With spring on the horizon, soon the Gorge will be blooming with wildflowers and native animalspecies will become more active. And there’s no better way to explore the natural flora and fauna of our region than The New River Birding & Nature Festival.
This unique festival will be held April 29 – May 4 and is your opportunity to get to know the different species of birds that call our region home and their habitats. Local volunteers work hard every year to make sure The New River Birding & Nature Festival is a success. The week-long event features guided birding and nature excursions, world-class speakers and guides, delicious food and a stay in a private cabin. Each day, visitors can expect a nature excursion, two presentations by nature experts, three tasty meals and plenty of laughs!
With several exciting excursions every day, guests have plenty of opportunities to get outside and explore the biodiversity of our region. Search for warblers and wildflowers at Glade Creek, see waterfalls and Louisiana Waterthrush at Fayette Station and observe the beloved Cerulean Warbler at Cotton Hill. Some nature excursions will also visit areas outside of the New River Gorge, including Cranberry Glades, West Virginia’s most unique ecosystem, and Muddelty Wetlands and Ridges, described as the “birdiest habitat in the Appalachians.” After excursions, experts will speak every evening on topics like bird and nature facts, conservation, biodiversity and environmental education.
Birds aren’t the only animals you can expect to find during the festival. Reptiles, amphibians and butterflies are commonly sighted, too. If you’re lucky, you might spot a North American river otter or black bear! Plant life is also a focus of this festival. The forests of our region are home to many unique plants – during the festival, you’ll identify different types of wildflowers, native plants and invasive species.
Packages for the festival range from a single day without lodging to all week with private cabin accommodations. All packages include meals, speakers and excursions. Registration for the New River Birding & Nature Festival is now open, and every year, this popular event sells out. If you’re a bird watcher and nature enthusiast, now is the time to book your package!