WV DNR News Release
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Earl Ray Tomblin, Governor
Frank Jezioro, Director

News Release: July 29, 2014

Facebook: WV Commerce - State Parks

Hoy Murphy, Public Information Officer (304) 957-9365 hoy.r.murphy@wv.gov

Contact:

Cheryle Boggs, Summer Naturalist  304-799-4087 www.watoga.com

Hands-on activities popular with visitors to Watoga, West Virginia's largest state park 

POCAHONTAS COUNTY, West Virginia --West Virginia's largest state park in acreage is Watoga State Park. Located in Pocahontas County, Watoga is known for its mountain terrain, meandering streams and lake. 

"The cabins and campgrounds are wonderful," says summer naturalist Cheryle Boggs. "Park visitors can enjoy family time in our historic cabins or at a campsite, attend activities and learn a little something more about the outdoors." Nature draws visitors to Watoga year-round. Boggs and Watoga Park Superintendents Mark Wylie and Kelly Smith enjoy sharing nature and information in the form of hikes, programs and presentations. The planned activities are posted to the park website as available and at the park office. 

Activities scheduled at Watoga State Park July 29 – August 2 include: 

Tuesday – July 29 

A Watoga Campfire invites attendees to share stories, tales and myths. The campfire is near the recreation hall and begins at 8:00 p.m. The evening includes campfire games and the infamous Mystery Box. 

Wednesday – July 30 

Poison ivy is a plant that people should be able to identify. Naturalist Cheryle Boggs teaches how to identify poison ivy and how to tame the itch. The program begins at 1:00 p.m. at the Recreation Building. 

Orienteering is learning the basics of compass reading and using a topographical map. Boggs adds a fun twist to the program that begins at 3:00 p.m. at the Nature Center. 

Owl collage crafts at the Nature Center at 5:00 p.m. Create and learn about owls. 

BATS! What do you know about bats? Are they blind? Do they nest in your hair? Are they flying mice? What is White Nose Syndrome? Boggs presents a bat program at 7:00 p.m. and then involves everyone in making and decorating the Recreation Hall with bats. 

Thursday – July 31 

Plaster Tracks teaches about various wildlife found at Watoga and how to preserve in a plaster cast. The program begins at 1:00 p.m. at the Nature Center. 

Naturalist Cheryle Boggs will read "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" and others for younger campers during Watoga Story Hour scheduled at the nature center at 3:00 p.m. Boggs encourages families and youth to look for butterflies and moths and ask questions about what they eat, how long they live and the life cycle. 

Friday – August 1 

Creek Crawl is an introduction to the "what lives in a stream" study. Attendees identify four components of the creek environment, as well as catch crawdads to observe. This cool learning time starts at noon. 

Making a Bat Mobile craft at the Nature Center is about the mammals and not the machine. Craft begins at 2:00 p.m. 

GEOLOGY ROCKS! Geologist Ken Ashton from the West Virginia Geologic and Economic Survey talks about the eons of geology and the Watoga area starting at 7:00 p.m. at the recreation building. 

Saturday – August 2

A Fern Walk led by Park Superintendent Mark Wylie starts at 10:30 a.m. Meet Wylie at the Fred E. Brooks Memorial Arboretum for this interpretative hike. Bring water and wear comfortable walking shoes. 

The Geology Car Tour is a follow-up presentation by geologist Ken Ashton. This program is a car tour that will show guests different geologic areas at Watoga and nearby. The tour starts at the swimming pool parking lot at 2:00 p.m. and will last for two or more hours. It's a great opportunity to learn about what's underneath West Virginia. 

About Watoga 

Watoga State Park is 10,000 acres and features 34 cabins, including 10 available year-round for rental; two campgrounds with a total of 88 campsites; hiking trails; outdoor swimming pool; arboretum and watchable wildlife. The popular vacation park is close to many attractions in Pocahontas County, including Seneca State Forest, Droop Mountain Battlefield, Beartown State Park, Seneca State Forest, the Greenbrier River Trail, and Cass Scenic Railroad. Visit www.watoga.com or call 304-799-4087 for cabin, camping and activity information. 

**DNR**

Watoga State Park