High in the Alleghenies of northeastern West Virginia, Canaan Valley Resort State Park is welcoming the arrival of warm weather by releasing its calendar of events for spring, summer, and autumn 2017.
Though perhaps best known for its ski area in winter, this centerpiece of the high-elevation Canaan Valley grows busy in the warm months welcoming outdoor-recreation enthusiasts and travel groups, and the evolving calendar is designed to make their vacations that much better, says Steve Drumheller, general manager for the park in Tucker County.
"There's hardly a weekend this spring or summer without an event, celebration, festival or other activity, so our visitors are guaranteed a memorable vacation no matter what time they visit," Drumheller said.
Easter Weekend/Easter Buffet, April 14-16 – Easter Weekend is a family-friendly extravaganza including crafts, games, Easter egg hunt, Easter egg coloring, a visit by the big bunny himself and a traditional Easter buffet on Easter Sunday.
Memorial Tree Planting, April 22 – Canaan Valley State Park is creating a living memorial to service members who died in service to our country by planting 55 sugar maple trees, representing the 55 counties of West Virginia. Volunteers are invited to bring a shovel and help plant the trees. The event is sponsored by Canaan Valley State Park, Vets to Agriculture, West Virginia Department of Agriculture and West Virginia Gold Star Mothers.
April also features a Paint-and-Sip evening April 22 and Tucker County Health Fair April 29.
Family Trail Days, May 6 – Visitors are invited to take an eight-mile walk between Canaan Valley Resort State Park and Blackwater Falls State Park. The walk begins at Blackwater State Park and includes a mountaintop lunch. Registration fee charged.
Memorial Weekend Celebration/ArtSpring, May 26-29 – This annual Tucker County event at Canaan Valley Resort includes exhibits and presentations by local artists, guided hikes, supervised crafts, bonfires and a golf scramble.
Murder Mystery Dinner Show, May 27 – “The Murderer Who Came to Dinner” includes dinner and a dramatic performance. Guests who solve the mystery win a prize. Canaan Valley Resort is offering a lodging package including overnight accommodations for two, two tickets to the show and two tickets for dinner for $239 plus taxes and resort fee.
Other events in May include a Mother’s Day Buffet May 14, a guided hike to Blackbird Knob May 27 and Memorial Day Golf Scramble May 29.
Canaan Valley Birding Festival, June 1-4 – One of the biggest events of the year, the annual Canaan Valley Birding Festival celebrates the region’s vast array of bird species with programs for all levels of birders and nature lovers. The festival includes a variety of guided walks with expert birders as well as receptions and special presentations. The resort offers lodging packages that include accommodations, as well as selected events and some meals.
West Virginia Days Celebration, June 16-18 – Canaan Valley Resort’s three-day celebration of the anniversary of West Virginia’s statehood includes a Civil War encampment and re-enactments, field games and crafts, mock battles and wagon rides.
Irish Road Bowling, June 18 - Although the sport of road bowling originated on Ireland’s rural, winding roads more than 300 years ago, West Virginia’s country roads are just as curvy, and its hills are just as green, which lends authenticity to the sport. There’s even a West Virginia Irish Road Bowling Association, which officiates the highly competitive but easy-to-learn sport. This event takes place at Canaan Valley Resort and nearby Blackwater Falls.
Minnie Pearl Portrayal, June 24 – This free event showcases performer Minnie Pearl’s comedic satire about the ways of rural Americans. The performances will be staged in the resort’s Birch Room by History’s Alive! Program of the West Virginia Humanities Council.
Other June events include a guided Blackbird Knob hike June 10 and a Paint-and-Sip evening, also on June 10.
WindFest, July 1-2 – Jumbo kite demonstrations, workshops and more are scheduled during this eventful weekend, the kick-off to the July 4 holiday. There is a small fee for kite-building workshops, but otherwise this event is free to the public.
Wheeling Symphony Orchestra Concert, July 2 – The romantic setting of Canaan Valley is a perfect spot to enjoy a free concert at 3 p.m. featuring the acclaimed Wheeling Symphony Orchestra. Staged at the resort’s Tube Park area, guests are invited to bring lawn chairs and blankets and settle in for a peaceful afternoon of music.
Mark Twain Portrayal, July 15 – Celebrated as one of the country’s great authors and humorists, Mark Twain made a lasting mark on the country. Actor Doug Riley portrays Mark Twain during a free presentation in Canaan Valley Resort’s Elm/Willow Room. This presentation is supported by the History Alive! Program of the West Virginia Humanities Council.
Geology Rocks, July 20-21 – This two-day event presented by geologist Ken Ashton explores West Virginia’s geologic heritage through a slide show and guided hike.
Other July events include fireworks in nearby Thomas on June 1, the Red, White and Blue Golf Scramble July 4 and Mid-Summer Walk Between the Parks on July 8.
Mid-Summer Walk Between the Parks, Aug. 5. – This eight-mile guided hike between Blackwater Falls and Canaan Valley Resort includes shuttle service between the parks. A registration fee is charged.
Snakes of West Virginia, August 19 – West Virginia Department of Natural Resources biologist Jim Fregonara will offer a free presentation about the state’s venomous and non-venomous snakes.
Leaf-Peepers Festival, Sept. 22-24 – Celebrating the region’s stunning fall foliage, the 29th annual Leaf Peepers Festival includes an array of activities including a golf tournament, fun run, photo contest, pet show, Duck Race and Appalachian Food and Craft Fair. Events are staged at Canaan Valley Resort, the nearby towns of Thomas and Davis and other locations throughout Tucker County.
Dolly Sods Fields of Fire Tour, Sept. 23 and Sept. 30 – This tour celebrates the valley’s dramatic fall foliage when it is at its peak. The event includes guided walks, box lunch and round-trip shuttle from Canaan Valley Resort to the Dolly Sods Wilderness Area. Participants are urged to bring cameras for photography opportunities.
The month also includes a Labor Day Weekend celebration Sept. 1-4, Labor Day Golf Scramble Sept. 4 and Leaf-Peepers Golf Tournament Sept. 24.
Wild Walks Weekend, Oct. 7 – Guides will lead hikers on an eight-mile walk between Blackwater Falls State Park and Canaan Valley Resort State Park. The event includes a cookout lunch, shuttle service and an event memento. Registration fee charged.
Canaan Valley Resort is owned by the state of West Virginia and managed by U.S. Hotels and Resort Management Inc., which operates hotels, resorts, state park lodges, golf courses and restaurants in thirteen states.
For more information on Canaan Valley Resort State Park, visit the park website or call 1-800-622-4121.