West Virginia Department of Commerce Family Fun

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Family Fun

Family Fun includes camping in West Virginia

Your entire family can play in one of the nation’s most beautiful, natural playgrounds – West Virginia. Truly experience nature by camping, biking, hiking, and rafting or discover the area’s Civil War history and cultural heritage – you name it, the Mountain State has it. Re-connect as a family by creating your own adventurous, exciting journey.

State Park Retreats
Nature is your hostess at West Virginia State Parks (www.wvstateparks.com). From sleeping under the stars at a campsite to the comforts of a lodge, there are many options. While staying at a state park, enjoy recreational opportunities, including fishing, boating, hiking, horseback riding and golfing.

Whitewater Rafting
Nothing can bring a family together like the fun and exhilaration of a whitewater rafting trip. With select trips designed for children as young as six, rafting is one of the few adventure sports that can “wow” moms, dads, and teenagers, but be safe enough for younger children. Please check ahead with the rafting company for age requirements.

Mountain Biking
West Virginia has been hailed as a world class destination for mountain bikers because of our abundant trails, beautiful scenery and variety of terrain. A world of mountain biking excitement awaits you, from miles of trails in the 900,000-acre Monongahela National Forest to the 76 miles of the Greenbrier River Trail and the 78 miles of the North Bend Rail Trail.

Wilderness Adventure
West Virginia is a natural playground that offers plenty of surprises. For a peak experience, visit Spruce Knob , the highest point in the state. Take a boardwalk stroll over marshy bogs filled with ancient varieties of moss, orchids, insect-eating plants and other amazing flora at Cranberry Glades Botanical Area . Or wander an ecosystem that resembles a bit of transplanted Alaska on the 25 miles of trail that wind through the Dolly Sods Wilderness.

Born of the Civil War
West Virginia is the only state born of the Civil War and is home to many special Civil War sites and events. Bring your family to the Mountain State and relive the days of conflict at one of the many Civil War re-enactments throughout the state.

Celebrate the Earth’s Bounty
West Virginia’s agricultural heritage can be the base for a great family weekend. Consider an early spring trip to one of many ramp festivals or a late spring trip to the West Virginia Strawberry Festival in Buckhannon. Later in the year, make time for the Mountain State Apple Harvest Festival in Martinsburg or the Pumpkin Festival in Milton. You’ll have some hands-on fun decorating your own pumpkin and getting a taste of the Mountain State.

Historical Sites
Experience our frontier past at Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park along the Ohio River or farther north in Fort New Salem and Prickett’s Fort State Park. Frontier days come to life through demonstrations and hands-on opportunities like blacksmithing, papermaking and apple drying. Prickets Fort celebrates the fall harvest and the holidays with cider and candlelit tours, and in December, you can celebrate Christmas traditions of the English, German and Scotch-Irish at Fort New Salem.

Mountain State’s Rails
Imagine traveling through the hills of West Virginia from the comfort of a rail car. With four major scenic train systems to choose from you can take your pick for day trips or full-fledged excursions. Enjoy the Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad, Cass Scenic Railroad, Durbin and Greenbrier Valley or the New River Mystery Train and imagine you’ve traveled back to a time when everyone rode the rails.

Wonderful Wildlife
Safari to Kingwood where you’ll find lions, tigers and bears among the 300 exotic and domestic animals in residence at Hovatter’s Wildlife Zoo . Or meet up with the state’s native wildlife at the West Virginia Wildlife Center near French Creek. Oglebay Resort in Wheeling features the Good Zoo, which offers more than 100 species of animals.

Treasure Hunting
Techno-geeks can lose themselves in pursuit of "treasure" – actually quite modest trinkets – through geocaching , a high-tech version of an old-time scavenger hunt that uses Global Positioning System (GPS) devices. It's possible to find a stash hidden in any corner of the state and at several WV State Parks.