Martin Luther King, Jr., Weekend

Blackwater Falls encourages a longer visit on MLK weekend, a state and federal holiday. Bring the family, gather your friend to take advantage of interpretive, recreational and special programs this weekend.

FRIDAY, January 17, 2019

10:00 a.m. Beginners Intro to Cross Country Skiing Join Paulita Cousin, park naturalist, inside the Sled Run building at Ski/equipment rental counter. This program will be converted to an interpretive hike if trail conditions are not favorable for cross country skiing. Please, arrive early to rent ski equipment. 1-2 hours. YPP

3:00 p.m. Winter at Blackwater Falls State Park Meet one of West Virginia’s top nature interpreters, Paulita Cousin, park naturalist, in Blackwater Falls Lodge. Learn about the park, historical notes and ask questions. About 1 hour. YPP

SATURDAY, January 18, 2019

Nature Center Open: 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

1:30 p.m. Awesome Snakes Join the park naturalist, Paulita Cousin in the Nature Center to learn about West Virginia’s snakes. Live Eastern Rat Snake is highlighted during the presentation and perhaps an eastern milk snake. About 1 hour. YPP

3:00 p.m. Introduction to Winter Survival Explore safe ways to winter hike and how to survive an unexpected night out. About 1 hour in the Nature Center. YPP

5:00 p.m. Wintering Trees Join the park naturalist at the Gentle Trail for this walk along a section of River Road exploring wintering trees found in the park. About 70 minutes. 1 mile. Pet Friendly Walk. Pets must be on leash. YPP

7:00 p.m. Celtic Storytellers!! A special evening program at Blackwater Falls Tandem storytellers, Susanna Holstein and Judi Tarowsky bring fascinating Celtic tales to life at Blackwater Falls State Park Lodge. The show is sure to delight and perhaps send shivers down the spines of audiences of all ages. Selkies, bogles, boggarts, black dogs, fairies, dragons, ballads and more create the magical mystical web of stories to be heard and enjoyed. Celtic Stories Evening is open the public compliments of Blackwater Falls and WVDNR.

SUNDAY, January 19, 2019

Nature Center Open: 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

2:00 p.m. Tracks in the Snow Paulita meets you at the Nature Center. We often miss the animals as they have invariably seen us first and reacted to our presence, usually by fleeing. Signs of wildlife bring us closer to the normal habits and perceptions of the animals’ world. Animal locomotion is complex but identifying a track can be thrilling and challenging fun. Learn about some of the animals found at Blackwater Falls in the winter, their tracks, trail patterns and habits . About 1 hour. YPP

5:00 p.m. Yips, Hoots and Howls Walk Join the park naturalist at the Campground office to explore the park at night. Please, leave the flashlight in your pocket for this program. Easy walking. About 1 hour. YPP

7:00 p.m. Dark Skies! Join the park naturalist, Paulita Cousin, to learn about light pollution, then venture outside to look up at the stars. About 1 hour at the Nature Center. YPP

MONDAY, January 20, 2019

Nature Center Open: 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

10:00 a.m. Winter’s Birds and Abandoned Nests Only a relative few species of birds sufficiently adapted to survive the cold winters in West Virginia. Birds’ nests are more obvious during the winter than any other season. Birds can be enjoyed even by the beginner; there is no need to learn the names of all the birds to enjoy birds. Join the park naturalist, Paulita Cousin, to explore wintering birds found in the park and signs others leave behind in the Nature Center. YPP

12:00 p.m. Dutch Oven Campfire & Sled Craft Join the park naturalist, at Sled Run, to enjoy a campfire favorite. Craft fee: 0.94¢ + tax ($1.00). YPP

TUESDAY, January 21, 2019

10:00 a.m. Woodland Evergreen Plants Representing a large variety in the plant kingdom, these evergreen plants contrast strongly in the winter. Join the park naturalist to participate in this interpretive walk along trails near the Nature Center. About 1 hour, 1 mile. YPP

12:00 p.m. Bust n’ Boom Walk Join park naturalist, Paulita Cousin, at the Gentle Trail for this easy walk to an overlook of the falls while learning a little of the area history. About 40 minutes. YPP

What is YPP? Open to all ages but activity qualifies as one of the three program requirements for children ages 6-16 to earn YPP Patch or Rattlesnake Pin. Ask the Park Naturalist for details when visiting.

Activities organized and offered by the park naturalist are free to attend unless indicated. Paulita welcomes youth and families. The sled run at Blackwater Falls is awesome outdoor recreation. Fee based 2-hour sledding sessions are bookable online at www.blackwaterfalls.com. If you want more winter recreation, Canaan Valley Resort features an enormous tubing park and over 40 downhill ski slopes.

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Event Details

  • Start Date: January 17 - 21, 2020
  • End Date: January 21, 2020

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