By Beth Christian
The Parsons Advocate
DAVIS – Cold temperatures did not deter the almost 50 nature lovers who gathered early on the first day of 2016 to learn about Blackwater Falls State Park and participate in one of the eight First Day Hikes being offered in the West Virginia State Parks.
Blackwater Falls State Park Naturalist Pauletta Cousin participation in the hike was more than usual and she was glad to see so many folks coming out to hike in Blackwater. She and Assistant Park Naturalist Jenna Hughes led hikers through parts of Shay Trace and Elakala Falls.
Participants for the hikes were from all over West Virginia and surrounding states, and more than five scouts participated in the First Day Hikes to help earn their merit badges.
The First Day Hikes is part of a nationwide outdoor activity promoted by the America’s State Parks organization. West Virginia State Parks Chief Sam England said ‘park chiefs and directors across the U.S. are encouraging the use of state parks on the first day of the new year.’ He added that hiking is one of the top activities enjoyed by visitors on trails and pathways year-round in the W.Va. parks and forests.
Participants in the First Day Hike received a West Virginia First Day Hike patch. West Virginia state parks participating in the event included Blackwater Falls, Pipestem Resort, Cacapon Resort, Twin Falls Resort, Bluestone, Cass Scenic Railroad, Tygart Lake and Kanawha State Forest.
Information about upcoming events is available online at www.wvstateparks.com.