West Virginia’s state parks are in the process of digging out of snow, clearing roadways and restoring electric and telephone service following widespread damage caused by Tropical Storm Sandy, according to West Virginia State Parks and Recreation Chief Ken Caplinger.

“One inch to two feet of snow has covered about 70 percent of our state parks and forests, depending upon the area,” Caplinger said. “Most areas also received extensive rainfall and varying degrees of wind, which in turn resulted in many fallen trees that caused even more damage. Some of the state’s parks typically close for the season on November 1, but those that are open year-round respond to guest safety first and then assess and address storm conditions and react appropriately.”

Visitors planning to visit a specific state park with lodges or cabins should call the park directly for current conditions. A phone unanswered or with a continued ring or busy signal indicates a power outage and calls should be attempted again every few hours. Park staff, volunteers and contractors are working on repairs and Caplinger anticipates all parks to be back to normal by the weekend and encourages visitation. Updates also may be seen on the West Virginia State Parks website at www.wvstateparks.com and on Facebook and Twitter.

“Parks that have had both derecho and Sandy consequences are examples of true dedication for the maintenance and preservation of public recreational areas for the state and visitors. Two unusual major storms in less than four months is one for our record books,” said Caplinger. Conditions will change quickly at parks as the Sandy storm phases out and the parks with power outages, road closures, and tree damage will resume normal operations quickly.

Here is a survey of West Virginia state parks’ status as of Wednesday, October 31, 2012.

  • Audra: Closed
  • Babcock: Closed
  • Beartown: Closed for season
  • Beech Fork: Open, partial power
  • Berkeley Springs: Closed
  • Blackwater Falls: Closed
  • Blennerhassett Island: Closed for season
  • Bluestone: Closed
  • Cabwaylingo State Forest: Closed
  • Cacapon: Closed
  • Canaan Valley: Closed
  • Carnifex Ferry: Closed
  • Cass Scenic Railroad: Call
  • Cathedral: Call
  • Cedar Creek: Open, no power
  • Chief Logan: Open
  • Coopers Rock State Forest: Closed
  • Droop Mountain:Call
  • Greenbrier State Forest: Open, no power
  • Hawks Nest: Closed
  • Holly River: Closed
  • Kanawha State Forest: Closed
  • Kumbrabow State Forest: Closed
  • Little Beaver: Call
  • Lost River: Open
  • Moncove Lake: Call
  • North Bend: Open
  • Pinnacle Rock: Open
  • Pipestem: Open
  • Prickett’s Fort: Open
  • Seneca State Forest: Call
  • Stonewall: Closed
  • Tomlinson Run: Open
  • Tu Endie Wei: Open
  • Twin Falls: Closed
  • Tygart Lake: Open
  • Valley Falls: Closed
  • Watoga: Open
  • Watters Smith: Call

Logo courtesy West Virginia Division of Natural Resources

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