5 must-do spring activities at West Virginia State Parks

Get ready for warmer weather by planning the perfect spring trip.

Spring is almost here! In a matter of weeks, birds will be singing, flowers will start to bloom and you’ll finally be able to get outside, enjoy some sunshine and kick those winter blues. Lucky for you, West Virginia State Parks has the cure. These 5 must-do activities are sure to put a “spring” in your step and a song in your heart.

Wildflower Walks

The woods and fields of West Virginia are bursting with color in spring. Take a hike and look for brightly hued wildflowers like marsh marigold, wild blue phlox and Indian paintbrush. Pick up a trail map and venture out on your own or join one of several guided walks. Popular annual events include the Sue Browning Wildflower Hike at Chief Logan State Park, the Osbra Eye Memorial Wildflower Walks at Kanawha State Forest and the Wildflower Pilgrimage at Blackwater Falls State Park.

Waterfall Wonders

Early spring is the ideal time for waterfall viewing. Spring rains and snow melt increase the water flow, and the mountain streams run crisp and clear. Pack a picnic lunch and head to Valley Falls State Park, Twin Falls Resort State Park, Holly River State Park and of course, the aforementioned Blackwater Falls for some prime waterfall watching.

Hooked on fishing

Fishing is one of the most popular outdoor activities in the Mountain State, and West Virginia’s state parks and forests are regularly stocked with trout, bass, bluegill and other sport fish, making them some of the best places to reel in a big catch. And this spring, they’ll be even better thanks to the return of the West Virginia Gold Rush on April 1-6. While getting a fish to bite requires some skill and a little luck, casting a line in stocked waters gives you and your family a better chance to catch a fish. If you don’t have a current fishing license, you can purchase one online at www.wvhunt.com.

Camping Returns

With spring comes the return of camping at West Virginia’s state parks and forests. And you won’t find camping like this anywhere else! Get close to nature with tent camping at Audra State Park or Coopers Rock State Forest or hook up the RV at Beech Fork State Park For something a little different, try yurt camping at Tomlinson Run State Park or stay overnight in the Thorny Mountain Fire Tower at Seneca State Forest. Many campgrounds will reopen later in April and May, so now is the time to plan your camping trip. For a full list of parks with camping, click here.

Season Openings

The best part about this time of year is spring openings. And we’re not just talking about baseball. While most of our state parks remain open year-round, a handful of park operations are seasonal. Later in spring, ferry rides resume across the Ohio River to Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park. Historic attractions reopen at Prickett’s Fort State Park. And the antique steam engines at Cass Scenic Railroad State Park restart their runs up to Whittaker Station and Bald Knob. And speaking of baseball analogies — why not go for a grand slam and plan to visit all three parks this spring?

Plan an overnight trip to make the most of your spring park visit!

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