A column by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin
April 23, 2014
Spring brings warmer temperatures, fragrant blossoms, the melody of chirping birds and new opportunities for adventure. It is also the time when many of us begin planning our spring and summer getaways-a memorable family vacation, a relaxing getaway for two or even a weekend excursion. As you explore the many options available to you and your family, I invite you to consider a “staycation” at one of the Mountain State’s beautiful state parks or forests-the hidden gems, right here, in West Virginia’s backyard.
In addition to 34 state parks which span across more than 180,000 acres of protected, historic and recreational land-West Virginia State Parks oversees recreation areas within eight forests and five wildlife management areas as well as the North Bend Rail Trail and the Greenbrier River Trail. Throughout the year, our state parks host many special events-including wildflower walks led by park naturalists, nature hikes to discover animal tracks and opportunities to learn how to identify hawks and eagles in flight-all perfect for a quick day trip. For a complete calendar of events, visit wvstateparks.com.
For visitors who wish to extend their visit beyond a quick day trip, special discounts are available throughout the year at many of our state park campgrounds, cabins or luxury lodges and staff members are always ready to welcome guests with true West Virginia hospitality. The opportunities for adventure are limited only by your imagination-your “staycation” could begin with mountain biking, a leisurely game of golf, or a visit to one of our state’s historic Civil War sites and continue throughout your stay with fishing, boating or even geocaching. To top off your trip, the food served in our lodge and resort park restaurants is among the best served anywhere in the eastern United States.
Whether you’re planning a quick day trip, considering a “staycation” or visiting the Mountain State for the first time, West Virginia’s state parks and forests offer opportunities for family fun, peaceful retreats, or a little rest and relaxation. You are sure to discover why 15 million visitors travel to our wild and wonderful state each year. To learn more, call 1-800-CALL-WVA and ask for a park by name or visit online wvstateparks.com-and visit every chance you get.