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West Virginia State Parks
VIPP Program - Very Important Parks Person

If you frequent state parks…
If you appreciate the beauty and natural wonder found at state parks and forests…
If you participate and attend special events, activities and programs…
You are already a Very Important Parks Person.

And now’s the time to make it official!

VIPP is a unique visitation program introduced in 1986 and created to recognize
‘friends’ of West Virginia State Parks. Those individuals, families and friends have grown in number and come from the entire State of West Virginia and beyond.

VIPPers are an eclectic group.

There are hikers and bikers (both bicycle and motorcycle).

There are paw paws and whippersnappers.

There are the very curious with GPS units and the very laid back ready for a nap.

Preachers, teachers and students.

Historians and naturalists.

Teens and tweens and young families recognizing state parks and forests as an affordable family vacation with great facilities and programs.

Many VIPPers remember parks as a child and continue to visit parks as a tradition with children, a sweetheart, parent, guardian or grandparent.

Each participant has a personal commitment or fond memories of state parks and forests.

All independently share an appreciation of the recreational treasure that public lands like parks and forests offer state residents and guests. Parks and forests are special places that are
preserved, stewarded and maintained for all generations.

The VIPP concept gives recognition to individuals, friends and family visiting state parks and forests and enjoying the interpretative programs, activities and special events offered.

In the “spirit of welcome,” you’re invited to participate.

How to join the growing VIPP list:

  • Complete a simple registration form available in the printed VIPP brochure.
  • Brochures are available state parks and state forests, the WV Welcome Centers and the central office in South Charleston, WV.
  • To have a brochure/form mailed to you, please call 304-558-2764 and ask for a VIPP brochure.
  • After completing and forwarding the registration form via mail, you’ll receive a VIPP information packet via USPS mail. The visitation log card is mailed after we receive the completed enrollment form.

A lifetime of enjoyment at WV State parks and forests begins!

To attain VIPP status participants must:

  1. Visit fifteen mandatory parks and forests and five additional areas from the list of elective parks and forests printed on the initial participation card issued.
  2. When visiting the areas, participants must stop at the park office, headquarters or front desk and have your card stamped and dated by park personnel. On those areas that do not operate a 24-hour desk or there is no one available to stamp your visitation card, you will find a modified birdhouse with a stamp specific to that area. We operate under the merit system at these areas and accept your date written by the stamp you place on the card.
  3. The program is not a race, nor are there any expectations of completion in a given amount of time. The expectation is that completed cards submitted are truthful and that the individual actually visited the areas indicated.
  4. The program is open to any person regardless of their race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, disability, or other legally recognized protected status.
  5. Once a participant has personally completed the required visits, sign the back of the card and mail it into the Parks and Recreation office.
    West Virginia State Parks
    Attn: VIPP Program
    324 4th Avenue
    South Charleston, WV 25303
  6. The reward for completing the initial VIPP visitation requirement is a $25 gift card. This card can be used at an WV State Park or Forest to purchase gift items, accommodation payments, golf play or other fee based services.  An embroidered VIPP patch accompanies the gift card.  The rewards are mailed after the completed card is received the information is logged. The gift card and VIPP patch are issued only once. Replacement of lost  or stolen cards cannot be accommodated.
  7. There is no limit to the number of times you may complete the program.
  8. For each additional completion, a star is awarded. Participants become a Star VIPP upon the second completion, upon the third, a Two Star VIPP, etc.
  9. Star VIPPers receive a VIPP Star Card. Star VIPP cards are mailed after completion of the initial VIPP card. The practice of having multiple cards stamped for one individual or having multiple cards stamped for other individuals who are not present at the park or forest is strongly discouraged. The expectation is to receive truthful information regarding visits to areas.
  10. The coordinator for the VIPP program is Carol Stewart. She and her husband are 15-star participants and were VIPPers long before Carol came to WV State Parks to serve as VIPP coordinator. She enjoys an earlier retirement but refuses to retire completely and thus serves as VIPP coordinator on a part-time basis. She is in the office on an intermittent schedule.

    If you plan to stop by to drop off completed cards, please call or email in advance. This allows the enrollee and Carol to discuss VIPP information. Her email address is The phone number is (304) 558-2764. If you reach her voice mail, please leave a message with your name and phone number so she may return your call.

    Carol makes every attempt to contact VIPPers and to complete requests as soon as possible.  Gift Cards are mailed after the initial card or star cards are deemed eligible and as available.
  11. VIPP cards issued are logged prior to mailing and have a start date indicated. A database is maintained to track rewards, stars, cards and license plates issued.
  12. There is no charge to register in the VIPP program


Email for a lifetime of state park fun as a VIPP and to ask for a VIPP brochure. If you're wanting only the registration form click here to print that information.  You may complete the form, scan and forward the information via email as an alternative to a postal mailing.  The email address is

VIPP license plate

License Plates
Purchase a VIPP license plate for your vehicle. Click here for details.

These are sold to registered individuals in the VIPP program.


The 29th Annual Picnic host site will be held at North Bend State Park.  The picnic date is Saturday, August 29, 2015 with activities being planned for Friday and Sunday. When calling for rooms or cabins ask for VIPP reservations. Camping will be 50% off site rates. (See camping information below.)

As of July 28, 2015 the 29-rooms and nine cabins at North Bend are sold out, If cancellations occur, park staff will use the waiting list. Visit the Ritchie County TVB site and the Greater Parkersburg CVB site for suggestions for local accommodations; the Friday information link below also includes contact information for hotels in the Parkersburg and Clarksburg areas – the list does not include bed and breakfasts, cabins or other accommodations types.

North Bend has two separate campground areas: River Run and Cokeley.  The reservable campsites at River Run are booked (as of July 28, 2015)  leaving first-come, first-serve sites available.  Cokeley Campground sites are all first-come, first-serve.  The VIPP Picnic does not close the park to the general public or alter campground operations. 

First-come, first-serve campsites become reserved with payment beginning with the date of payment. An example, if a camper calls North Bend on Thursday (this example being August 27) and a site is available for that Thursday (8/27), Friday (8/28) and Saturday (8/29), the campground attendant can take the payment for the three nights and that campsite would be available upon your arrival whether is it Thursday or Friday or Saturday. Calls can be made the day of the first night rental for  first-come, first-serve sites, and if available and with payment, reserved for your arrival later in the day.  Another example, a person could call on Monday, August 24 and pay for August 24-30 at that time and the site is available upon your arrival because it is paid for from that beginning date and consecutive dates forward.  VIPP campsite rates are 50% off for attendees registered for the VIPP Picnic for a two or more night rentals. 

River Run campsite information is available by calling 304-643-2931.  Cokeley Campground campsite information is available by calling 304-643-4777.  The attendant answering the phone is also the same dedicated employee that refreshes the bathhouses, checks-in campers and processes payments.  Attendants generally report to work at 8:00a but immediately check bathhouses and grounds.  Your understanding and patience when calling is appreciated.

The picnic and activities are coming together!  The mailing is out and received.

The picnic is on Saturday, August 29 at North Bend State Park. This year we'll be having a corn roast as part of picnic fun. Horse drawn wagon rides by Hardly Able Carriage Company and bike use from North Bend Outfitters is part of the fun. The swimming pool is open on Saturday and Sunday.

Please note on the registration form (and on program information)  about a price reduction to ride the Island Belle Sternwheeler to Blennerhassett Island.  This can be a little confusing, but bear with us.  Folks that send registration form for the picnic and  plan to visit Blennerhassett Island on Friday, August 28, please check that info on the registration form. We will create a list of registered Picnickers and provide those names Blennerhassett Island staff.  Those individuals indicating island visits on August 28 can ride the Island Belle for $5 – which is a reduction from the full rate.  See Island Departure schedule and rate info if planning to visit Blennerhassett Island on Friday, August 28.  Ticket purchase is at Blennerhassett Museum as normal and departure from Point Park.  The special Island Belle rate is also available on Sunday, August 30, however, to get that rate, please show you VIPP Picnic Name Tag. The rate is not available on August 29 because there is not enough time to visit the island on Picnic Day! Do not send money to ride the sternwheeler with your picnic registration form.  You will purchase the boat ticket at Blennerhassett Museum.

2015 VIPP Registration Form
2015 VIPP Program – Friday Info
2015 VIPP Program –  Saturday Info – Picnic Day

2016 Picnic Announcement
The 2016 picnic location will posts on Monday, August 31, 2015.


VIPP newsletters or fliers arrive via US postal service once a year, or more if appropriate and feasible to the addresses on file in our VIPP participant registration mailing list. If you have moved, and have not notified the program manager of the address change, we will not have a current address on file. Please keep Carol updated.

An electronic VIPP newsletter is available when we have your email address and your request for the eNewsletter.  Individuals must subscribe to the electronic newsletter and may unsubscribe at any time.  Privacy policies protect you from unwanted electronic transmissions and why you generate the email request.   Click here to fill out the online form to receive electronic newsletters.


Very Important Parks Person (VIPP)

Hiking Club

Volunteer Park Host Program
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