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West Virginia: State Parks offer outdoor adventures. (Advertisement).

Whitewater rapids, spa treatments, peace and quiet at cabin hideaways, and fish-filled streams. These are just a few of the opportunities that West Virginia State Parks has to offer.

In the heart of whitewater rafting country, visitors to Hawks Nest State Park can stay at a modern lodge with views of the famed New River Gorge. Throughout the spring, this national scenic river is popular among kayakers and canoeists, while rafters face some of the most challenging whitewater in the world each October when Summersville Lake is drained into the Gauley River. Those not interested in exploring the state's streams under their own power can speed up the New River onboard a 15-passenger jet boat that departs the Hawks Nest State Park Marina.

Those in search of relaxation often come to the soothing mineral waters at Berkeley Springs State Park. Guests can choose between a variety of baths, massages, and other spa treatments and then peruse tee historic streets of Berkeley Springs. Spa packages are also available at nearby Cacapon Resort State Park, where guests can also spend a day on the links.

Stonewall Jackson Lake, Twin Falls, and Pipestem Resort are other state parks that feature resort-style lodges and golf courses. Rustic cabins in peaceful wooded settings and modern ones near pristine lakes and rivers are also offered at many West Virginia state parks. Blackwater Falls State Park, set amid the Allegheny Mountains and near the Monongahela National Forest, has a lodge, cabins, campsites, horseback riding, and scenic overlooks. Trout-filled streams lure fly fishers to Canaan Valley Resort State Park, where ski lifts that run during the summer months attract hikers and mountain bikers. Outdoor enthusiasts can also explore miles of trails and natural beauty at places such as Seneca or Kanawha State Forests.

Visitors to West Virginia's state parks can delve into history at frontier forts and Civil War sites or take an excursion to the second-highest point in the state on a Shay steam-driven train at Cass Scenic Railroad State Park. Near Parkersburg, visitors can learn about the history of Blennerhassett Island in the Ohio River before going there aboard a sternwheeler.

To discover more about West Virginia's state parks, call 1-800-CALL-WVA or visit www.wvstateparks.com.
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Publication:National Parks
Date:Jan 1, 2003
Words:370
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