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.

 July 4th Week Offers Wide Variety of Activities at West Virginia State Parks in 2013

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Activities at West Virginia’s state parks range from square dancing to “Trees Have Feet” programs the week of July 4, 2013. “Parks that have summer naturalists offer daily activities that include hikes, stream searches, campfires and other outdoor activities,” said Sissie Summers with State Parks programming services. Those areas are Babcock, Blackwater Falls, Bluestone, Cacapon, Canaan Valley, Cedar Creek, Holly River, Lost River, North Bend, Pipestem, Twin Falls, Tygart Lake and Watoga state parks. Many of those parks post daily their activities on www.wvstateparks.com.

July 4th week special events of note at West Virginia state parks include: 
Blackwater Falls State Park
Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Bil Lepp - Storyteller and Humorist

Bil Lepp is an internationally-known storyteller and humorist whose style has been described as a satisfying blend of Bill Cosby and Jeff Foxworthy. A five-time champion of the West Virginia Liars’ Contest, his outrageous tall-tales and witty stories has earned the appreciation of listeners of all ages. He is an award-winning author and recording artist, and has been featured at venues across the nation, including a recent appearance for Comedy Central. Lepp is the recipient of the Storytelling Circle of Excellence Award. Contact: 304-259-5216 

Cass Scenic Railroad
July and August, 2013
Three train trips are scheduled every day, except Mondays, in July and August at Cass Scenic Railroad State Park. On Wednesdays in July and August, Whittaker Wednesday offers a free child train ride when accompanied by a paying adult. Whittaker Wednesdays are offered July 3, 10 17, 24, and 31; August 7, 14, 21, 28, 2013.

The Bald Knob run on Friday, July 5, will be a double header. A double header would have been typical of a run in logging years and not typical of Bald Knob trips scheduled. Ticket price for this run is the standard fare for Bald Knob trips and is: Adults: $27; Youth (12-5) $20. Reservations: 304-456-4300 

Cacapon Resort State Park
Thursday, July 4, 2013
4th of July Celebration

Listen to patriotic music as the Morgan Community Concert Band performs at the Gazebo on Thursday July 4, 2013. The program is open to the public at no charge. A weekly activity list is posted at www.cacaponresort.com. Contact: 304-258-1022 x 5209 

North Bend State Park
Independence Day Weekend, July 4-7, 2013
Bil Lepp will tell stories and tales at North Bend amphitheater on July 6 at 7:30. Lepp and other special programs and activities are open to the public at North Bend, located in Ritchie County, through the Independence holiday week and weekend. There is no cost to attend or participate in planned activities. Naturalist Ken Zebo posts daily activities on www.northbendsp.com, “To Do,” “Nature/Activities,” or call 304-643-2931.

Examples of some of the many activities at North Bend include:

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

1:30 p.m. – Irish Road Bowling – You don’t have to be Irish or a bowler to enjoy this sport. Come check out the most popular game at West Virginia State Parks! No experience or equipment necessary. Closed toe shoes are required. We will meet at the Nature Center.
7:30 p.m. – Marvelous Mammals – Learn about the mammals of West Virginia and what makes them special. We will go on a short hike to view signs of mammals in the park. We will meet at the Nature Center.

Thursday, July 4, 2013
9:30 a.m. – Bird Walk – Join the park naturalist in taking a closer look into the world of birds. Binoculars and field guides are recommended but not required. Meet at the lodge.
11 a.m. – Scavenger Hunt at Cokeley – Become a nature super sleuth as you hunt for items in this nature-friendly scavenger hunt. We will meet at the Cokeley Recreation Area Bathhouse.
7:30 p.m. – Tunnel 13 Hike – Experience the great outdoors with a spice of history mixed in. The trail is flat and easy to walk on. You will see an oil / gas well, tunnel 13, and wildlife and vegetation along the trail. We will meet at the Nature Center.

Friday, July 5, 2013
9:30 a.m. – Southern Railroad Trail Hike – Follow the old Southern Railroad Grade that now connects River Run Campground to the dam. The hike is flat and easy to walk on. Meet at River Run campground. (1 hour, 1.5 miles)
3 p.m. – Fishing Derby – Bring your own poles and we’ll supply the bait. Certificates will be given to lucky anglers. We will meet at the pond by River Run Campground.
5 p.m. – Venom and Poison – Learn what not to touch in the woods. Join the park naturalist in learning how to identify dangerous plants and animals. Meet at the Nature Center.

Saturday, July 6, 2013
A Special appearance by Bil Lepp

It’s a Special Saturday Night when Bil Lepp tells stories and tales at North Bend amphitheater. Lepp is scheduled for a 7:30 performance on July 6. Other special programs and activities planned during the holiday week and weekend are open to the public. All events are free.

Saturday and Sunday, July 6-7, 2013
Introduction to Mountain Biking Classes at North Bend

Join instructor Kim Coram and learn how to get started in mountain biking at North Bend State Park. Weekend classes will cover evaluating your current bicycle, selecting appropriate gear and trails, when to use your brakes, and when to change gears. Courses will consist of four separate classes packaged for $30. Participation in all classes is not mandatory, but recommended. A portion of the proceeds from this course will be used to construct a mountain biking trail map for the trails of North Bend State Park. 

Pipestem State Park Events
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Dancing to Your Favorites – A sock hop

DJ Nick Crewey will be play a variety of dance music from 8 to 10 p.m. on Wednesday July 3. The dance will be held in the McKeever Lodge Conference Center. There is no charge to attend the sock hop. Open to park guests and general public. Contact: 304-466-1800

Thursday, July 4, 2013
Lou Maiuri - Let's Squaredance! with The Appalachian Dancers

Circle up! It's an evening of square dancing with caller Lou Maiuri on Thursday, July 4, 2013. The Faulconer Room is the place to be at 8 p.m. this evening for square dancing and some line dancing fun. If you know your left from your right, you can square dance at any age or stage in life. Find special events and daily activities listed on www.pipestemresort.com. Contact: 304-466-1800

Friday, July 5, 2013
Civil War Campfire with Luke Stevens

The campground at Pipestem sets the stage for an evening of "Songs of the Civil War" and stories about the families, soldiers, and about the Pipestem area during the mid-1860s. Luke Stevens leads attendees in song and sings ballads such as, “Just Before the Battle Mother” and “Tenting Tonight” as part of the evening program. Open to the public, without charge on Friday, July 5 at 7 p.m. Join Stevens around the campfire as we continue to remember our forefathers and families in this, West Virginia's 150th year of statehood.

Saturday, July 6, 2013
Acoustic Crossroads (A.C.R.) - Amphitheater Show

Acoustic Crossroads (called ACR) is a high-energy band based in the New River Valley are of Radford, Virginia plays at Pipestem amphitheater on Saturday, July 6, 2013, at 8 p.m. In addition to originals, the band plays a variety of new and old country, some blues and class and southern rock. Band members include: Steve Stewart - Lead Vocals, Guitar; Dale Summers - Lead Guitar; Vocals; Tommie Lee Stewart - Vocals, Keyboard; Mark Skidmore - Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals and Allen Meadows - Drums & Percussion, Vocals. Acoustic Crossroads performs at Pipestem amphitheater at 8 p.m. Admission is adults: $8; youth 6-12: $3; children 5 and younger, free.

Find special events and daily activities at Pipestem State Park listed on www.pipestemresort.com or call 304-466-1800. 

Berkeley Springs State Park
Saturday, July 6, 2013
Summer Concert - Brother Joscephus & Love Revolution

New Orleans, Jazz! This 12-piece outfit, led by singer/guitarist Bro Jo, provides a high-energy spectacle as they play self-proclaimed “secular gospel.” It’s a raucous and infectious mix of New Orleans soul, jazz, rock and gospel in a Mardi Gras groove shaped with horns, guitars, a scrap rhythm section and back-up chorus singers. Yo’ bones will wanna git up and dance at Berkeley Springs State Park. Contact: Morgan Arts Council, 304-258-2300

Sunday, July 7, 2013
Art in the Park

In its seventh year, Art in the Park at Berkeley Springs State Park provides access to fine artists located in the Berkeley Springs region. Nationally known artists exhibit at this event and the best part is - they are local. Shows are rain or shine; 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. The events are organized and sponsored by an arts group – find more information on Facebook at Art in the Park WV.
Contact: Michael Nathan, 304 -258-6419

Berkeley Springs State Park is located in Morgan County in downtown Berkeley Springs. Cacapon Resort State Park is nearby and features a lodge, cabins, full-service restaurant, nature center, golf course and a range of summer activities. For Cacapon Resort activities, visit www.caccaponresort.com, or call 304-258-1022. 

Blennerhassett State Park
Friday, July 5, 2013
Dinner Cruise

Relax on board the Island Belle sternwheeler for a country-style dinner, and boat ride on the Ohio River. After cruising the river you will return to Point Park to attend the Point Park Music Series concert presented by Downtown PKB. Ticket prices incude sternwheeler cruise and dinner: adult $25, child (ages 3-12) $20. The Island Belle departs from Point Park for this evening cruise at 6 p.m. Advance reservations required. For reservations, call 304-420-4800. 
Dinner Cruise flier

Saturday, July 6, 2013
“Trees Have Feet Too” - The Third of Six Saturdays

A guided discovery walk about ecological role of trees and learning the hidden functions of roots, xylem and phloem, bark and leaves to the water cycle and the health of trees. Learn about the large trees on the island. There is no charge to attend but there is a fee to ride the sternwheeler to the island. Activity begins at 2 p.m. Meeting location announced by the Island Belle captain upon arrival to the island.
Blennerhassett Island is open Tuesday-Sunday. Access to the island is via the sternwheeler Island Belle. Tickets for the boat ride may be purchased at the Blennerhassett Museum of Regional History in downtown Parkersburg. The Island Belle departs for the island from Point Park for daytime visits. Contact: 304-420-4800

Sunday, July 7, 2013
The Sunday Sundae Cruise to Blennerhassett Island

An ice cream sundae, a sternwheeler ride, and an Ohio River cruise. Sunday! Sundae. Board the "Island Belle" at Civitan Park at 6:30 p.m. The three-hour experience includes a brief stop on the island. Enjoy an ice cream sundae and then a river cruise. Contact: 304-420-4800

To learn more at West Virginia’s state parks events and places to stay, visit http://www.wvstateparks.com/.

Contact Information

Sissie Summers, Parks and Recreation Section