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Canceled: New River Gorge Wildflower Weekend
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Canceled: New River Gorge Wildflower Weekend

April 24, 2020 - April 26, 2020

17th Annual New River Gorge Wildflower Weekend | April 24 – 26, 2020

Plus other nature events throughout April

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Celebrate the glories of spring in Appalachian from the rim of the gorge to the river! Explore the area’s natural diversity and contribute as a citizen scientist at New River Gorge National River, Tamarack, and the state parks of Babcock, Carnifex Ferry Battlefield, Hawks Nest, Pipestem Resort, and Twin Falls Resort. All programs are FREE unless noted.

All programs are FREE unless notes. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Bring water and wear sturdy walking shoes for guided walks. Snacks, binoculars, a hand lens, field guides, a favorite smart device pre-loaded with nature apps, and a camera are also useful. 

Post photos of your nature adventures in the parks this weekend with #NRGWFW.

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Pre-spring events

April 11, 2020

  • Spring Big Branch Hike
    • WHEN and WHERE: 1:00 to 4:00 pm, Brooks Falls/Big Branch trailhead on River Road in New River Gorge National River, five miles from Hinton, WV.  Discover some of the early signs of the season along this beautiful mountain stream. Be prepared for four stream crossings on this moderate to strenuous trail.
  • Wildflower Art Field Trip with Beckley Art Center (BAC)
    • WHEN and WHERE: 3:00 to 6:00 pm, Glade Creek trailhead on Glade Creek Access Road in New River Gorge National River, six miles from Prince, WV. (or meet at Beckley Art Center, 600 Johnstown Road, Beckley at 2:00 to car caravan)
    • Bring your camera, sketchbook, watercolors, colored pencils, etc. to create art inspired by nature in nature. Join BAC artists, the Beckley Camera Club, and naturalists to explore Glade Creek. Artwork created during this field adventure will be featured in a special exhibit at BAC on April 26.

April 16, 2020

  • Earth Stewardship Project: Garlic Mustard Pull
    • WHEN and WHERE: 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, Rend trailhead on Route 25 in New River Gorge National River, one mile from Thurmond, WV. Wear long sleeves, long pants, sturdy walking shoes, and work gloves, plus bring water and lunch.
    • Help park natural resource staff stop the spread of garlic mustard, a non-native, invasive plant that out-competes native herbs and wildflowers. RESERVATIONS requested by April 13: 304-465-2634 or [email protected]

 

April 18, 2020

  • 50th Anniversary Earth Day Celebration in Oak Hill
    • WHEN and WHERE: 8:00 am to 12:00 pm, White Oak Depot, Central Ave., Oak Hill, WV near Oak Hill City Park. www.facebook.com/events/destination-downtown-oak-hill/50th-anniversary-earth-day/
    • Join Destination Downtown to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day. Help with a city-wide cleanup (8:00 – 10:00 am), children’s activities (10:00 am – 12:00 pm), trail building at Needleseye Park, and planting flowers and trees in the city.
  • Earth Day Stewardship Project and River Friends: New River Flatrock Ecology and Restoration
    • WHEN and WHERE: 10:00 am to 2:30 pm, Camp Brookside Environmental Education Center, 309 North Mullens Road in New River Gorge National River; when in Brooks, WV, turn onto North Mullens Road, then turn left after crossing the railroad tracks, follow the dirt road to Camp Brookside. Wear long sleeves, long pants, sturdy walking shoes, and work gloves, plus bring water and lunch.
    • Learn about the ecology and rare plants of the unique riverside Appalachian flatrock community.  Help park natural resource staff restore the native plant and lichen assemblage by removing non-native, invasive plant that outcompetes native plants. Then meet Bald Eagle Ambassador Regis and the Friends of New River Gorge National River. RESERVATIONS requested by April 15: 304-465-2634 or [email protected]

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Main event weekend

April 24, 2020

  • Earth Stewardship Project: Garlic Mustard Pull
    • WHEN and WHERE: 9:00 am to 1:00 pm, Pipestem Resort State Park in Pipestem, WV; meet at the park’s Nature Center. Wear long sleeves, long pants, sturdy walking shoes, and work gloves, plus bring water and lunch.
    • Help park staff stop the spread of garlic mustard, a non-native, invasive plant that out-competes native herbs and wildflowers. RESERVATIONS requested by April 21: 304-466-1800 ext. 244 or [email protected]
  • Endless Spring Sunset Stroll
    • WHEN and WHERE: 6:00 to 8:30 pm, Endless Wall Trail’s Fern Creek trailhead on Lansing-Edmond Road in New River Gorge National River, Lansing, WV.
    • Explore life in diverse forests and see one of the best clifftop views of the New River Gorge on this leisurely two-mile moderate hike.

April 25, 2020

  • Hike Into Spring! Plus Active SWV Adventure Bonus
    • WHEN and WHERE: 9:30 am to 2:00 pm, Grandview – shelter #4 at New River Gorge National River in Grandview, WV. Bring water and a snack.
    • Join naturalists on a leisurely 2.5-mile hike from Grandview down to the New River, finding wildflowers and other natural wonders along the way. Be prepared for some steep terrain on an old dirt road. A free shuttle will be provided. RESERVATIONS requested by April 21: 304-465-2632 or [email protected]
    • Active SWV Adventure Bonus: stay active in the park by running or hiking back up to the top of the gorge.
  •  Carnifex Old-growth Nature Trek
    • WHEN and WHERE: 5:00 to 6:30 pm, Patterson House at Carnifex Ferry Battlefield State Park in Summersville, WV.
    • Hike to Pierson Hollow’s old-growth forest to take a closer look at this diverse ecosystem, including rare species. Be prepared for an easy one-mile hike with some moderate terrain.
  •  Star Watching Party
    • WHEN and WHERE: 8:00 to 10:00 pm, Boley Lake at Babcock State Park in Clifftop, WV.
    • Enjoy the wonders of the night sky while hanging out on the shores of the lake. Bring a blanket and a red-filtered flashlight. Some star watching tools will be available.

April 26, 2020

  • Spring Birding at Babcock
    • WHEN and WHERE: 8:00 to 10:00 am, Glade Creek Grist Mill at Babcock State Park in Clifftop, WV. Some binoculars will be available.
    • Stroll the diverse habitats of Babcock in search of spring birds.
  • New River Old-growth Hike
    • WHEN and WHERE: 9:00 am to 2:00 pm, Stone Cliff Trailhead at New River Gorge National River just over a mile from Thurmond, WV. Bring water and lunch.
    • Discover nature of the forest near New River, including old-growth trees, on this six-mile round trip hike.
  •    Falls & Flowers: the Nature of Brush Creek
    • WHEN and WHERE: 1:00 to 4:00 pm, Nature Center at Pipestem Resort State Park in Pipestem, WV.
    • Enjoy waterfalls and blooms along Brush Creek on this moderate three-mile walk. Meet at Pipestem’s Nature Center to car caravan to the trailhead 20-minutes away.
  •  Hawks Nest Lakeside Nature Hike
    • WHEN and WHERE: 1:00 to 3:00 pm, Boat Launch parking at Hawks Nest State Park in Ansted, WV. (follow boat launch signs from downtown Ansted)
    • Explore the nature around Hawks Nest Lake and dam, along with a beautiful waterfall on this easy two-mile walk.
  •  Hot ID: Skills with Guides and APPS
    • WHEN and WHERE: 2:30 to 5:00 pm, Stone Cliff Trailhead at New River Gorge National River just over a mile from Thurmond, WV. Bing your favorite wildflower field guides or smart devices pre-loaded with nature ID apps. Some field guides will be available.
    • Hike one mile along the New River and try your hand at wildflower identification using the hottest flora ID tools.
  • Creatures of the Night Hike
    • WHEN and WHERE: 8:30 to 10:00 pm, Grandview Visitor Center at New River Gorge National River in Grandview, WV. Bing a red-filtered flashlight.
    • Explore nature’s night life on this one-mile forest adventure in search of bats, owls, and more.

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Post-spring events

April 30, 2020

  • Earth Stewardship Project: Garlic Mustard Pull
    • WHEN and WHERE: 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, Glade Creek trailhead on Glade Creek Access Road in New River Gorge National River, six miles from Prince, WV.  Wear long sleeves, long pants, sturdy walking shoes, and work gloves, plus bring water and lunch.
    • Help park natural resource staff stop the spread of garlic mustard, a non-native, invasive plant that out-competes native herbs and wildflowers. RESERVATIONS requested by April 27: 304-465-2634 or [email protected]

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WV Master Naturist Workshop

West Virginia Master Naturalist Wildflowers and Weeds core course (two parts)

Explore the classification, diversity, and ecology of wildflowers in this WV Master Naturalist core, two-part certification course. RESERVATIONS requested by April 21: 304-465-2632 or [email protected]

  • Part 1: April 22 Classroom
    • WHEN and WHERE: 6:00 to 8:30 pm, Canyon Rim Visitor Center at New River Gorge National River in Lansing, WV.
  • Part 2: Field lab (attend at least one field session listed below)
    • Option 1 WHEN and WHERE: April 24, 9:30 am to 2:00 pm, Hike Into Spring! program, Grandview shelter #4 at New River Gorge National River in Grandview, WV. (no field guide use step-by-step)
    • Option 2 WHEN and WHERE: April 26, 2:30 to 5:00 pm, Hot ID: Skills with Guides and APPS program, Stone Cliff Trailhead at New River Gorge National River near Thurmond, WV. (field guide use step-by-step)

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Spring Photography Workshops      

  • April 25: Birds of Prey Photography
    • WHERE: Three Rivers Avian Center in Brooks, WV.
    • Learn and practice the art of bird photography with instructor Steven Rotsch. Sign up for full or half day sessions. www.stevenrotsch.com or 304-541-7574 for workshop times and prices. 
  • May 15 – 17: Spring Photography @ Twin Falls
    • WHERE: Twin Falls Resort State Park in Mullens, WV.
    • Learn and practice photography skills with instructors Steve Shaluta, Steven Rotsch, and park Superintendent Scott Durham. www.wvstateparks.com/event/spring-photography-workshop-at-twin-falls/ or 304-294-4000 for class times, workshop prices, and lodging/meal packages. 

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Arts at Tamarack 

1 Tamarack Park, Beckley, West Virginia

  • April 3 – May 4, 2020: Youth Arts in the Parks 2020 Appalachian Spring Wildflower Art Exhibit
    • 8:00 am to 8:00 pm daily, art exhibit in the theater lobby of the Hulett C. Smith Theater and the David L. Dickirson Fine Arts Gallery. Students from Fayette, Nicholas, Raleigh, and Summers Counties celebrate regional ecology through art in this special exhibit. Each work was inspired by an area wildflower. #NRGYAP
  • April 25: The World in Glass Demo, 1:00 – 3:00 pm
    • See how resident glass blowing expert John DesMeules makes his beautiful glass world paper weights in this glass blowing demonstration inspired by the planet earth. See this glassmaking at Tamarack’s Studio C near the glass art.
  • Arts at Beckley Art Center
    • 600 Johnstown Rd., Beckley, West Virginia
  • April 26: Wildflower Art Field Trip Exhibit
    • 4:00 to 5:30 pm. Enjoy the art and photos created during the April 11 field trip to Glade Creek in New River Gorge National River in this special exhibit, each piece inspired by nature. These works will be featured in the Classroom Gallery in the lower level of the Beckley Art Center.

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Help Care for Parks

As responsible land stewards, each of us can help care for the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics. Leave a good impression on the land and others by following easy techniques in any outdoor situation. www.LNT.org

Be a Citizen Scientist – iNaturalist

Share Your Nature Observations

Explore, learn, and record your observations for FREE.

  1. Download the iNaturalist app on your smart device from the app store.
  2. Make an iNaturalist account.
  3. Join the New River  Gorge National River project list.
  4. Start making observations in the park and become a citizen scientist, sharing your sightings anytime.