Travel Information      USA Travel      Travel South Africa      Travel New Zealand      Travel UK      Travel Canada      Travel Ireland      Travel Denmark      Travel Sweden      Travel Cyprus      Travel Finland      Travel Finland      Travel Switzerland      Travel Slovenia      Travel Canary Islands      Travel Australia      Travel Namibia      Travel Africa      China Travels

Mountain State Splendour

Canaan Valley Autumn Splendour

Canaan Valley Autumn Splendour

Whether it’s walking through state forests, around spring wildflowers, or under colourful blooming trees, visitors to West Virginia have a chance to see nature in a number of ways. With seven state forests and 36 state parks covering more than 200,000 acres of protected woodlands, the Mountain State offers its annual visitors an opportunity to experience the great outdoors. The state is around 80% forested.

Especially popular is the West Virginia State Park System which comprises 36 state parks, seven state forests, five wildlife management areas, the Greenbrier River Trail in the east and the North Bend Rail Trail in the north-central and western regions. As a result of these wildlife areas, West Virginia has become well known for various outdoor recreational activities including hiking, fishing, mountain biking, boating and white water rafting.

Wildflower walks offer a way of celebrating the state’s wildlife areas and conservation efforts. West Virginia’s state parks and forests are home to a variety of wildflowers and blooming trees, with many popular walks, including the Osbra Eye Memorial Wildflower Walk in Kanawha State Forest and the West Virginia Wildflower Pilgrimage in Blackwater Falls State Park which is one of the longest running special events hosted by West Virginia’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and it celebrates the arrival of colourful spring wildflowers in the higher elevations of Blackwater Falls State Park. The tours also feature birds and geology in addition to the flowers. Advance reservations are required for these walks, as attendance averages around 300 people.

West Virginia’s wealth of contiguous forest lands and pristine mountain streams also host a broad array of fish and animals. The West Virginia DNR fisheries management programs provide a variety of opportunities and experiences for anglers. These efforts focus on coldwater and warmwater species and habitat management. The state is home to more than 150 species of fish, many in the minnow and darter families. However, West Virginia anglers are more likely to encounter native brook trout creeks, musky streams and large river catfish, in addition to small impoundment bluegill, reservoir bass, and walleye.

Conservation efforts among animals have also become important in West Virginia. The state animal, the American Black Bear has become a symbol for West Virginia, but is still a threatened species. Due to conservation efforts, new knowledge, and a better understanding of the animal, the bear population has been increasing, and the species now lives in all of West Virginia’s 55 counties.

Conservation programs are taught through state run programs for people of all ages. Programs teaching responsible use of resources include the Master Naturalist Program for adults, which teaches an appreciation for environmental awareness and provides highly qualified and well educated volunteers to further carry out the conservation efforts of the state.

Today, agencies under the West Virginia Department of Commerce, as well as other state and federal agencies, work together simultaneously to enforce environmental laws and to ensure that natural resources are wisely and ethically consumed, allocated, and protected. It is because of recent efforts like these that West Virginia is an attractive travel destination to thousands of visitors each year.