How were the famous Blackwater Falls formed? How did Canaan Valley get to be so wide? West Virginia’s state parks and forests are famous for their natural beauty, and that includes the makeup of the land on which they are located. The geologic setting of West Virginia’s state parks also can teach a lot about the natural history of our state and region. A new series of publications focusing on the geology of state parks reveals the landforms, geologic history, and rocks of these scenic areas in words and photographs, and it’s done in an easy-to-understand format.
“The Geology of Cacapon Resort and Lost River State Parks” (State Park Bulletin SP-7) is a highly-illustrated geological tour through these two eastern panhandle state parks in the Valley and Ridge physiographic province. Cacapon Resort State Park is in Morgan County, and Lost River State Park is in Hardy County. The 36-page booklet describes the rocks and geologic history that visitors will encounter in each park, and explains each park’s topography and prominent geological features. In addition to text written for the non-specialist, the booklet is filled with explanatory illustrations and beautiful photographs. Fold-out colored geologic maps identify the rock units visible in each park area.
“The Geology of Canaan Valley Resort and Blackwater Falls State Parks” (State Park Bulletin SP-6A) follows a similar format for these two eastern West Virginia state parks in Tucker County, in the Allegheny Mountain Section of the Appalachian Plateau physiographic province. The highly-illustrated 32-page booklet describes the geology, rocks, and landforms in these parks, including the geology responsible for the formation of the falls of the Blackwater River and the broad valley at Canaan. Fold-out colored geologic maps identify the rock units visible in each of these parks areas.
“We also are preparing maps and text for a third volume in the series that will feature Watoga, Droop Mountain Battlefield, and Beartown State Parks in Pocahontas County,” said Ken Ashton, geologist for the West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey. “This bulletin is expected to be available by mid-summer 2009.”
These booklets are produced by the West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey in cooperation with West Virginia State Parks. Each is available for $5.95 and can be ordered from the Publications Sales office of the West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey, 1 Mont Chateau Road, Morgantown, WV 26508-8079; phone (304) 594-2331. Mail orders should include 6 percent sales tax if mailed to a West Virginia address and $4.95 shipping and handling for each order. Visit online www.wvgs.wvnet.edu for more information.
The booklets also are available at many state parks and forests that have gift shops, including Cacapon Resort, Lost River, Blackwater Falls and Canaan Valley Resort. Visit online West Virginia State Parks at www.wvstateparks.com for state parks information.