Watoga Trail Report June 28, 2018 Update

Watoga Trail Report June 28, 2018 Update.  It felt wonderful to get back out Watoga’s trails.  This morning ended a month- long convalescence from rib fractures sustained on the Bear Pen Loop.  My dog Bongo felt it would be a good idea to go right back out on the same trail.  Sort of a “get back in the saddle” suggestion.  And, as usual, he was spot on.  We cleaned all but 2 trees that will require another visit with rope and pulleys.

First Chanterelle of the  Season!

Whilst working the Bear Pen Loop I found my first ChanterelleFirst chanterelle of the season of the season up on the North Boundary Trail, and as a bonus came upon this trio of Quilted RussulasQuilted Russula just a few yards on down the trail. Both of these species of mushrooms are about as flavorful a wild treat as one can find here in the Appalachians.

These delicacies are destined for a dish called a Spanish Tortilla, which has nothing to do with the flat corn Mexican tortilla associated with tacos. Instead, the Spanish tortilla is an egg, potato, cheese and mushroom dish cooked in a cast iron skillet. Don’t forget the wine Laura and Margot.

Yesterday in another part of the park Mark Mengele was transporting a work crew consisting of David Elliott, Ken Hiser and his friend Matt out the Ann Bailey Trail in Mark’s restored Dodge Power Wagon (sorry no pictures yet, hint, hint) to the Workman Cabin.

They spent the morning hours weed-eating the area around the cabin, and removing the large tree that had fallen across Rock Run in front of the cabin. David remarked that they “left a tidy mountain homestead for visiting hikers to enjoy”.

And that reminds me; we need to get down at the other end of Rock Run and clean up those nasty stinging nettles. Pity the poor hiker that heads up Jesse’s Cove with shorts on.

Finally, I ran into Mac Gray this morning on the entrance road involved in a worthy project: He is photographing all of Watoga’s cabins, inside and out. He is always thinking about something called “posterity”.

Well that’s the news from Lake Wobeg…., Whoops, I mean Watoga State Park.

Happy Hiking,

Ken Springer

Watoga State Park Foundation Inc News June 2, 2018

Watoga State Park Foundation Inc News June 2, 2018.  following the bi-monthly Watoga State Park Foundation Inc. board meeting held at 10 am on Saturday, June 2, 2018 at the Watoga State Park offices 4848 Watoga Park Rd, Marlinton, WV 24954.

After the usual minutes and reports, the board re-elected the current slate of officers for a new three year term.

President: John Goodwin
Vice-President: Kenneth Springer
Treasurer: Mac Gray
Secretary: Maureen Conley

Wayne T Pollard of Beaver Creek Rd, just outside the Park became the Foundation’s newest member. Wayne retired from First Energy and values the park for preservation of the natural world for future generations.

Rental Cabins

Rental cabin at Watoga State ParkPark visitors rented more cabins in May with  87 more  rental nights than May, 2017.

The Workman Cabin, a historic structure located at the head of the Rock Run Watershed and close to the Old Growth Area manifests 2 important critical repair needs.  A hole in the roof, caused by a fallen tree limb, needs repaired.  And the bottom courses of logs need replaced and foundation needs shoring up. Additionally, the Foundation and Park are currently working with a grant, and this work needs to happen as soon as possible.

Additional Park Improvements

Watoga Superintendent Jody Spencer announced upcoming West Virginia Department of Highways (WVDOH) activity in and around Watoga. The Ann Bailey Road from the parking area out to the Ann Bailey lookout will be improved by WVDOH, as will the Laurel Run Rd from the end of Beaver Creek Rd to the Laurel Run Primitive Campground and Kennison Run Trailhead.

Upcoming improvements will also be made to the swimming pool and Riverside Campground.  The cabin improvement project is nearing completion.  All CCC era cabins are receiving renovations and improvements to increase their comfort and desirability.

The US Forest Service is funding restroom construction along the Allegheny Trail near the old air strip and Beaver Creek Campground. A wifi hotspot will be activated at the Beaver Creek check in station soon.

Activities Upcoming

Naturalist Chris Bartley has a busy summer scheduled for Watoga. Look for another blog post about Naturalist activities.

The Watoga Mountain Trail Challenge is scheduled for Aug 11, 2018. Hence, a volunteer coordinator is needed for that event.

Gail Hyre from Watoga Art in the Park visited the meeting to discuss this year’s program. The 2nd annual Watoga Art in the Park is to be held Sept 1 & 2, 2018 at Watoga State Park. https://watogaartinthepark.com/

New trail signs have come in and volunteer help would be welcomed to install the new trail signs.