A photography workshop captures autumn colors creeping into the West Virginia landscapes. A county fair brims with families and friends. The sound of music wafts in valleys and from the hills. Train rides. History calls. The fall harvest in late September at West Virginia State Parks packs a peck of 16 special events.
Special events the weekend of Sept. 23-26 include:
Septemberfest 50-plus Fling at Blackwater Falls is a four-day, three-night getaway packed with activities and programs. For individuals 50 years and older, the package includes lodging, eight meals, refreshments and programs. Program and activities include Tygart Flyer Train Ride, an American Mountain Theater show, Antioch Bell Choir, guest lecturer Glenn Thompson for "Geology: From Edinburgh Scotland to Blackwater Falls State Park, Night Sounds of the Appalachians," themed dinners and more. Reservations are required. Full information is found at www.blackwaterfalls.com (click "Events") or call the park at 304-259-5216. Blackwater Falls is located in Tucker County near Davis. The park is known for its five-story waterfalls, scenic views and features a lodge, vacation cabins, campground, restaurant and natural appeal.
The last murder mystery train in 2010 is today at Cass Scenic Railroad State Park, "The Murder of Lumberjack Johnny Parker." Enjoy a great buffet dinner, but watch your back because somebody isn't going to make the return trip. A special prize is awarded to one lucky detective on each Murder Mystery Special Train. This makes a memorable evening for all ages. Includes train ride to Whittaker Station, Camp Whittaker tour, dinner, entertainment and an optional shop tour or Cass Showcase presentation. Reservations are required and available by calling 304-456-4300.
Cass Scenic Railroad Harvest Day and a special Harvest Day evening train is Saturday. It is a daylong special event full of old-fashioned fun and games, live entertainment and fall colors capped with a special evening train departing to Whittaker Station. Harvest Day activities are free to attend, but train rides and the Harvest Train are fee based. For event information, call 304-456-4300. Cass Scenic Railroad is located in Pocahontas County at Cass. It is home to the world's foremost roster of operating Shay locomotives, features company houses for vacation rentals, the Company Store, Last Run Restaurant, Showcase, museum and community spirit.
The Field of Fire (Dolly Sods Hike) is Saturday. Join Canaan Valley Resort State Park's naturalist to explore the Dolly Sods Wilderness Area for a fall discovery hike. This tour will visit the bird banding station and continue on a journey to see the vibrant fall colors and marvel at the blueberry (huckleberry) bushes turning a bright fire red with the evergreen and hardwood trees becoming multi-colored. There is a fee to participate. For information, call 304-866-4121 or visit Canaan Valley Resort State Park online at www.canaanresort.com.
The annual West Virginia Celebration of National Hunting and Fishing Days is Saturday and Sunday on the grounds at Stonewall Resort State Park. Organized by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (WVDNR) and the West Virginia Wildlife Federation, more than 100 vendors and exhibits, shotgun and rifle shooting, black powder shooting, youth sports, sporting dogs, care and cooking of fish and game, wild food tasting, trophy buck display, trophy fish display, non-game exhibits are on-site. For event information, contact the Wildlife Resources Section of the WVDNR at 304-558-2771 or visit online www.wvdnr.gov (click "Special Opportunities").