CALDWELL, W.Va. – Greenbrier State Forest
was in need of a summer naturalist and activity coordinator. Concord University student Jessica Rinehart was looking for an internship. A Facebook message to Dr. Susan Williams, associate professor of recreation and tourism management, matched the job with the student. Rinehart, a history and recreation/tourism management student at Concord, jumped at the chance to be part of the summer staff for West Virginia’s state parks system.
“I have organized family friendly activities to encourage adults and youth to get outside, have fun and to forget mobile devices for a little while,” said Rinehart. Activities are scheduled on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and are open to the public and to park guests and are posted on the forest website at www.greenbriersf.com
. Children younger than age 10 should bring an adult to participate.
There is no charge to attend or participate in activities that Rinehart conducts.
Greenbrier State Forest is located in the southeastern corner of West Virginia at Caldwell near Lewisburg. Greenbrier State Forest provides more than 5,100 acres of heavily forested, mountainous terrain for outdoor recreation. Magnificent views of the surrounding countryside are afforded by the impressive and imposing 3,280 high Kate's Mountain. The forest features cabins, campground, hiking and biking trails, disc golf, and a heated outdoor swimming pool. For information about Greenbrier State Forest visit www.greenbriersf.com
or call 304-536-1944.
Activities at Greenbrier State Forest June 28 – July 14 include:
Naturalist Led Hikes
June 28 and July 13
Wildlife Observation Hike!
Meet the Naturalist at the YCC Exercise Trail head at 11:30 a.m. and receive a Wildlife Observation Checklist. This is a great experience for all ages to observe some creek life. The hike should last 1 ½ to 2 hours. Wear proper shoes as feet may get wet.
June 28 and July 14
A Mable Dowdy Nature Trail Hike.
Meet at the trail marker next to Cabin 3 at 6 p.m. to walk to the trail head. This trail is great for observing trees, wildlife, a stream, and a meadow. The hike has gentle climbs in elevation and moderate difficulty. The hike will last about 1 ½ to 2 hours.
June 29 and July 5
Nature hike on the Old Roads Trail.
Meet the Naturalist in the Archery and Muzzle Loading parking lot across from the office at 11:30 a.m. The hike should last 2 hours. Participants will be observing trees, plants, and watchable wildlife.
June 29 and July 12
Campfire and s’mores
There will be stories, songs, and s’mores beginning at 8:30 p.m. at the campfire ring next to the picnic shelter. Rinehart invites families to come out for s’more summer fun.
June 30 and July 7
Making Rock Buddies
starts at 1 p.m. at the creek across from the Greenbrier State Forest Office and Gift Shop. Pick your favorite rock, take it to the picnic area and paint it – your new Rock Buddy!
Building Bird Nests
is a craft starting at 4:30 PM at Picnic Shelter 1. There is not charge to participate.
Painted Flower Pots!!
A craft that involves painting flower pots and learning about what plants need to survive. Great for children 5 and older. Activity begins at 5 p.m. and lasts about one hour.
Painting with Leaves!
Painting a leaf and pressing it onto paper allows anyone to observe the veins and shapes. Great for anyone ages 5 and older. Activity begins at noon in the picnic area.
June 30 - 4 p.m.; July 6 – noon; July 12 – 3 p.m.
Creek Search, aka Creek Stomp!
“We will be observing creek life and be catching all sorts of critters,” according to Rinehart. The activity begins at the Archery and Muzzleloading range parking lot across from the forest office and should last 1 – 1 ½ hours. Wear shoes and clothing you don’t mind getting wet.
Bugs! Ecosystems within a Ring
find the Naturalist in the Picnic Area at 11:30 a.m. for an activity on bugs and life within an ecosystem.
Saturday, July 7
The Resilient Forest
is a movie made by the Appalachian Forest Heritage Area and shows the history, uses, and threats to the Appalachian Forests. The movie starts at 5:00 p.m. at the forest office.
Thursday, July 12
Matching Animals and Habitat begins
at 11:30 a.m. at the Picnic Area. A great activity for youngsters.
Meet the Naturalist next to Cabin 3 at 9 p.m. There will be activities involving heightened senses without light, such as smelling, feeling, hearing, and night vision! Flashlights not necessary.
Greenbrier State Forest Office