North Bend State Park is hosting Family Trails Weekend in celebration of the American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day the first Saturday in June each year. This year Family Trails Weekend is set for Friday, May 21 - Sunday, June 2.
Reservations may be made by calling 304.643.2931 or visit www.northbendsp.com.
The schedule of events is as follows:
Friday, May 31
9 a.m. - Southern Railroad Trail Hike: Follow the old railroad grade, which snakes its way along the North Fork of the Hughes River while learning about local wildlife and plant species. This trail brings you right thorugh the “north bend” in the river, which is the namesake for the park! A smooth trail for hikers of all skill levels. Meet at the River Run Campground Check in Station. (1 hour, 1 mile)
11:00am – Leave No Trace – Every activity that we do outside has the potential to leave some kind of impact behind after we’re through. This can sometimes be a problem for the environment and wildlife. Join in learning how to avoid some of these hazards when you are participating in whatever you love to do outside. We will meet at the parking lot at Basecamp. (1 hour)
1:00pm – 3:00pm – Nature Center Open – Come inside to enjoy arts and crafts and a chance to meet some of our wildlife friends. Take a look around and marvel at the mysteries of nature.
4:00pm – Orienteering – For centuries, compasses were used to find the right path. Sailors, explorers, and adventurers all use them to point them back home. If you want to learn how to use one too, come to this interesting program. The next time you venture into the woods you can be sure to know how to get back to camp. We will meet at the Nature Center. (1 hour)
6:00pm – Tracks and Scat – Who’s been here, who’s been there? Find out by reading the clues our animal friends leave in the forest. Discover all the signs that the critters of North Bend leave behind. We will meet at the Nature Center. (1 hour)
8:30pm – Luminary Hike – Experience the trail lit by beautiful luminaries as you hike to Tunnel 13. Local lore and history will be shared along the way along with a ghost story and raffle at Tunnel 13 on the North Bend Rail Trail. Sponsored by the North Bend Rail Trail Foundation. Meet at Shelter 3. (1 – 1.5 hours, 1.5 miles)
Saturday, June 1 ~ National Trails Day!
9:00am – 12:00pm – Pennsboro Train Depot Open – The historic Pennsboro Train Depot will be open for public viewing to help celebrate National Trails Day! A one-time busy hub of train activity, this landmark features a treasure trove of railroad and local history. The Pennsboro Depot is located in downtown Pennsboro, alongside the North Bend Rail Trail.
10:00am – 12:00pm – Nature Center Open – Come inside to enjoy arts and crafts and a chance to meet some of our wildlife friends. Take a look around and marvel at the mysteries of nature.
10:00am – 5:00pm – Cairo Bank Building Open – Ken Adams, North Bend Rail Trail Foundation, will be giving tours of the historic Cairo Bank Building. He will be showcasing peroid office equipment and other artifacts from the past. The Cairo Bank building is the Rail Trail Foundation headquarters and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Cairo Bank building is located along the North Bend Rail Trail in Cairo, WV.
10:00am – 6:00pm – Cairo Days – Join in the fun and celebrate the downhome charm of Cairo, WV. Throughout the day enjoy local vendors and activities for the whole family! The center of town (Cairo, WV) is just a short 3-mile trip down the North Bend Rail Trail by bike or by foot.
12:30pm – GPS and Geocaching – Learn the basics on how to use your GPS device for the newest way to treasure hunt, geocaching! A limited number of GPS devices will be available for you to use as we search for some of North Bend State Park’s hidden caches. Basic instruction and information is best for geocachers 12 and above. We will meet at the Nature Center. (1.5 hours)
3:00pm – Fishing Derby – Bring your pole and we’ll supply the bait as you try your luck catching the Bluegill, Channel Catfish, and Bass that call the River Run Pond home. Anglers up to 14 years old are welcome to participate in this catch and release derby. We will meet at the pond by River Run Campground. (1 hour)
4:30pm – Creek Critters – Put on your water shoes and get ready to get wet as you dive into the small world of critters that inhabit our local creeks and streams. Collect and observe crayfish, insect larva, and other aquatic invertebrates in this interactive program. We will meet at the Nature Center. (1 hour)
6:30pm – Tunnel 13 Trail Hike – Experience the great outdoors with a spice of history mixed in. The trail is flat and easy to walk on, following an old railroad line leading to the North Bend Rail Trail and Tunnel 13. Learn about railroad and local history along with plants and wildlife throughout the hike. We will meet at the Nature Center. (1 – 1.5 hours, 1.5 miles)
8:30pm – 11:00pm – Star Party – The New Era Astronomy Club will be on site to showcase some of the visible stars, planets, and other celestial objects. They will have several large telescopes to look through and will assist in observation. Feel free to bring your own to use or for advice on techniques and sky watching tips. Construct your own star chart so you can map the night sky anywhere! Meet in the Douglass Conference Room at the Lodge. (1.5 hours)