To join us for any of these outings, please sign up with the trip leader, who can give you more information. Please contact your trip leader and reserve your spot at least two weeks in advance. In doing so, you may learn critical details about the outing. For instance, all available spots may be taken or the trip leader may cancel an outing if an insufficient number of people have signed up.
Our outings vary greatly in difficulty, scenery and type. Groups average between five and ten people, though we have as many as twenty people on some outings. Lower group numbers tend to provide a better experience for everyone. Trip leaders exercise a great amount of flexibility as far as leadership style, foul weather rescheduling, daily route, etc. Please be considerate of your trip leader and follow his/her instructions.
If you are interested in leading an outing please contact Dave Saville, volunteer Outings Committee Chairperson, at email@example.com or 304 692-8118
Open Dates: Visit Kayford Mountain south of Charleston to see mountain top removal (MTR) up close and hear. Call in advance to schedule. Julian Martin (304) 342-8989; firstname.lastname@example.org or Danny Chiotos cell 304-886-3389 ; office 304-205-0920
The following outings are being offered at White Grass Ski Touring Center in Canaan Valley. 304 866-4114, www.whitegrass.com
Jan 1 2013 New Year's Day Carefree Snowshoe Tour - 10 am Your chance to appreciate the simple beauty of snowshoeing. Natural history and local lore are featured.
Jan 6 Snowshoe Discovery Tour: "Coolest" wildlife species that over winter in the Valley, species like golden eagles, fishers, golden kinglets, ravens, pygmy shrews, snowshoe hares. I'd like at the end of the walk for folks to know more about the unique species of the high elevation spruce-northern ecosystem that they may only see if they are quiet, lucky, and aware while out in the woods. Understand some of the different adaptations these species have to survive a typical freezing snowy Canaan Valley winter. Co lead by Casey Rucker, amazing local ornithologist and Amy Cimarolli a forester and scientist for The Nature Conservancy in WV.
Jan 12 Winter Trails Day - Free lessons/clinics and rentals to all first time interested skiers or snowshoers. XC lessons every hour and a 10 am and 2 pm clinic on types of snowshoes, clothing, basic techniques, and outdoor winter snow travel followed by a natural history tour on snowshoes into our neighboring National Wildlife Refuge.
Jan 13 Snowshoe Discovery Tour: Casey Rucker leads Winter Bird Adventure...more later
Jan 20 5 Km Snowshoe Walk/Run - 1 pm Well organized by Helvetia, WV distance runner Dan Lehmann this event features a rolling course full of prizes and fun. Snowshoe rentals available for $8.
Jan 21 MLK Day Snowshoe Discovery Tour - 10 am with Chip Chase, owner of White Grass and lifelong outdoorsman sharing his knowledge of the area. Included is a history of the relationship with Fish and Wildlife Service and the formation of the Refuge here.
Jan 24-25 West Virginia Special Olympics Winter Games - Gathered are racers from three states, parents, coaches, volunteers, and helpers. This event will give back tenfold what is put in!
Jan 27 25K Mountain State Marathon - 1 pm This rolling course never gives you a needed break or settle for a shortened version. Kid's classes, and great prizes. $20 entry fee. Fully groomed for classic or skate, sweet prizes, website splatter and personal glory.
Jan 27 Snowshoe Discovery Tour -10 am TBA with Bruce and Andy Dalton, Master Naturalist
Feb 1 Our Ground Hog's Day Ski (one day early) - 9am Our annual trek in search for clues to the rest of winter never seems to end. Full day backcountry journeys usually have no route in mind and end up a little lost.
Feb 3 Snowshoe Discovery Tour: GPS Mappping Skills with WVU Forest Proffessor Rick Landenberger.
Feb 10 Snowshoe Discovery Tour - 10 am Winter Tree Identification Learn how to identify common evergreen and deciduous trees during the winter by using simple observation techniques and field guides. This trip will explore the northern hardwood and spruce/fir forests that abound in Canaan Valley. Basic tree identification and ecology will be discussed along with other issues influencing our forested landscape. Trip led by Mike Powell – Manger of Stewardship for the Nature Conservancy in West Virginia
Feb 18 President's Day Snowshoe Discovery Tour - 10 am with Chip Chase, owner of White Grass and lifelong outdoorsman sharing his knowledge of the area as well as the history of the relationship with the Fish and Wildlife Service and the formation of the Refuge here.
Feb 24 Snowshoe Discovery Tour - Winter photography with Marc Shaffer and Martin Radigan @ 10
Mar 3 - Natural History Discovery Tour with Chip Chase 10 am - A natural history snowshoe walk with Chip Chase as he shares his knowledge about the climate, forest type, and geology of the area. Enjoy a short streamside jaunt that lasts about an hour and covers around a mile of easy rolling terrain.
April 20 &21, 2013 - Red Spruce Ecosystem Restoration, Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge. Join us as we continue our efforts to restore the red spruce ecosystem in the West Virginia Highlands. This tree planting event will take place on the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge. We will meet at the Refuge Headquarters and Visitor Center at 9 am each day. Following an orientation about the red spruce ecosystem and our work to restore it we will car pool to the restoration site. Come dressed for the weather, wear sturdy shoes or boots and bring gloves. Lunch will be provided. Please RSVP! For more information, visit www.restoreredspruce.org, or contact Dave Saville at email@example.com, or 304 692-8118.
August 2, 2013 – Native Seed Collection Workshop. The participants of this workshop will be trained in the National Seeds of Success (SOS) Collection Protocol, and prepare you to make native seed collections for Mid-Atlantic Regional Seed Bank (MARS-B) and the National SOS Program. Bring plenty of water, lunch, sun protection, bug repellant, appropriate outdoor clothing, and a field notebook. Please RSVP Clara Holmes (Clara.Holmes@parks.nyc.gov) if you plan to attend. For more information visit http://restoreredspruce.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=36&Itemid=76
Saturday, September 14, 2013, McClintic Trail - Cranberry Wilderness Day Hike. This hike will follow trails, and do some bushwhacking, into the headwaters of the Middle Fork Williams River. We’ll follow the path of the historic “McClintic Trail” to see the remains of an old splash dam. Built in the 1890s it is a relic of an early logging failure. Logs were horse-drawn into the streambed and splash dam releases were to flush the logs to the mill downstream. While this practice was used with success in some places, it didn’t work here. See the story, and some pictures of the remains, elsewhere in the August Issue of the Highlands Voice. Limited to ten people. This will be an all-day hike in rugged terrain. For details contact Dave Saville at firstname.lastname@example.org.
September 21, 2013 - Red Spruce Ecosystem Restoration, Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge. Join us as we continue our efforts to restore the red spruce ecosystem in the West Virginia Highlands. This tree planting event will take place on the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge. We will meet at the Refuge Headquarters and Visitor Center at 9 am. Following an orientation about the red spruce ecosystem and our work to restore it we will car pool to the restoration site. Come dressed for the weather, wear sturdy shoes or boots and bring gloves. Lunch will be provided. Please RSVP! For more information, visit www.restoreredspruce.org, or contact Dave Saville at email@example.com, or 304 692-8118.
Sunday, November 24 Balsam Swamp tour, Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge 11 am We’ll take a short (1 hour) tour on the Accessible Boardwalk (the Highlands Conservancy helped to build) on the Freeland Road tract of the Refuge. We’ll see the first deer exclosure that we built to protect some of the beautiful balsam fir trees where we’ve collected cones for the seed used to grow the seedlings to support our ecosystem conservation and restoration program. Consider joining us during the afternoon for the wreath making workshop across the street at White Grass Ski Touring Center. RSVP please, Dave Saville firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, November 24, Evergreen Wreath Making Workshop - Join us at White Grass Ski Touring Center in Canaan Valley for an afternoon of fun learning how to make your own holiday wreath. Bring a hand pruner and any decorations or adornments you'd like to add to your wreath. We'll have all the materials you'll need, including a variety of firs, to construct your very own piece of artwork. If you have anything special to share, such as pine cones, boughs of holly, etc., bring them along. We'll get started at 1pm and be around all afternoon. RSVP please, Dave Saville email@example.com
Full Moon Skiing Trips are around each month's lunar glare Dec 28, Jan 27, Feb 25, Mar 27. We usually head out around 7:30 pm. Good snow, suprising visibility, mysterious sense of control.
The West Virginia Highlands Conservancy
Initiates a New Public Lands Outing Program
by David W. Saville, Chair, Public Lands Committee
A new Highlands Conservancy program, This Land is Your Land, will be spending a day or more each month in 2013 to explore, and learn more about our public lands.
The West Virginia Highlands Conservancy has a long and rich history of advocating for the protection and wise management of our public lands. That history is equally as rich in giving back to these lands through service projects to protect and restore them. West Virginia is not particularly rich in public lands, but it does have a good diversity and distribution.
Who manages these lands that belong to all of us? What agencies are responsible? What is the difference between the Park Service and the Forest Service? What laws provide guidance to these agencies? How did we acquire these various lands and how can we acquire more of them? What are the current management issues and are they facing any threats? How can the public become involved and engaged in their management? How can we work to benefit them and ascertain a long and healthy future for them?
These are just a few of the questions that the Public Lands Committee’s new program can help Highlands Conservancy members, and the public, discover the answers to. The Program will assemble a dynamic calendar of events, published in the Highlands Voice each month and at www.wvhighlands.org, where we will visit, explore, and discuss the issues facing our various public lands. The events will generally include informational meetings with the area’s managers, and they will also include an outing to explore or restore some of the wonders of that particular area of our land. Some events will include discussions of public lands issues and activities of the Highlands Conservancy’s Public Lands Committee.
Our first event will be a service project at the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge, April 20 & 21, where we will be volunteering to help restore the red spruce ecosystem by planting seedlings. Below is the current calendar of events, and more will be added as the year progresses.
Because, from West Virginia’s highest Point, at Spruce Knob, to its lowest, at Harper’s Ferry, This Land was Made for You and Me!
This Land is Your Land – Event Calendar
Please RSVP if you are planning to attend an outing! For more information, visit www.wvhighlands.org, or contact Dave Saville at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday and Sunday, April 20 & 21, 2013, This Land is Your Land – Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge; Red Spruce Ecosystem Restoration, 9 am. Join us as we continue our efforts to restore the red spruce ecosystem in the West Virginia Highlands. We will meet at the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters and Visitor Center at 9 am each day. Following an orientation about the USF&WS, the Refuge and the red spruce ecosystem we will car pool to the restoration site. Come dressed for the weather, wear sturdy shoes or boots and bring gloves. Lunch will be provided. We’ll work until around 5 pm on Saturday and try to finish up around 1-2 pm on Sunday.
Sunday, June 2, 2013, This Land is Your Land – Greenbrier Ranger District, Monongahela National Forest, Bartow, WV, 1 pm. Management of our National Forest happens at the District level. At this outing we will meet with District Ranger, Jack Tribble, and Wildlife Biologist, Shane Jones who will give us a tour of the District offices, and briefly describe the Forest’s decision making process and management from a District level perspective. This is the first of two visits to the District this year. This trip we will learn about the restoration and reclamation of the aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems on old strip mines. As part of the “Mower Tract,” an area of 60,000 acres purchased from the Mower Lumber Company in 1989, numerous formerly strip mined areas are being restored. We’ll visit the Lambert Run and Barton’s Bench project areas to see some of the highly acclaimed restoration work the Forest Service is accomplishing through creative partnerships and leveraged funding.
Sunday, July 14, 2013, This Land is Your Land – Canaan Valley State Park, 1 pm. At this event, we will visit with Park Superintendent, Rob Gilligan, at the Canaan Valley State Park Nature Center. Rob will discuss the management of the State “Resort” Parks as well as the new Lodge and Conference facilities. We will then take a car tour, and a few short hikes, to visit some of the Park’s most outstanding features.
Saturday, August 10, 2013, This Land is Your Land – Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge, Williamstown, WV, 1 pm. Meet Refuge Manager Glenn Klingler and Assistant Manager, Sara Siekierski, of West Virginia’s first National Wildlife Refuge, established in 1990. Scattered along 362 miles of the Ohio River, the refuge restores and protects habitat for wildlife in one of our Nation’s busiest inland waterways. It includes 22 islands and 4 mainland properties for a total of 3,440 acres. Half of the refuge acreage is underwater, providing crucial habitat to support over 40 species of freshwater mussels. Hear from refuge leadership about the challenges the refuge faces and what their team is doing to help safeguard a future for wildlife. Afterwards we’ll go for a hike around Middle Island.
September 8, 2013, This Land is Your Land – Kanawha State Forest, Charleston, WV, 1 pm. Meet Assistant Superintendent, Kevin Dials at one of West Virginia’s most popular State Forests. Unique among State Forests, Kanawha is managed more like a State Park because of an action of the State Legislature. The 9,300 acre forest is noted among naturalists for its diverse wildflower and bird populations. Rich cove forest sites provide nesting habitat for 19 species of wood warblers. We’ll join with members of the Kanawha State Forest Foundation, a citizens group acting on the forest’s behalf, for an afternoon visit.
Sunday, October 6, 2013, This Land is Your Land – Greenbrier Ranger District, Monongahela National Forest, Bartow, WV 1 pm. For the second of our visits to the Greenbrier Ranger District, we will once again meet with District Ranger, Jack Tribble and District Wildlife Biologist, Shane Jones. The discussion of current activities will focus on the upper Greenbrier North project. This large and diverse project involves numerous management activities including spruce restoration and stream habitat improvement. We’ll take a car tour and some short hikes into the upper Greenbrier north project area to learn more about the activities and proposed activities associated with that project.
More places to find outings
White Grass Ski Touring Center Events page http://whitegrass.com/events.html.
The Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge, http://www.fws.gov/canaanvalley/calendar.html
Coopers Rock Foundation has outings, http://coopersrock.org/events/
West Virginia Botanic Garden events and outings, http://www.wvbg.org/
New River Gorge National River http://www.nps.gov/neri/planyourvisit/events.htm
It’s never too early to start planning those spring time hikes
and never too late to plan a winter trek through your favorite snowy
path……Please consider leading an outing and sharing one of your
favorite places on the MON with others.
Contact Dave Saville
or 304 692-8118
Thursday, October 24, 2013 12:58 PM