Feature Articles

Exploring West Virginia's Canaan Valley

The beautiful Canaan Valley in Tucker County, West Virginia is a tourist destination for those who love the rugged outdoors. It is a year-round destination, with 2 state parks, Ski resorts, large tracts of National Wilderness, National Forests, and Nature Preserve areas, and hundreds of miles of hiking and biking trails. About 70% of the valley is designated a National Wildlife Refuge.

At its widest, the valley runs about five miles across, bordered by Canaan Mountain to the west and Cabin Mountain to the east. The valley runs north to south for about 13 miles. Within its boundaries, it has a vast wetlands area.

Rail Trails

Rail-trails provide a wonderful environment for hiking, biking, horseback riding, and other activities. Due to the flat or gently sloping terrain on which the former railroads were built, the trails are accessible to people of any fitness level. The surfaces of rail trails are typically crushed stone or pavement, and are usually quite wide, allowing cyclists of all technical levels to enjoy them.

 

Parks for History Enthusiasts

With over 400 years of European Colonial and U.S. history in the mid-atlantic region, the area is filled with historic plantations, battlefields, settlements, canal and railroad corridors and many other historically significant structures. Fortunately, an effort has been made to keep alive some of this region's history by establishing historical parks on these locations.

 

State Parks and Forests of Maryland

In our travels, we have explored several of Maryland's state parks, forests and designated natural areas. The diversity of Maryland's terrain makes for a wide variety of activities and scenery at their many excellent state-run facilities. Featured here are the Maryland parks that we have visited so far. We are planning more excursions to this beautiful state in order to continue exploring more of their wonderful parks and state forests. As we visit these places and create maps of the trail systems, we will update this article, so please check back with us from time to time for more information on Maryland's outdoor destinations.

Virginia State Parks

Virginia's State Parks have been voted as "America's Best" by the National Recreation and Park Association. There are 35 State Parks sprinkled througout the Old Dominion. Due to the diversity of Virginia's landscape, these parks feature a wide range of activities, scenery, climates, and wildlife. These parks offer everything from a walk on a sandy beach with views of the Atlantic Ocean at First Landing State Park to a hike on the trail that Daniel Boone carved out in 1775 at The Wilderness Road State Park in the Cumberland Mountains.

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