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WV DNR News Release
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Hoy Murphy, Public Information Officer (304) 957-9365 firstname.lastname@example.org
Beartown State Park to re-open for Memorial Day Weekend
HILLSBORO, W.Va. – Major repairs and renovations at Beartown State Park in Pocahontas County have been completed and the park has reopened in time for Memorial Day weekend travelers. The park is open on a daily basis from daylight to dark throughout the spring, summer and fall. Like most West Virginia state parks, no admission fee is charged.
The park is a natural and day-use area noted for its sandstone rock formations and quiet serenity. It is a favorite of state park visitors in search of a safe and natural haven, a place of restful solitude, and source of natural wonder.
“Beartown is a natural area and remains a place where nature’s forces can prevail and man’s influence is purposely kept to a minimum,” said Beartown Supt. Mike Smith. “However, trees killed by an invasion of the hemlock wooly adelgid were in such close proximity to the boardwalk that their natural deterioration could have created a hazard to visitors. Some 50 trees were felled and will be allowed to return to the soil to nourish a new forest of black birch which is springing up now that more sunlight is reaching the previously shaded forest floor. Many beautiful hemlocks remain, but visitors will be able to see forest succession in progress as the hemlocks are replaced by birches.”
Damages to the half-mile boardwalk from the tree-felling operations have been repaired, corroded fasteners have been replaced, and deteriorated sections of oak walkway have been removed. Nearly 400 feet of new boardwalk were constructed of rough-sawn, specially treated pine lumber.
“This work required much time, as all materials had to be moved manually by a very limited work force,” Smith said. “The patience of visitors unable to visit during this time of construction is much appreciated. The boardwalk again offers a sturdy, safe pathway for easy visitor access while at the same time protecting the natural features of the area from overuse.”
Other projects completed included landscaping work to redirect storm drainage, rebuilding the badly eroded entry path, some minor painting, and replacement of weathered interpretive signage. Additional signage improvements are planned for later in the summer.
For more information about Beartown State Park, visit www.beartownstatepark.com, or contact park Superintendent Michael Smith at nearby Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park at 304-653-4254.