Reptiles and Amphibians
A variety of reptiles and amphibians can be commonly seen in Bluestone National Scenic River. Snapping turtles, bullfrogs, and northern water snakes are all fairly common along the river. Wood frogs and spring peepers carry out their life cycles in temporary pools and puddles. Eastern box turtles, garter snakes, and American toads can be found nearly anywhere in the park.
Several species of salamanders including dusky and seal salamanders can be seen around streams and wet areas. Red-spotted newts are among the most common salamander in West Virginia. Adult newts are found in permanent pools of water while red efts (the juvenile stage of the red-spotted newt) are seen in forest habitats. With 34 different species, West Virginia is home to more species of salamanders than almost any other state.
Hikers will occasionally encounter a copperhead or timber rattlesnake, the two venomous snakes found in the park. They are not normally aggressive if you keep away and give them a chance to escape. See the page on snake safety for further information.
Did You Know?
The lower Bluestone River is also a part of the Bluestone Wildlife Management Area managed by the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources for public hunting and fishing. Wild turkey and white-tailed deer are the prime game species.