This is a good weekend to take a hike, and it’s an especially good weekend to hike at Pipestem Resort State Park in Summers County.
Winter hiking is unique because the landscape has a different feel to it this time of year, before spring greening. If you’re a nature lover looking for an adventure, head to Pipestem State Park, where naturalist Julie McQuade has scheduled several guided nature hikes this weekend. No registration or fees required. Just show up, bring some hiking shoes, wear weather-appropriate clothing and head out on the trails.
Here’s what Pipestem is offering hikers over the next few days:
Thursday, Feb. 23
The Country Roads Walk. Hikers will depart from Pipestem State Park Headquarters at 2 p.m. for a walking introduction to some of Pipestem’s pre-park history.
Friday, Feb. 24
McQuade’s Bird Walk. Hikers will depart from the Pipestem Nature Center at 10 a.m. for a 1-hour quest to spot some of our feathered friends. There will be a limited number of binoculars to use, so bring your own if you have them. All skill levels welcome.
Saturday, Feb. 25
The Bald Eagle Caravan. Hikers will meet in the lobby of McKeever Lodge at 10 a.m. for car transportation to Bluestone Lake, where they will observe local bald eagles and other birds. There will be some binoculars available, but please bring your own if you have them. The event should last about an hour-and-a-half.
There also will be a Nature Hunt at the Nature Center at 2 p.m. Get a list of things to find outside around the nature center. If you find all the items, you’ll win a prize!
Sunday, Feb. 26
The Great Backyard Bird Count. You can join the bird count at Pipestem, from 10:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Meet at the Nature Center, and join McQuade and other visitors as they watch and count many bird species. Collected data will be submitted to Project FeederWatch to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and to the West Virginia Winter Bird Count for the West Virginia Wildlife Diversity Program. Learn more about The Great Backyard Bird Count by clicking HERE.
Hike at Pipestem Anytime!
If you can’t make it this weekend, no need to worry. Pipestem’s trails are open for hiking any time during park operating hours.
All of these hikes and walks can be applied to the 2017 Chief’s Challenge. State Parks Chief Sam England is challenging people all ages to hike 100 miles (or more) in 2017 on a West Virginia State Park or State Forest trail. Out of those 100 miles, 17 should come during hikes, walks or strolls led by a state park naturalist or activities coordinator.
Other hiking events and daily activities at Pipestem and other state parks are posted on the State Parks Event Calendar at www.wvstateparks.com. For more information about this weekend’s special hikes and other events at Pipestem Resort State Park, contact McQuade at 304-466-1800 Ext. 344.