An annual nature festival offers various weekend activities to get out and explore

FAYETTEVILLE, WV (WOAY) – This year’s annual Wild Weekend in Fayetteville gave guests at the Fayetteville Visitor Center and the town, itself, a whole weekend of exploring all of West Virginia’s wonderful nature, despite having to play it safe through the pandemic and limit some of the attractions.

“I think that we had a really good year, it definitely exceeded our expectations. It’s been really awesome to see people still getting out and exploring nature even with a few changes to the lineup,” Tabitha Stover, Executive Director of the Fayetteville Visitor Center says.

The festival kicked off Friday with interactive nature exhibits right at the visitor center before branching off to various kinds of educational hikes, wildlife presentations, mountain biking, along with many other kinds of ways to see, learn, and explore nature within the New River Gorge area.

“We are right across the street from the New River Gorge National Park so there are tons of opportunities for not even just cyclists but people who want to hike and explore the park, to base their adventure from here,” says Travis Brown, Event Coordinator at Arrowhead Bike Farm. “And everyone who has more nature in their life tends to be just a little bit more relaxed, a good way to relieve some stress, and we’re just happy to provide that opportunity for folks.”

Beyond the exploring and the fun, learning about the area is exactly what this wild weekend had in store.

“It was really neat to see especially some of the animals that we don’t normally get to see, like seeing the kids reactions to the bald eagle, and even just learning about things that we can do to help animals in our area,” Stover says.

While this year’s nature festival is coming to an end, the Fayetteville Visitor Center plans to host similar nature events, such as guided foraging hikes in the fall.

Next year’s Wild Weekend expects to be bigger and better than ever, with even more workshops, hikes, and other nature activities being added to the lineup.

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