By Mary Catherine Brooks
Wyoming County Bureau Chief
With only a few exceptions, West Virginia state parks offer visitors the same variety of benefits in the winter months as in spring, summer, and fall.
At Twin Falls Resort State Park all the facilities remain open in the winter, with the exception of the outdoor swimming pool.
“People naturally seem to think of the park mostly in good weather, but they’re missing out on a large part of what the park has to offer,” explained Scott Durham, park superintendent.
“The winter scenery is just as beautiful as the summer,” Durham emphasized.
Also in the winter, Twin Falls, as other state parks in West Virginia, offers a wide variety of special events that range from nature walks to specialized workshops.
Durham explained the lodge and cabins are usually booked in the summer for family reunions, out-of-state visitors, weddings, and others, so it would be difficult to house the events at that time.
Upcoming events at Twin Falls include the annual Sweetheart Weekend and Easter egg hunt, with workshops for scrapbookers and guitar players. The guitar workshop will feature nationally known pickers as instructors, Durham said.
The 18-hole, Par 71 championship golf course is open year round, unless the course is snow-covered or has frost on it.
“The frost only takes a couple of hours in the morning to burn off, but it will damage the grass if people walk on it,” Durham noted. “Golfers understand this.
“We have people playing every day when the weather is good.”
The 50 camp sites also remain open for those who want a rustic get-away.
For those interested in a little less rustic situation, the cabins feature privacy, stone fireplaces with wood available just off the porch, hardwood floors, in facilities that range from two to four bedrooms.
The 47-room mountain-top lodge features guest suites, expanded gift shop, a nature center with regularly planned programs, conference rooms with audio-visual equipment and conference assistance from the staff, banquet rooms, and a full-service restaurant overlooking the golf course, along with an indoor swimming pool and small spa, exercise room.
An $8 million expansion, completed last year, allows the park to handle groups of up to 140 people and accommodate as many as 123 overnight guests, according to Durham.
The park’s nature program is designed to create awareness of the environment in an enjoyable learning setting for park guests as well as area residents.
The park now boasts 30 miles of hiking/biking trails, with about 10 of those miles completed in the last three years, Durham explained.
Trails range from the easy quarter-mile Twin Oaks, which is paved, to the very rugged Path Finder, a 5-mile trail that is steep and adventurous, he said.
Other trails fall somewhere in between the two. A trail map is available at the lodge’s front desk.
The Falls Trail winds its way to the two falls — Marsh Fork and Black Fork — for which the park is named. Water flows freely from both locations in the winter and spring.
Officials advise caution when the trails are snow-covered.
One of the most photographed scenes in West Virginia is the 1930s-era pioneer farm. The farm, located on Bower’s Ridge, is a working farm, complete with livestock and gardens, surrounded by the picturesque split-rail and picket fences.
Playground equipment has also been replaced throughout the park.
For more information about the activities and facilities at Twin Falls Resort State Park, phone 304-294-4000 or on the web at www.twinfallsresort.com.
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