West Virginia state parks prepare for First Day Hikes on New Year’s Day

West Virginia

The sun sets behind mountains, imparting a sense of tranquility, in early autumn, as seen from Lindy Point Overlook in West Virginia’s Blackwater State Park.

(WBOY) – State parks across West Virginia are encouraging people to spend the first day of the new year outdoors on one of their First Day Hikes.

Eight state parks in West Virginia, including three in north central West Virginia, will be hosting guided hikes on Jan. 1 as part of a nationwide initiative led by America’s State Parks.

For every hike, warm clothes and sturdy shoes are needed. Water and snacks are recommended for longer hikes, and items such as binoculars are welcome.

North central West Virginia

Blackwater Falls State Park – Tucker County

Blackwater offers a hike to scenic overlooks. Participants will hike from Pendleton Trace trail to Pendleton Point Overlook, then continue along Spudder Track and loop back to the Nature Center along the Gee Haw Ski trail. This First Day Hike will meet at the Nature Center at 10:30 a.m. The activity is expected to be an hour and a half and covers about a mile and a half of hiking.

North Bend State Park – Ritchie County

Hikers for North Bend’s First Day Hike should arrive at shelter #3 at 10 a.m. The hike is estimated to be about two hours. Participants will receive a First Day Hike patch.

Tygart Lake State Park – Taylor County

Tygart Lake hikers should meet at the state park’s campground at 10 a.m. on New Year’s Day. The two-mile hike will go along the School Bus Loop Trail which is mostly flat terrain. Hikers who complete the trail will receive a First Day Hike patch.

Across West Virginia

Cacapon State Park – Morgan County

At Cacapon, first day hikers will have a choice of three different trails:

  • Hovermale Trail: a two-mile easy hike near a family homestead and a meandering stream
  • Cabin Loop Trail: an easy one mile loop
  • Laurel Trail: a moderate two and a half mile hike with mountain and lake views

All three hikes will meet at the Nature Center at 10 a.m.

Cass Scenic Railroad State Park – Pocahontas County

Hikers at Cass should meet at the Cass Company Store at 1 p.m. for a hike along the Greenbrier River Trail. The hike is expected to be about three miles down and back on mostly flat terrain. Participants will receive a First Day Hike patch.

Chief Logan State Park – Logan County

At Chief Logan, hikers should meet at the Museum at 10 a.m. for a one-mile hike on the Cliffside Trail which is suitable for all ages but is near dropoffs in some areas. Hikers will receive a First Day Hike patch at the end of the activity.

Pipestem Resort State Park – Mercer/Summers counties

The Pipestem first day hike will be on the cart path from holes one to nine of the 18-hole Championship Golf Course. Hikers should meet at the Golf Pro Shop at 1 p.m. Cocoa and cookies will be available after the hike, and hike completers will get a First Day Hike patch.

Twin Falls State Park – Wyoming County

At Twin Falls, the First Day Hike will begin at 1 p.m. Hikers should meet at the campground to join this guided hike of the Cliffside Trail. Hikers will earn a First Day Hike patch.

For more information about First Day Hikes in West Virginia, click here.

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