DAVIS, W.Va. – As May quickly approaches, so do the thoughts of summer travel and vacations. But you don’t have to go far to experience some incredible outdoor adventures and fill your summer scrapbook with some great memories. One of West Virginia’s most beautiful areas, Canaan Valley, is a great vacation spot for West Virginians not wanting to travel too far from home. Here are some things to do there.

Things to do in the area

Biking – While not as popular as Snowshoe for mountain biking, Canaan Valley still has relaxing scenic biking along roads and trails. Over 100 miles of world-class single-track riding are found in Tucker County. Of these, 75% can be accessed from the town of Davis. Tucker County also has mountain bike trails in varying difficulty for beginners through super technical riders. Read more.

Geocaching – Geocaching is like a scavenger hunt using a GPS. For people that just like exploring but want a little more structure and purpose, this might be the activity for you. Geocaches are hidden all over the world. According to West Virgins State Parks, there are six geocaches in Canaan Valley Resort State Park, three in Blackwater Falls State Park, and two more in nearby Cass Scenic Railroad State Park. Here’s how to get started.

Blackwater Falls – Most West Virginians have seen Blackwater Falls at some point, but if you’re in the area, seeing a 62-foot waterfall is always fun. Blackwater Falls State Park also has great places for hiking, boating and fishing.

Dolly Sods WIlderness – If you just want the beauty of the outdoors, Dolly Sods is the place for you. The 17,371 acres of wilderness preservation spans three counties and has places to hike, mountain bike, fish, and rock climb.

Scheduled events and Activities

If you want a more guided way to explore Canaan Vally, the park also offers special programs. Offering multiple programs and activities allowing guests to explore and experience the area’s splendid mountain scenery with nature in full bloom, Canaan Valley Resort will host a variety of adventures throughout the month of May for visitors of all ages to enjoy.

Family Trail Days, May 7 – Features an 8-mile walk between Canaan Valley Resort State Park and Blackwater Falls State Park with a cookout lunch at the mid-way point, separate interpretive hikes, and other activities. The walk between the parks is moderately strenuous and offers remarkable views of Canaan Valley. Pre-registration recommended.

Saturday Spring Strolls, May 7 & 14 – Join Canaan Valley Master Naturalists for Saturday morning (10 a.m.) Spring strolls through the Park highlighting area history, flora and fauna.  The event is free and open to the public.

Mother’s Day Paint & Sip, May 7 – Local artist Lynn Smith will instruct guests step-by-step as they paint “Daisy May” on an 11” X 14” canvas from 7-9pm. Wine will be served, and art supplies are included in the registration cost.

Introduction to Birding, May 21 – Master Naturalist Laura Ceperley will lead a 1-1.5 mile walk through Canaan Valley Resort State Park’s meadows, forest, and swamp from 9-11am highlighting different species of birds in their natural habitat.  The event is free and open to the public.

Memorial Weekend Activities, May 27-29 – Kickoff the start to summer “resort-style” by enjoying all the amenities offered at Canaan Valley Resort! Lounge by the pool, participate in a variety of outdoor lawn games, play a round of golf, hike or bike the park trails or simply do nothing at all.

Mountainside Music Series, May 27 – Occurring outdoors on the Quencher’s Plaza, slope side at the ski area, and free to the public, Canaan Valley Resort’s Mountainside Music Series features live music from 6-9pm every Friday evening throughout the summer (beginning 5/27). Pub fare, as well as local craft brews, are available for purchase at Quencher’s Pub. Guests can also choose to enjoy a scenic sunset chairlift ride.

“From walks between Canaan Valley Resort State Park and Blackwater Falls State Park and an educational program on birding, to Memorial Day Weekend resort fun and the kickoff of our summer Mountainside Music Series, our May programming is designed to engage guests in the breathtaking beauty of the highest mountain valley east of the Rocky Mountains,” said Sam England, general manager at Canaan Valley Resort.

Where to stay

Throughout the spring and summer, Canaan Valley Resort will offer a special lodging rate for West Virginia residents. The promotion, known as “West Virginia Proud”, allows state residents to receive a 30 percent discount off the resort’s best available rate for two-night stays (or more) through the end of spring, and a 25 percent discount during the summer. The deal can be applied to lodge rooms and cabins at the state park.

For more things to do while visiting Canaan Valley, click here.