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West Virginia State Parks and Forests
Summer Program Series

Special events and event weekends are scheduled throughout the year at West Virginia State Parks and Forests. Daily activities and special entertainment are offered during summer months and hosted by naturalists and programmers.  These special summer programs add more fun and enjoyment to your visit. 

Special Summer Programs at a Glance
(for special guest information, scroll to bottom of the page or click here)

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Three Rivers Avian Center – (TRAC)

Three Rivers Avian Center – (TRAC) – “Who cooks for me, who cooks for you all?” What bird says this phrase? Come to this Birds of Prey Education Program featuring live birds of prey native to West Virginia. 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. A screech, horned and barn owl; a Bald eagle and other feathered friends are part of this special interpretative program. 

250th anniversary of Cornstalk’s Campaign

In West Virginia, the year 2013 will be marked by numerous commemorative events highlighting the year 1863.  This special commemoration is fitting, for the American Civil War brought about great changes to our Nation, not the least of which was the federal recognition and creation of West Virginia as the 35th state.  Subsumed in the 150th birth year celebration is another anniversary of no less importance and perhaps with even greater impact on the future course of history in the region that one hundred years later became “The Mountain State”.  That is the 250th anniversary of Shawnee Warrior Cornstalk’s Raid on the western Virginia Euro-American settlements in the Trans-Allegheny region.  Click for full schedule,  and details

  • May 4 – Kanawha State Forest
  • June 1 – Tu-Endie-Wei State Park
  • September 7 – Hawks Nest State Park

Lou Maiuri

Lou Maiuri –Square and line– you’re invited! 
Lou Maiuri has taught squaredancing, an Appalachian tradition, for decades. A seasoned caller, Maiuri is a dance instructor of traditional Appalachian dance and modern line dancing. He has won many awards in competition, including three national championships and is the director and founder of Appalachian Country Cloggers. Bringing traditional dance and instruction to our state parks is a labor of love for Maiuri – his love of people and his love for dance is obvious when you attend one of Lou’s dance events. No previous dance experience (or rhythm) necessary. Come join us for a state park tradition – square-dancing!  4-H, dance groups, etc. welcome.  The caller is: Lou Maiuri.

Cacapon Resort – July 29, 2013, 7:30 p.m.

Bil Lepp

Bil Lepp is a nationally renowned storyteller and five time champion of the West Virginia Liars’ Contest. His outrageous, humorous tall-tales and witty stories have earned the appreciation of listeners of all ages and from all walks of life, from elementary school to veterans' homes, from churches to colleges, from festivals to formal dinners. Though a champion liar, his hilarious, insightful stories often contain morsels of truth which shed light on subjects such as politics, religion, relationships, and human nature. A storyteller, author, and recording artist, Lepp's works have received awards and recognition The Parents' Choice Foundation, The National Parenting Publications Assoc., Storytelling World, and the Public Library Assoc. Lepp has been featured numerous times at the National Storytelling Festival, and at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, and major storytelling and corporate events across the country.

These presentations are sponsored by Wonderful West Virginia Magazine.  

Bil is the author of three books of tall tales, eight audio collections, and recently published his first novel, Halfdollar. Bil lives in Charleston, WV with his wife and two children.

Blackwater Falls State Park - July 2, 2013
North Bend - July 6, 2013
Beech Fork – July 20, 2013
Pipestem Resort State Park -  August 17, 2013

Geology! Rocks

Geology! Rocks – Don’t know limestone from sandstone or granite from gravel! An evening program to teach, explain and explore the mysteries of ‘rock.’ The next morning we ‘roll’ out for a hike to learn about geology, topography and more. The West Virginia Geological Survey folks are the experts presenting this program series. You can attend evening or morning activities or both.  Great for scout and 4-H groups, families and our future geologists.  Times and locations vary from park to park, so if there is no specific time or meeting location listed, please contact the park direct.  Thank you.

2013 Geology! Rocks & Rock On!
June 21-22  Twin Falls
June 27-28  Holly River
June 28-29  North Bend
July 5  Cedar Creek
July 17-18  Lost River
July 18-19  Cacapon
July 24-25  Watoga
July 25-26 Canaan Valley
July 30-31  Blackwater Falls
August 1-2 Pipestem

Irish Road Bowling

Irish Long Bullets Road Bowling
Irish Road Bowling can be traced back to the 1600s. One story is that Dutch soldiers brought it when William of Orange came to Ireland in 1689. Another legend says that Irish patriots robbed English cannonballs and rolled them down a country lane by the light of a full moon.

West Virginia Irish Road Bowling
Irish troops marched over rugged hills, cutting their way through vast rhododendron thickets, all over what is now West Virginia during the Civil War, 1861-1863. 

In 2003, Dan Harvey, Commandant of the Military Museum, Collins Barracks, Cork City, Ireland, wrote" it is highly likely, indeed probable, that Union or Confederate troops of Irish origin played road bowling between battles during the American Civil war - as they did worldwide ... with many foreign armies."

In 1861, the 10th Ohio, formed in Cincinnati from Irish militia, with Captain T.J. Kelly, fought at the battle of Carnifex Ferry Landing near Kessler’s Cross Lanes. The 23d Illinois, Colonel James A. Mulligan's Irish Brigade, built and lived in Fort Mulligan near Petersburg for several months. In 1863, 80 Irishmen from Mulligan's Brigade, defending Greenland Gap, Hardy County, held a farmhouse for twelve hours against superior Confederate forces, until it was set afire and the roof caved in on them.

Road bowling events at WV State Parks (2014)
March 29 – Coopers Rock State Forest
April 26-27 – Pipestem Resort State Park
May 10 – Kanawha State Forest
June 14 – Blackwater Falls State Park
June 15 – Canaan Valley Resort
July 19 – Cacapon Resort State Park (Morgan County Fair)
October 11 – Holly River State Park
October 25 – Chief Logan State Park

Learn More
View Irish Road Bowling video
Learn about the game and history

 

Click park name to see park information

Audra
Beech Fork
Blennerhassett Island
Blackwater Falls
Cacapon
Cass Scenic RR
Cedar Creek

Greenbrier State
Hawks Nest
Holly River
Lost River
North Bend
Pipestem Resort

Stonewall
Tu-Endie-Wei
Tomlinson Run
Twin Falls
Tygart Lake
Watoga

Summer programming reflects the West Virginia State Parks mission statement. From cultural and historical facets, to natural history and traditional programs, you’re invited to learn, to play and to enjoy!
Offered at no charge – we encourage families, friends and youth to enjoy the great outdoors as well as some great folks sharing their talent and skills.

Always contact the park or forest where a program is scheduled for program location and starting times.
For a complete list of special Hikes & Walks click here.
To view complete calendar of events, click here.
For WV State Parks Programs (Adopt-A-Trail, Hiking Program, VIPP, etc.) click here.
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