May 2018 Watoga Trails Update

May 2018 Watoga Trails Update

Report From Brian Hirt, trail volunteer:

“I finally got some spare time and the weather cooperated. So I spent Friday and most of Saturday doing some trail maintenance and cleanup projects in and around Watoga.  Started out Friday morning clearing fallen trees from the landing strip at Beaver Creek.  Then moved onto the Allegheny Trail.  I removed fallen fallen trees on the mile and a half stretch of trail  parallel to Chicken House Run Road.

Yesterday I was at Laurel Run campground.  A couple of pine trees had fallen on campsite #9 sometime over the winter.  I removed them and moved the slash out of the away of the campsite.  After that went up I went up Kennison Run trail from the campground a mile with lopper’s cutting out saplings and undergrowth along the trail.  Some of the creek crossings were a little tough to manage from recent heavy rains.  A lot of debris had washed down and stream banks had eroded.  Trail’s that follow creeks I guess have an ever changing landscape. There wasn’t any fallen trees to deal with as far as I got before deciding to turning back as a thunderstorm approached in the distance.

The blazes on both the Allegheny and Kennison Run Trails are in fair condition.  Bboth could stand to be refreshed in a few locations.  Fortunately both are yellow so I’ll add this to my list of things to do.  I’ve never painted blazes of yellow circle’s on trees in the past.  It’s been always 2 x 6 rectangles.  Might take some practice. But maybe you can teach and old dog new tricks.”

Other News

Mark Mengele is continuing efforts to conduct a bird survey of the Rock Run watershed at Watoga State Park, also known as the Old Growth Area. The plan is to get experienced birders out there at various times of the year, and over the next couple of weeks they will be surveying breeding birds.

While the birds are breeding the plants and trees of Watoga are pursuing their single-minded agenda of reproduction. Fertility and distribution are a top priority for plant life at this time of the year. With that in mind today’s photographs take a close look at several prominent blooms with an unabashed look at their reproductive parts.

Mountain Laurel BloomThe ephemeral mountain laurel bloom so petite and beautiful looks like a hand painted porcelain miniature.

 

 

 

Black Raspberry BloomThe flower of the blackberry offers promises of a seasonal flavor to grace our morning cereal, or in dishes with names like cobbler, pie, strudel, tart and turnover

 

 

Tulip Tree BloomThe bloom of the tulip poplar is usually viewed high up in the tree, but this time brought down by wind and rain for a closer look.

 

 

 

Hiking allows us the opportunity to stop and take in the finer details of nature. There is not a better way to “be in the moment” than a hike in the woods.

Watoga Naturalist Activities Memorial Day Weekend 2018

Watoga State Park is offering Naturalist Activities throughout the 2018 Memorial Day Weekend.  Join us!

Friday May 25, 2018

3 PM  History Hike

Watoga has a long rich history even from the time before its official opening as a Park 80 years ago.  Join Park Naturalist Christopher Bartley near Park Headquarters building for a 1.5 mile walk around the lake.  Please wear closed toe shoes and bring along something to drink.

7 PM What’s Bugging You

Dragon FliesHave you seen an insect that you never saw  or one you did not know what it was?  Meet us at the Nature Center located near the swimming pool park lot as we explore the insects we have around us.  Afterward, we will look at our surroundings and see what tiny creatures we can find.

9 PM Float Your Boat

Cap the evening off with a peaceful and relaxing evening on the lake as we learn about nocturnal animals, park history, star gazing, and anything else you would like to talk about.  You can choose to take a paddleboat out, or bring you own watercraft.  Sign up and purchase a ticket in the main office for $5 per boat.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

1 PM Watoga Wildlife: Birds

Join Naturalist Chris Bartley at the Nature Center, located beside the Activities Building near the swimming pool parking lot and learn about our feathered friends that can be found in the area.  You can also hear the different sounds that each bird makes and see if you can identify what each bird is.  Kids can also make a fun craft.

3 PM  Nest in Peace

Want to be able to attract song birds to the own backyard?  Meet Naturalist Chris Barley by the Nature Center located near the Activities Building and Swimming Pool parking lot to build a bird house.  Each kit is $10 and all materials are provided.

7 PM Campfire Cookery

Join Watoga staff for an evening of fun and fellowship at the Riverside Campground behind the check-in station.  Bring a lawn chair or a blanket to sit on as we cook up some dessert in a Dutch over over a campfire.  All ages are welcome and will be able to sample the banana bread we make.

9 PM Stories and S’mores

Wind down from the day and enjoy your time sitting around the campfire ring at Riverside Campground behind the check-in station.  We will have marshmallows to roast and  all the fixings to make s’mores.  Campfire stories are encouraged as long as they are family friendly and appropriate.

Sunday May 27, 2018

11 AM Worship Service

Earth from spaceMeet us at the Amphitheatre located behind the Activities Building near the Swimming Pool parking lot for a non-denominational worship service.  In the event of rain we will relocate inside the Activities Building.

1 PM Watoga Wildlife:  Salamanders

Join us at the Nature Center located beside the Activities Building near the swimming pool parking lot and learn about these snake-like amphibians with legs.  Afterward, we will take a small walk to look for and identify the salamanders found in the area.

3 PM  Tie Dye T-Shirts

Have some fun with art and make a keepsake to take home to remind you of your time here with a Watoga State Park Tie Dye T-Shirt.  Please sign up in the main office and bring your ticket with you to the Activities Building.  Cost of shirt will be $8 or $10 depending on size.  Shirt sizes from Youth Small to Adult 3XL

7PM  Family Movie Night

Join Park staff for a family fun evening at the Picnic Shelter area as we watch a family friendly movie on our inflatable movie screen.  Be sure to bring a lawn chair or something to sit on.  Popcorn will be provided.

9PM  Owl Prowl

Portrait of an owlMeet Park staff at the Picnic Shelter area as we go on a short walk looking and listening for owls.  We will be using different calls for each of the different species of owls in the area to entice these birds of prey to come in.  Be sure to wear closed toe shoes.

 

 

 

 

 

Jack Horners’s Corner

For the last 21 years visitors to Watoga State Park have driven by Jack Horner’s Corner as they make their way through the village of Seebert, the gateway to the park and a major trailhead on the Greenbrier River Trail. Longtime visitors have observed the steady growth of the building and parking areas; the old building removed, decks added for dining with a view of the river and bike path. Horner’s Corner is strikingly colorful with stacks of kayaks, floatation devices and bicycles.

Stewart & Chissie Horner proprietors of Jack Horner's Corner Seebert, WVStewart and Chrissie are at the helm of this growth, anticipating the needs of the community and the thousands of visitors who stop by every season, which for Horner’s corner is sometime in April until November. This large, well designed building houses a pizza and sub parlor, a huge array of souvenirs touting Watoga State Park and the Greenbrier River Trail as well as basic groceries and drinks.

Kayak Rental and more…

You can stop in to rent a kayak for a river trip on the Greenbrier River and arrange a shuttle. The same service is offered for those wishing to ride a bike on the 80 mile Greenbrier River Trail.

Their ice cream cones have become legendary; I have never been in there in the summer months without a queue waiting for a cool treat. One chap who wanted to remain anonymous told me he cannot go past the place without getting an ice cream cone. OK you have twisted my arm; it is Mac Gray. Mac lives just a few doors down so that amounts to a heck of a lot of ice cream. Sorry Mac, I am terrible at keeping my sources confidential.