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Ski, hike at Wildlife Refuge

December 31, 2012
The Inter-Mountain

Canaan Valley Wildlife Refuge is a premier destination for cross country skiing, hiking, walking and snowshoeing along scenic trails.

The approximately 16,000-acre refuge contains 41 miles of road and trails for patrons to enjoy. Of the total, 10 miles are open exclusively for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing and the remaining 31 are open for any type of pedestrian use.

Twenty-three miles have been made available for bicycles and 22 are there for horse riding.

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Trails are open from sunrise to sunset. Fourteen trails of varying lengths and difficulties exist in the refuge, including the Middle Valley Trail, a six-mile long trail which is open to walkers, hikers, horses and bicycle riders.

Hunting on the refuge is permitted from Sept. 1 to Feb. 28, each year.

White-tailed deer, black bear, wild turkey, ruffed grouse, mourning dove, waterfowl, coot, rail, gallinule, snipe, woodcock, rabbit, hare, squirrel, red fox, gray fox, raccoon bobcat, woodchuck, coyote, opossum, and striped skunk are allowed to be hunted during the season. Any species not listed is protected and not allowed to be taken.

Canaan Valley contains 8,400 acres of wetland habitat that support many plant and animal species. More than 580 species of plants and more than 280 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish are supported by the ecosystems within the refuge.

The West Virginia northern flying squirrel and Cheat Mountain salamander are among the protected species.

Within the wetlands areas is one of the largest shrub swamps in the nation and the fourth largest bog in the eastern United States.

More information about the refuge can be found by contacting the Canaan Valley office, in Davis, at 304-866-3858 or by visiting



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