Published On: Wed, Feb 19th, 2014

Watoga State Park offering monthly nature hikes

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The beauty of Pocahontas County is undeniable and Watoga State Park Assistant Superintendent Kelly Smith is hoping the park’s monthly hikes will give visitors a closer look at that beauty.

“Watoga State Park is such a special place with so much to offer,” Smith said. “We are hoping to share a little of that with park guests and the local community. The scenic beauty, special unique features of the park. Flora, fauna and hiking trails will be the focus of the programs offered.”

The hikes are scheduled for the first Saturday of each month at 10:30 a.m. Participants will be led by Smith, Superintendent Mark Wylie and Naturalist Cheryle Boggs.

Each month has a theme related to the season and the lifespan of flowers and creatures of the park.

The schedule of events is as follows:

• March 1, Geological Foray. Learn about the geologic forms of the county. Meet at the Park Office.

• April 5, Birding and Wildflower Walk along Jessie Cove Trail. Meet at the check-in station at the Riverside Campground for a five-mile hike.

• May 3, Spring Wildflowers at Watoga. Meet at Cabin #1 near the Greenbrier River.

• June 7, Fred E. Brooks Memorial Arboretum Tour. In celebration of National Trails Day, take a hike around the arboretum. Meet at the Arboretum for the four-and-a-half mile trek.

• July 5, Herpetology Hike. Learn about the amphibians and reptiles that may be found at Watoga. Meet at the Park Administration Building for the one-and-a-half mile hike.

• August 2, Fern Walk. Meet at the Arboretum.

• September 6, Heritage and History Stroll. Learn about the history of the park, the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) and families that lived in the area. Park at the swimming pool to begin the hike.

• October 4, Ann Bailey Lookout Tower Hike. Enjoy the beautiful palette of autumn in Pocahontas County. Meet at the Ann Bailey Trailhead.

• November 1, Allegheny Trail Hike. A trek to the top of Beaver Lick Mountain on the Allegheny Trail. Park at the Beaver Creek Campground.

• December 6, Calvin Price State Forest Tour. Explore the forest named for the late Pocahontas Times editor. Park at the Cal Price Green Gate close to Watoga’s South Entrance.

To learn more about the hikes or other program offered at Watoga, visit www.watoga.com or call 304-799-4087.

Suzanne Stewart may be contacted at sastewart@pocahontastimes.com

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