 miles or more on state park or forest trails within the calendar year!
As 2016 draws to a close, Chief England is preparing a celebration around the completion of his challenge. All Chief’s Challenge participants are invited to a weekend of outdoor activities (including hikes!) at Blackwater Falls State Park. The event is planned for November 11-13, 2016. A second event is scheduled for December 3 at Pipestem Resort State Park.
Here’s the schedule for the Chief’s Challenge Bonfire Weekend. All events are free!
Friday, November 11
All events will be held at the Harold Walters Nature Center from 1 to 5 p.m.
- 1:30 p.m. – Black Bears and You! A great program presented by naturalist Paulita Cousin.
- 3 p.m. – Join us for artisan crafts and crafting activities.
- 5 p.m. – Sunset stroll at Pendleton Point Overlook.
Saturday, November 12
- 6 p.m. – Early evening bonfire at the recreation building. Roast some marshmallows and listen to (or tell) tales about hiking in state parks. There may be some hot cocoa and live music available, too.
Sunday, November 13
- 8 a.m. – Grab a coffee and join us for a “Bird Sit and Watch” at the overlook behind Blackwater Falls Lodge.
- 10:30 a.m. – Take a walk along the Elakala Trail with Park Naturalist Paulita Cousin, beginning at the lodge lobby.
Overnight stays at the lodge are encouraged for full enjoyment of the Chief’s Challenge celebration.
Here’s a preview of the Chief’s Challenge event at Pipestem Resort State Park on December 3. All events are free!
Saturday, December 3
- 9 a.m. – Bird Walk with Naturalist Julie McQuade. Meet at the McKeever Lodge lobby.
- 11 a.m. – Lake Shore Hike with Kim Hawkins. Meet at the McKeever Lodge lobby.
- 12:30-4:30 p.m. – Nature Center open
- 4 p.m. – Cane Shield Craft in the Dogwood Room
- 6-9 p.m. – Early evening bonfire at the campground. Roast some marshmallows and listen to and tell tales about hiking in state parks. There may be some hot cocoa and live music, too. Bring a seat if you like.
- 7 p.m. – Chief’s remarks and greetings.
Make overnight reservations today.