Celebrate Spring in Appalachia at the 2022 Spring Nature Fling (formerly known as Wildflower Weekend)
Join us for ranger-guided programs in local national and state park sites!
April - May, 2022
Celebrate the glories of spring in Appalachian from the rim of the gorge to the river! Explore the area’s natural diversity and contribute as a citizen scientist at New River Gorge National Park and Preserve, Tamarack, and the state parks of Babcock, Carnifex Ferry Battlefield, Hawks Nest, and Twin Falls Resort.
All programs are FREE unless noted. Social distancing and current health protocols will be practiced during all event activities. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Bring water and wear sturdy walking shoes for guided walks. Snacks, binoculars, a hand lens, field guides, a favorite smart device pre-loaded with nature apps, and a camera are also useful.
ANYTIME: Wildflower Hawks Nest Hot Spot.
WHERE: Hawks Nest Rail Trail, Ansted, WV. Enjoy a self-paced naturalist stroll on the Hawks Nest Rail Trail ANYTIME during this event. Take photos of your favorite nature sightings, then share these with others - in person and on social media. #SpringNatureFling #HawksNestRailTrail #HawksNestStatePark Pick up a park trails map at the lodge at Hawks Nest State Park.
GLASS ART DEMONSTRATIONS: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm daily (closed Tuesdays): See or Work with the Nature of Glass.
WHERE: Tamarack’s Studio C near the glass art in Beckley, WV. See how resident glass blowing expert John DesMeules makes glass often art inspired by nature and more. Artist’s demonstration schedule may vary. You can even try your hand at this art form by appointment; see cost details at www/.tamarackwv.com/hands-on/glass. GLASSMAKING SESSION APPOINTMENTS are recommended but walk-in sessions available: 304-561-8918 or email@example.com
April 2 – May 7, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm daily (closed Tuesdays): Youth Arts in the Park 2022 Appalachian Spring Wildflower Art Contest Exhibit.
WHERE: Tamarack in Beckley, WV and online WWW.NPS.GOV/NERI. See wildflower and wildlife art exhibit created by K – 12 grade students of Fayette, Nicholas, Raleigh, and Summers Counties in the theater lobby of the Hulett C. Smith Theater. This year’s five Best in Show artists’ pieces will be featured in the David L. Dickirson Fine Arts Gallery from April 16 – June 11. #NRGYAP
April 3, 11:00 am - 1:30 pm: Get Active in the Park – Wonders of Wildflowers Hike.
WHERE: Southside trailhead next to Brooklyn primitive campground in New River Gorge National Park and Preserve (trailhead is 1-mile upstream of the Cunard River Access). Join Active Southern West Virginia Community Captain Linda Stein for this easy 3-mile walk from Brooklyn to Red Ash and back. See beautiful flora of the season, plus hear history of the area’s old coal towns.
WHERE: Lower Glade Creek trailhead in New River Gorge National Park and Preserve (near New River and next to Glade Creek Primitive Campground across the river from Prince, WV). Explore the classification, diversity, and ecology of wildflowers, plus learn and practice wildflower ID skills in this certification course.
RESERVATIONS requested by April 5: 304-465-2632 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
April 9, 1:00 - 3:00 pm: Big Branch Nature Hike.
WHERE: Brooks Falls/Big Branch trailhead in New River Gorge National Park and Preserve (parking lot on River Road 5-miles from Hinton, WV). Explore spring as it starts to peak out for the season along this beautiful mountain stream with some waterfalls. Be prepared for moderate to strenuous terrain in this diverse natural area.
April 21, 7:30 – 9:00 pm: Frogs Callin’ Wander.
WHERE: Grandview Visitor Center at New River Gorge National Park and Preserve in Grandview, WV. Stroll to the small ponds at Grandview in search of the sights and sounds of amphibians. Be prepared for moderate terrain on this 1.5-mile walk.
April 22, 10:00 am - 2:00 pm: NPCA Earth Day Service Project: Garlic Mustard Pull and Hike.
10:00 am – 12:00 pm - Celebrate Earth Day with the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) and the National Park Service with a service project to remove garlic mustard from the trail. This non-native, invasive plant out-competes native herbs and wildflowers. Wear long sleeves, long pants, and sturdy walking shoes, plus bring a lunch for after the pull. Work gloves and water will be provided.
12:30 – 2:00 pm – Enjoy a 3.0-mile (1.5 -mile out and back) scenic wildflower and waterfall walk along Glade Creek Trail with the NPCA and NPS team after the garlic mustard pull.
April 23 – June 15, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm daily (closed Tuesdays): Space: The Fine Art Frontier art exhibit.
WHERE: David L. Dickirson Fine Arts Gallery at Tamarack in Beckley, WV. See this springtime exhibition that celebrates all things space and beyond. This exhibition also includes the Youth Arts in the Parks 2022 Appalachian Spring Wildflower Arts Contest’s Best in Show artists.
April 23, 9:30 am - 4:00 pm: Hike Into Spring 2022 Remix.
WHERE: Lower Little Laurel trailhead in New River Gorge National Park and Preserve (on Glade Creek Road near the junction of Rt. 41, just across the river from Prince, WV). Join naturalists on a leisurely 5.0-mile hike from New River up to Grandview and back on the Little Laurel Trail, finding wildflowers and other natural wonders along the way. Be prepared for some steep terrain on this old dirt road. Bring a lunch and your favorite field guide if desired. RESERVATIONS required by April 22 (limit 30 participants): 304-465-2632 or email@example.com.
April 24, 9:00 – 11:00 am: Spring Birding at Babcock.
WHERE: Glade Creek Grist Mill at Babcock State Park in Clifftop, WV. Some binoculars will be available. Stroll the diverse habitats of Babcock in search of spring birds.
April 24, 10:30 am – 4:00 pm: New River Old-growth Hike.
WHERE: Stone Cliff Trailhead at New River Gorge National Park and Preserve just over a mile from Thurmond, WV. Bring water and lunch. Discover nature of the forest near New River, including old-growth trees, on this 6.5-mile round trip hike.
April 30: Spring Photography Workshop - Birds of Prey.
WHERE: Three Rivers Avian Center in Brooks, WV. Learn and practice the art of bird photography with instructor Steven Rotsch. Sign up for full or half day sessions. www.stevenrotsch.com or 681-264-1065 for workshop times and prices
April 30, 10:00 am – 12:00 m: Carnifex Nature Trek.
WHERE: Patterson House at Carnifex Ferry Battlefield State Park in Summersville, WV. Hike trails of forest and field to discover forest to take a closer look at this park’s diverse ecology, including rare species. Be prepared for an easy 2-mile hike with some moderate terrain.
May 1, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm: Lake Shore Walk.
WHERE: meet in the lobby of McKeever Lodge at Pipestem Resort State Park in Pipestem, WV. Explore the wonders of nature along the Lakeshore and Cottage Trails to an overlook of the Bluestone River Gorge. 1.75-mile hike will include a walk along a park road.
May 2, 6:00 - 7:30 pm: Wildflower 101 ID Hike.
WHERE: Grandview’s Shelter #1 parking area at New River Gorge National Park and Preserve in Grandview, WV. Learn and practice wildflower ID skills in the Grandview Rim Trail area, exploring the area’s diverse ecology along the way. Some field guides will be available.
ONGOING: May 6 – June 11, 11:00 am - 7:00 pm Tuesdays – Saturdays: Always Greener, Members Exhibition.
WHERE: Beckley Art Center (BAC) in Beckley, WV. See this free gallery art exhibit focusing on the color green. Many of these works are inspired by nature’s flora and fauna, all pieces created by BAC members for this annual exhibition. www.beckleyartcenter.com.
May 7, 1:00 – 2:30 pm: Twin Falls’ Falls Hike (“In the Woods with Cooper”).
WHERE: Falls Trail parking lot at Twin Falls Resort State Park in Mullens, WV. See both waterfalls for which this park is named on this 1.25-mile moderate hike on the Falls Trail. Explore spring wildflowers and hear the history of these falls along the way.
May 7, 1:00 – 4:30 pm: Three Rivers Avian Center’s (TRAC) May Open House.
WHERE: Three Rivers Avian Center in Brooks, WV. Take a free tour of the TRAC facility, meet live raptor Ambassadors including hawks, owls, falcons, and a bald eagle, plus learn more about hawk migration from Hanging Rock Raptor Observatory team. Also tour the nearby gourmet maple syrup making facility and enjoy a free tasting of this delicious treat. Donations are welcome.
CANCELLED: May 7, 2:00 – 4:00 pm: Spotting Trouble: Invasive Species Talk & Hike.
WHERE: Burnwood Day Use Area picnic shelter on the right (next to the trail) at New River Gorge National Park and Preserve in Lansing, WV. Join resource managers for this deep dive into common invasive species, how to identify these, and why such species are a problem to natural areas. Hear how the park is managing these troublesome species plus take a short hike to see this science in action. Be prepared for some moderate terrain on this 1.5-mile walk.
May 8, 2:00 – 4:30 pm: Turkey Spur Orchid Trek.
WHERE: Grandview’s Shelter 1 parking area at New River Gorge National Park and Preserve in Grandview, WV. Hike the Grandview Rim Trail in search of orchids and other wildflowers. Be prepared for moderate terrain on this 3-mile walk.
May 13 - 15: Spring Photography Workshop @ Twin Falls.
WHERE: Twin Falls Resort State Park, WV. Learn and practice the photography skills with instructors Scott Durham, Steven Rotsch, and Carla Rotsch. Workshop includes hands-on photography outings. Visit the website or call 304-294-4000 for class times, workshop prices, and lodging/meal packages
May 14, 9:00 – 11:00 am: Warbler Walk.
WHERE: Hawks Nest Overlook Trail parking lot at Hawks Nest State Park, WV. Join Cerulean and Golden-winged warbler biologists Emily Reasor and Katie Fernald on a 1.5 mile birding walk on the trails in the Hawks Nest Overlook Trail area. Take a deep dive in discussions about warbler biology and improvements individuals can make to enhance habitat on their own land on this leisurely hike.
May 14, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm: Three Rivers Avian Center Migration Celebration.
WHERE: Little Beaver State Park in Beaver, WV. Come out and enjoy a free, family friendly festival focusing on West Virginia’s wild birds and the ecosystem they live in. Kids activities, birding and nature walks, and live birds of prey on display.
May 14, 10:30 – 11:00 am: Be Eclipse Ready.
WHERE: Sandstone Visitor Center at New River Gorge National Park and Preserve in Sandstone, WV. Want to be ready for Sunday’s total lunar eclipse? Stop by Sandstone Visitor Center to learn more about eclipses and make sure you’re ready for this amazing night sky event.
May 15, 9:30am - 12:30pm: Warblers and More Birding Trek.
WHERE: Patterson House at Carnifex Ferry Battlefield State Park in Summersville, WV. Trek to an old-growth hemlock-oak forest along Pierson-Hollow to discover warblers and other wildlife in this unique habitat on this 1.5-mile moderate hike. Learn how habitat restoration can benefit species like the rare Cerulean Warbler, plus resources available for such stewardship projects in your neighborhood. Binoculars are recommended.
May 15, 1:00 – 2:00 pm: Living with the Landscape.
WHERE: Grandview Visitor Center at New River Gorge National Park and Preserve in Grandview, WV. Explore the remains of the old Carper Farmstead and orchard. Learn how early gorge residents learned to live with the natural landscape on this leisurely stroll.
May 15, 2:30 – 4:00 pm: Rhodo Wander.
WHERE: Grandview Visitor Center at New River Gorge National Park and Preserve in Grandview, WV. Take a leisurely stroll around the side to see and photograph the beautiful blooms of Catawba Rhododendron.
WHERE: Grandview Visitor Center at New River Gorge National Park and Preserve in Grandview, WV. Enjoy this middle-of-the-night night sky watching adventure to see a total lunar eclipse and constellations. Bring a blanket and/or lawn chair for this laid-back, sky watching time. Some sky watching tools will be available as we learn and practice night sky watching.