Rangers and naturalists at seven parks in southern West Virginia will lead guided wildflower hikes on woodland trails April 26-28 during the 16th annual New River Gorge Wildflower Weekend.
Ranger Jodi French-Burr stressed that the hikes and most additional events are free, and that the New River Gorge region and the New River basin is extremely rich in a variety of plants that flower brilliantly in the forest under-story in spring.
Participants should bring water and wear sturdy hiking shoes, and snacks, binoculars, a hand lens, and a favorite field guide are also useful, she said.
You can find out more about the hikes and other spring programs here.
Friday, April 26, 2019
Handy Work for the Earth: Garlic Mustard Pull
10:00 am to 1:00 pm, Pipestem Resort State Park in Pipestem, WV.
Meet at Pipestem’s Nature Center. GUIDES: Julie McQuade and Richard Altare.
Celebrate Earth Day a bit late and lend a helping hand to the Bluestone River Gorge. Team up with park staff to help remove a troublesome invasive species, garlic mustard. Wear long sleeves, long pants, sturdy walking shoes, work gloves, and bring water. Reservations requested by April 23; call 304-466-1800 ex. 379
Kid’s Nature Discovery Adventure
6:30 pm to 7:30 pm, Grandview Visitor Center at New River Gorge National Park and Preserve in Grandview, WV. GUIDE: Suleka Deevi.
Hey, kids and teens! Explore and discover amazing wildlife and plants of the forest in hands-on activities on this easy stroll around Grandview.
Endless Birds and Blooms Sunset Stroll
6:00 to 8:30 pm, Endless Wall Trail’s Fern Creek Trailhead at New River Gorge National Park and Preserve in Lansing, WV. GUIDES: Jodi French-Burr and Keith Richardson.
Explore life in diverse forests and see one of the best cliff top views of the New River Gorge on this leisurely 2 mile moderate hike. Search for spring birds, blooms, and more on this early evening stroll. Bring binoculars or some will be available.
Saturday, April 27, 2019
Early Birding at Grandview
7:30 to 9:00 am, Grandview – Shelter #4 at New River Gorge National Park and Preserve in Grandview, WV. GUIDES: Jodi French-Burr and Suleka Deevi.
Start this spring morning by waking up with the birds. Perfect for people of all birding abilities. Bring binoculars or some will be available.
Hike Into Spring!
9:30 am to 2:00 pm, Grandview – Shelter #4 at New River Gorge National Park and Preserve in Grandview, WV. GUIDES: Richard Altare, Jodi French-Burr, Mitchell Dech, Suleka Deevi, Betty Harler, Betsy Reeder, and Leah Thomas.
Join naturalists on a leisurely 2.5 mile hike from Grandview down to the New River, finding wildflowers and other natural wonders along the way. Be prepared for some steep terrain as we travel down an old dirt road. A free return shuttle will be provided. Reservations requested by April 25; call 304-574-2115
Old Growth Nature Trek
4:30 pm to 6:30 pm, Patterson House at Carnifex Ferry Battlefield State Park in Summersville, WV. GUIDE: Sean Pettrey.
Hike to Pierson Hollow’s old growth forest to take a close look at this diverse ecosystem, including the plants and animals that call it home. Bring your favorite field guides or smart devices pre-loaded with nature apps to help document as many species as we can, plus keep an eye out for rare or threatened species. Be prepared for an easy 1 mile hike with some moderate terrain.
Sunday, April 28, 2019
Spring Birding at Babcock
8:00 am to 10:00 am, Glade Creek Grist Mill at Babcock State Park in Clifftop, WV. GUIDE: Sean Pettrey.
Stroll the diverse habitats of Babcock in search of regional beauties, birds. Bring binoculars, your favorite field guides, or smart device preloaded with nature apps. Some binoculars will be available.
Falls & Flowers: the Nature of Brush Creek
1:00 to 4:00 pm, Nature Center at Pipestem Resort State Park in Pipestem, WV. GUIDES: Julie McQuade, Richard Altare, and Suleka Deevi.
Enjoy waterfalls and blooms along Brush Creek on this moderate 3 mile walk. Meet at Pipestem’s Nature Center to car caravan to the trailhead 20 minutes away.
Hot ID: Skills with Apps and Guides (plus Old-Growth Bonus Hike)
2:30 to 5:00 pm (BONUS hike 5:00 to 7:00 pm), Stone Cliff Trail near Thurmond, WV. GUIDES: Jodi French-Burr, Mitchell Dech, and Rosanna Springston.
Hike 1 miles along the New River and try your hand at species identification using the hottest flora and fauna ID tools, from new technologies to traditional field guides. Bring your favorite nature ID tools, like field guides or smart device pre-loaded with nature apps. Some tools will be available. Share your favorite nature identification tips and techniques too. Optional BONUS hike: add 3 miles in search of more species, including old growth hemlock trees.
8:30 to 10:00 pm, Burnwood Trail at the Burnwood Day Use Area, across US 19 from Canyon Rim Visitor Center at New River Gorge National Park and Preserve in Lansing (park in the lot past the cabin). GUIDES: Jodi French-Burr and Suleka Deevi.
Explore nature’s night life on this one-mile forest adventure in search of bats and owls. Bring a red-filtered flashlight.
Find out more about the New River Gorge Wildflower Weekend.