Natural History of Plants and Birds Weekend

Blackwater Falls State Park is one of West Virginia’s best birdwatching regions near: Canaan Valley Resort State Park, Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Dolly Sods Wilderness Area and Otter Creek Wilderness Area and features an abundance of flora.

Led by nature experts Bill Beatty and Janice Runyan of Wellsburg, WV and Park Naturalist Paulita Cousin, the weekend is all about the Natural History for Plants and Birds .  The activities are designed for both birders and plant enthusiast to appreciate the natural history of our plants and  explore for  birds of scenic mountain habitats.   Registration is required and the field trips are unique and limited to 20 participants.   The fee is $40.  Contact [email protected] for registration and information.

Friday, July 31

  • 1:30 p.m. Registration and welcome at Blackwater Falls Lodge Lobby
  • 3 p.m.  The Making of Dolly Sods. Presentation with Jan Runyan.
  • 7 p.m. “West Virginia Plants that Changed the World.”  We will learn about five common but amazing plants that shaped the history of the world.  Three are native to West Virginia and two are introductions from Europe, but have been in West Virginia for hundreds of years.  You have seen them all, but never knew…

Saturday, August 1

  • 8 a.m. Dolly Sods Trip. This trip will include numerous stops to experience the plants, birds, and beauty of the Dolly Sods Wilderness and Scenic areas.  Scheduled stops include:  Rohrbaugh Plains Trail/Dolly Sods Picnic Area, Northland Loop Trail, Allegheny Front Migration Observatory overlook, Bear Rocks Nature Preserve and serendipitous stops to examine specific wildflowers, trees, and non-flowering plants and fungi.  Enjoy unusual Canada-type nature on the highest plateau east of the Mississippi River
  • 7 p.m. Avian Conservation Center of Appalachia. The Avian Conservation Center for Appalachia’s mission is to conserve our region’s wild birds through research, education, and rehabilitation. This interactive presentation, featuring several live, non-releasable birds, will discuss the important role birds play in healthy ecosystems as well as the natural histories of the educational birds. Bring your cameras and questions! Program is at Blackwater Falls Lodge. Open to the public. Please wear a face mask when attending indoor programs.

Sunday, August 2

  • 9 a.m. Idleman’s Run Trail. We will explore this beautiful 4/10 mile trail located in the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge.  The emphasis of this walk will be the natural history of all that we find – birds, wildflowers and non-flowering plants.  Even though this trail is short it is quite beautiful with an interesting variety of wild treasures.

All field trip travel is by personal vehicle. Please, have adequate fuel in your vehicle prior to departure time.  All tours depart from Blackwater Falls Lodge.  Pack layers of clothing and rain gear.   Boots recommended.  Evening Program and Birding Essential location to be announced at registration.

Accommodations are available at Blackwater Falls State Park for an additional cost. Booking a room or cabin does not register participation in the field trip activities. Email Naturalist and Birder, [email protected] with any questions regarding activities, what to wear or to bring for the weekend or to have a registration form emailed or mailed to you.

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Event Details

  • Start Date: July 31 - August 2, 2020
  • End Date: August 2, 2020

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