BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – Active Southern West Virginia is proud to announce a new partnership with West Virginia State Parks in the New River Gorge region. Active SWV has been working hard to bring variety into their programming and explore new outdoor areas of our great state.
The non-profit will be hosting First Sunday Hikes, lead by Community Captains Levi and Rene Moore, at participating State Parks in our region.
First Sunday Hikes have been a long-standing, successful component of the organization.
“The idea for the First Sunday Hikes was to offer regular events to a crowd of people that are looking for something to do on Sunday afternoons between church services, or after family lunches, or even because that’s the only day they have to get outside.” said Community Captain Levi Moore. Many of the hikes have been offered on National Park property and now they are expanding into the State Parks.
“The ability to take the success we’ve seen with our [Active Southern West Virginia] partnership with the National Park Service and expand that into our State Parks is extremely exciting since they offer even more opportunities for local community members to get outside and explore their West Virginia. Plus, it’ll help the State Parks by increasing local traffic to their sites. Ideally, I’d love to see us doing multiple different events in the State Parks in the New River Gorge Region in addition to the First Sunday Hikes. My hope is that this initiative is just the beginning of an outstanding long-term partnership.” said Levi.
Currently, there are four participating State Parks. Babcock State Park in Fayette County offers opportunities for hiking through rhododendron-lined trails and along rippling, rock strewn streams.
Pipestem Resort State Park, in Summers County, provides beautiful trails on the east rim of the Bluestone River Gorge and access to an aerial tramway connecting the rim to even more recreational opportunities at the bottom of the gorge. Carnifex Ferry Battlefield State park, in Nicholas County, sits on the rim of the Gauley River and is also a part of the Civil War Discovery Trail; blending history, stunning scenery and recreation. Bluestone State Park in Summers County is a wilderness park best known for Bluestone Lake, the state’s third-largest body of water, with forest and rugged mountain terrain perfect for hiking, fishing and camping.
Scheduled First Sunday Hike Dates:
April 1st at Pipestem Resort State Park
May 6th at Babcock State Park
June 3rd at Bluestone State Park
July 1st at Carnifex Ferry Battlefield State Park
August 5th at Pipestem Resort State Park
September 2nd at Babcock State Park
October 7th at Carnifex Ferry Battlefield State Park
November 4th at Bluestone State Park
As an added incentive to getting outside and experiencing our State Parks, you’ll also be able to earn a FREE Active Southern West Virginia t-shirt, social media recognition for your achievements, and an exclusive invitation to the December 2018 Active SWV Appreciation Awards and Dinner.
For more information about incentives please check out the blog at: https://activeswv.org/active-swv-state-parks- tour, or follow the Facebook Group Active Southern West Virginia State Parks Tour.
Active Southern West Virginia continues to work with other WV State Parks in our area to schedule more activities. The organization hopes these hikes will demonstrate how community members can become Active SWV Community Captains, and to lead additional physical activity programs in their local State Parks. People of all ages and abilities are invited to experience group hikes with the goal of finding new Community Captains to continue hikes in each of these parks. Volunteer Community Captain training is provided for free and covers safety, communications, promotion, and certifications. “Anyone can become a Community Captain with Active SWV. This is a unique way to help people in your hometown to become more physically active. Everyone can be a part of the Active SWV family by becoming a champion of health for our region.” said Erin Ellis-Reid, Community Outreach Director.
Please check for updates at www.activeswv.org/events. Contact the office today for more information at email@example.com or call (304) 254-8488.