West Virginia - Wild and Wonderful

About West Virginia

West Virginia is noted for its mountains and diverse topography, its historically significant logging and coal mining industries, and its political and labor history. It is one of the most densely karstic areas in the world, making it a choice area for recreational caving and scientific research.


West Virginia is full of opportunity for any business with a growing economy and a highly dedicated workforce. Whether you are running an existing business or thinking of starting a new business you can find all of the information you need throughout this business section.


West Virginia is fortunate to have a tremendous education system with a high standard of excellence. Please use the information provided here to learn more about the wealth of educational opportunities in our great state.


West Virginia is home to one of the finest workforces in the country based on our hard work and commitment to quality. Whether you are looking for new job opportunities, enhancing your job skills or researching future employment trends you can find all of the information you need throughout this employment section.


West Virginia offers the perfect balance of a rural and urban setting that suits a variety of lifestyles. This is a state where you can go whitewater rafting in the morning, go to an art exhibit in the afternoon and attend a concert in the evening. Whether you just moved to the Mountain State or your family has been here since it was founded, you are part of our community.


Maintaining proper health is vital to ensuring the highest quality of life possible. West Virginia strives to provide one of the best health care systems in the country that is affordable and available to all residents of the state. This section contains numerous resources to assist you in accessing the health care services provided in the state.


Exhilarate in the lasting beauty and natural wonder scattered throughout West Virginia. From unmatched outdoor recreation to world-class resorts, breathtaking scenery and a variety of cultural and historic attractions, West Virginia is an ideal spot to plan your next adventure. Discover for yourself what makes West Virginia wild and wonderful.

 Events and Activities at West Virginia State Parks June 20 -23

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A variety of West Virginia Day/Sesquicentennial events and activities are planned across West Virginia, many at state parks and forests. Thursday, June 20 includes “Hail to the Hills,” a program in which parks staff and guests will sing or recite the state song, “The West Virginia Hills.” Other activities and events include:

"Wings of Wonder" - Birds of Prey
by Three Rivers Avian Center will be presented at Holly River State Park. The Birds of Prey Education Program features live birds native to West Virginia including owls, hawks and eagles. You’ll learn about the habitat, diet and behavior of each bird presented, the most common causes of injury to each species and the laws protecting these special birds. No fee to attend. Open to the public. 3 p.m. Contact: 304-493-6353

Civil War Showcase with Cannon Firings and Ladies Tea 
North Bend State Park is hosting the Kanawha Artillery Battery D from Saint Marys, W.Va. They portray Union soldiers as they would appear in the 14th WV Volunteer Infantry Co. F. Also, Confederate soldiers under the Kanawha Artillery / Jackson Battery D will be portrayed. Several cannon firings will take place throughout the day, with exhibits of cultural items, period toys, and clothing on display in the lobby.

A special ladies’ tea, hosted by Verna Owens, a longtime re-enactor with the group, will discuss women’s issues of the day in the mid-1800s, and will provide teas and light fare from that era. The tea will take place on the back deck; in case of inclement weather, the social will be held in the lobby. The field, adjacent to the lodge, will feature the cannon firings and re-enactors. Cannon firings occur between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. The tea will be from 11 a.m. until noon. Event will take place in the lodge field and lobby area. Open to the public. Contact: 304-643-2931

Dulcimer, History, Cake & Ice Cream, Barbershop Music 
Blennerhassett State Park is making June 20 a special day on the island. Spend Thursday, June 20, on Blennerhassett Island for an afternoon of fresh air and a variety of entertainment. Join Scott Cain on the island at 1 p.m. and enjoy Appalachian music played on a hammered dulcimer. Afterwards, enjoy Dr. Ray Swick's presentation - "W.Va. Statehood", eat some cake and ice cream and listen to the harmonics of the Smoot Theater Boys Barbershop Quartet group. Activities are fee free. There is a charge to ride the Island Belle Sternwheeler to the island. Tickets are sold at the Blennerhassett Museum of Regional History in downtown Parkersburg. The sternwheeler departs from Point Park near the Blennerhasset Museum. Contact: 304-420-4800

History Alive! Stonewall Jackson 
Prickett's Fort State Park is celebrating the birthday with a portrayal of “Stonewall” Jackson by Doug Riley from 1 - 3 p.m. Riley will share history about the Civil War general who was born in Clarksburg. Jackson was an orphan who became one of the most revered names in military history. He is regarded by experts as a tactical genius and a relentless battlefield commander of unsurpassed ability. The men of the “Stonewall Brigade” were fiercely loyal to their leader.General Jackson was a devoutly religious man whose death by friendly fire was a crushing blow to Confederate hopes for ultimate victory. Fort admission is half price on June 20, 2013. Contact: 304-363-3030

Lee House & Civil War Living Historians 
Lost River State Park’s historic Lee House will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Two Civil War living historians, Nick Korolev and Rick Byrd, will be on-site representing the 1st West Virginia Cavalry. These historians will talk with visitors about the birth of the state and the West Virginia troops loyal to the Union who fought for the new state’s freedom from the Old Dominion and the preservation of the Union. A display of cavalry equipment and the history of the Lee House is also part of the West Virginia Day presentation on June 20, 2013. Contact: 304-897-5372

West Virginia Day Picnic at the Park 
Hawks Nest State Park will host a West Virginia Day Picnic in celebration of the 150th year of statehood on June 20, 2013. Bring your picnic basket, blanket and/or chairs for a picnic on the grounds OR enjoy hot dogs and barbeques prepared by Hawks Nest Restaurant. Organized activities are planned from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Radio Station WQAZ will have a live remote and at noon and will invite park guests to sing “The West Virginia Hills” live on the air. Contact: 304-658-5212

West Virginia Themed Quilt Show - June 20 through July 8, 2013 
Blennerhassett State Park will host a West Virginia themed Quilt Show at the Blennerhassett Museum of Regional History from June 20 through July 8, 2013. These quilts were entered as part of the annual Mid-Ohio Valley Heritage Quilt Show in early spring. Contact: 304-420-4800 Location map

FRIDAY JUNE 21, 2013
Martin Delany - History Alive
Blennerhassett State Park will host this special History Alive presentation June 21. Born in Charles Town, Martin Delany’s family moved to Pennsylvania when his mother was threatened with imprisonment for allowing her children to learn to read and write. He was a leader in the anti-slavery movement and a superintendent of the Underground Railroad. He co-edited an abolitionist newspaper with Frederick Douglass and attended Harvard Medical College. Delany was a recruiter for the U.S. Colored Troops and, in 1865, became the first black field officer when commissioned a major.

Martin Delany will be portrayed by Joseph Bundy of Bluefield, W.Va., at 1:30 p.m. at the Brick shelter on Blennerhassett Island State Park. There is no charge to attend the program. This program is one of many History Alive presentations made possible by the West Virginia Humanities Council. To learn more about History Alive programs and portrayals visit www.wvhumanities.org/HA_Delany_m.htm. Contact: 304-420-4800

Rock On! West Virginia 
Twin Falls Resort State Park features Geology Rocks! in West Virginia at 7:30 p.m. on June 21, 2013. Geologist Ken Ashton will present a program about rocks, minerals and fossils. Ashton represents the West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey based in Morgantown. The program is open to the public at no charge and is held in the Dogwood Room at Twin Falls Lodge. Question and answers are part of the evening presentation.

Ashton also conducts a Rock On! Morning hike at 10 a.m. on June 22. The Saturday hike starts from the Falls Trail Parking lot. Open to the public. There is no charge to attend the Geology Rocks! Summer programs at West Virginia’s state parks. These are other events and activities are listed on www.wvstateparks.com, “Events Calendar.” Contact: Bryan Danford, Twin Falls State Park Naturalist, 304-294-4000

Fairfax Stone and Cathedral Car Tour
Tour takers meet at Blackwater Falls State Park Lodge Lobby at 10 a.m. to car caravan to the Fairfax Stone Historical Monument where they will see the start of the Potomac River and hear how the stone figured prominently in West Virginia’s history. The tour travels on to Cathedral State Park, 130 acres of Virgin forest.

At Cathedral State Park, Park Ranger Eric Risinger will lead a walking tour of the park’s history and of the state’s oldest and largest trees. Driving distance is about 45 miles, round trip from Blackwater Falls. Participants will need to bring a lunch and water.

To learn more about the tour and other activities at Blackwater Falls, contact Paulita Cousin at 304-259-5216 or email paulita.l.cousin@wv.gov. Blackwater Falls activities are posted at www.blackwaterfalls.com, “Events/Deals.” To meet the tour at Cathedral State Park, contact Eric Risinger at catherdralsp@wv.gov.

"Wings of Wonder" - Birds of Prey
Watoga State Park hosts an educational program by Three Rivers Avian Center that features live birds native to West Virginia. Visitors will learn about owls, hawks and eagles. There is no charge to attend and the 3 p.m. program is open to the public. Contact: 304-799-4087

10th WV Infantry & 28th Ohio Infantry Memorial Hike 
Droop Mountain State Park is the first of four Civil War hikes conducted by Park Supt. Mike Smith. The nine-mile hike will be conducted along single lane paved public roads with 800-foot elevation change, most of that in a 2 ½ mile stretch. The rest of the route is nearly level and will be a relatively easy hike, expected to take four to six hours. The hike is limited to 25 participants and preregistration is required by June 20.

“Many of the people registered for this and other hikes are descendants of soldiers who fought at Droop Mountain,” Smith explained. “The sharing of information as well as the hikes will be a most memorable tribute to the state’s sesquicentennial events.”

Other hikes are held in July, August and November, 2013. Contact: 304-653-4254 Pre-registration Form for Hike #1
Carla Bragg - Amphitheater Show 
Pipestem Resort State Park’s Amphitheater Show features singer Carla Bragg, She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Concord University, where she majored in both Psychology and Sociology. Following her heart and family musical roots, Bragg began a weekly radio broadcast after graduation. She writes and produces and sings gospel music. Bragg has recorded four CDs, “God is a Good God…All The Time", “The Calling,” “Song In My Soul" and "In the Garden." She's performed at various gospel venues and won numerous awards for writing and singing. The Amphitheater show is Saturday, June 22 at 8 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults, youth 6-12 is $3 and Children 5 and younger free. Contact: 304-466-1800
Evening Dinner Train w/ Entertainment 
Cass Scenic Railroad State Park features musical comedian and impressionist Matt Jerrigan on June 22, 2013. Evening dinner trains at Cass Scenic Railroad feature musical entertainment, a train ride to Whittaker Station and a wonderful buffet-style meal. Dinner trains depart at 5:15 p.m. from the Cass Depot. Tickets are adults, $36: youth (5-12), $26; under 5 years, $16. Ticket price includes the train ride to Whittaker Station, dinner and entertainment; trip narration; an optional locomotive shop tour or Cass Showcase presentation; and an optional self-guided tour of Camp Whittaker, a re-created logging camp at Whittaker Station. Reservations are required for evening trains. Reservations: 304-456-4300 Cass Scenic Railroad Calendar Schedule

Happy Birthday West Virginia Fireworks 
Cacapon Resort State Park believes that celebrating West Virginia's 150th birthday calls for fireworks! An evening sky presentation is planned as night falls. Rain date will be June 23. Other activities on Saturday, June 22, include a Civil War encampment and games and activities that are family oriented and free to attend. The Cacapon Restaurant is open for early arrivals for the fireworks show. Contact: 304-258-1022

Island Frolic with Evening Meal 
Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park offers a three-hour adventure that includes a round-trip sternwheeler ride and evening meal, plus a guided tour of the Blennerhassett Mansion, a horse-drawn wagon ride, and bicycle use. The adult price of $25 and youth (3-12) price of $20 includes dinner and all activities and boat transportation. Reservations are required. The Island Belle Sternwheeler will depart for the island at 6:30 p.m. from Civitan Park in Belpre Ohio. Contact: 304-420-4800

Mysteries of the Forest Birds: An Adventure of Exploration and Discovery 
Kanawha State Forest has a bird watching program planned that begins at 10 a.m. at Shelter No. 4 on June 22. Learn about birds you can see or hear in the forest. Birding leaders are Sara Miller and Lynn Hartman and the event is open to the public without charge. Contact: 304-558-3500

JUNE 22-23, 2013
Celebrate West Virginia - History with a Heartbeat
Carnifex Ferry State Park presents Civil War camp life, military drill, weapons demonstrations. The camp will be beside the museum. Battlefield tours will be given to interested groups. For a day immersed in West Virginia history, visit any time from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. There is no charge to visit the park and battlefield grounds or to meet and talk with reenactors presenting this encampment / living history. Note: individuals interested in being a re-enactor may email carnifexferrysp@wv.gov or call 304-872-0825. Park Superintendent Sam Cowell can provide contact info for the re-enactment units near their location or county. Contact: 304-897-5372

SUNDAY, JUNE 23, 2013
"Wings of Wonder" - Birds of Prey
Blackwater Falls State Park encourages a Sunday visit to attend Three Rivers Avian Center’s Birds of Prey program at 10 a.m. at Blackwater Falls Lodge. “We had more than 50 people attend last year and we agreed an encore return for West Virginia weekend was a good idea,” said Paulita Cousin, park naturalist. The Birds of Prey Education Program features live birds native to West Virginia, including owls, hawks and eagles. There is no fee to attend this program. Contact: 304-259-5216

Hikes, Nature Center and a GPS History Scavenger Hunt 
Pipestem Resort State Park features a broad range of family activities the weekend of June 21-23 from a Brush Creek Falls tour at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, June 21, to other featured hikes throughout the day with Naturalist Jim Phillips. On Saturday, June 22, there is a 10 a.m. Bluestone River Walk conducted by the National Park Service that departs from Mountain Creek Lodge. There is a $2 tram fee charge but the hike is free. The Pipestem State Park nature center is open daily 12:30–4:30 p.m.

On June 20, Phillips has a GPS / driving scavenger hunt to Mercer and Summers counties for Civil War markers. “I can’t sing a song worth a hoot, but I can give folks coordinates to discover points of interest about our West Virginia hills and history here,” said Phillips. To learn more about activities at Pipestem Resort, visit www.pipestemresort.com “To Do” or call 304-466-1800, ext. 344, The Nature Center.
Events, activities, and state parks information are updated frequently on the website, www.wvstateparks.com.  

Contact Information

Sissie Summers, West Virginia State Parks