Canaan resort launches mountaineer wilderness skills workshops

Canaan resort launches mountaineer wilderness skills workshops
Guests at Canaan Valley State Park make ready for a hike on one of the resort's many trails.
Guests visiting the Canaan Valley make ready for a hike on one of the region's many trails.

Visitors to Canaan Valley Resort in the highlands of northeastern West Virginia are learning the fundamentals of wilderness living from experts in the field, thanks to a new educational program being provided there.


Through September, the resort is offering classes designed to teach participants how to build shelters, light fires, navigate the back-country, and identify and forage for food, according to Steve Drumheller, general manager of the resort.

“All backcountry recreation enthusiasts risk getting lost or stranded for a short time in the outdoors,” Drumheller said of the program. “Our wilderness survival classes teach you how to survive – and even thrive – in such situations.”

Participants younger than 12 are admitted to the programs free, if accompanied by a paying adult. Programs this summer include:


Edible Plants This two-hour instructional hike is being guided July 7, Aug. 18 and 25, and Sept. 1 and 29. Participants will learn which plants are safe to eat, which weeds and trees can be used to help start a fire, gather water, find a meal, make a rope, stop an itch, and heal a wound.

Wilderness Skills Outdoor Class To be conducted Aug. 18 and Sept. 1, this workshop is designed to prepare the “Ultimate Survival Kit.” Topics covered will include making fires using natural and man-made materials, emergency signaling, building shelters to beat hypothermia, collecting scarce water, building traps and telling time and direction.

Bow-Drill Friction Fire Workshop This workshop will be held July 7 and will focus on the process used to start a fire using a fire drill.

Back-Country Navigation Workshop This program will be held June 23 and Aug. 25 and is designed for people who wish to learn natural navigation and to further their skills using a map and compass.


Canaan Valley Resort is a four-seasons destination with a wide array of adventures and a variety of guest rooms and cabins. On-site activities include an 18-hole championship golf course, scenic chairlift rides, sporting clay shooting range, hiking and biking trails, bike rentals, resort boards, miniature golf, Euro-bungy/climbing wall, Turtle slide and indoor/outdoor pools.

Canaan Valley Resort is in northeast West Virginia approximately 2½ hours from Washington, D.C., three hours from Pittsburgh and 2¾ hours from Charleston, W.Va.

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