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Joe Manchin III, Governor
Frank Jezioro, Director

News Release : December 6, 2007

Hoy Murphy, Public Information Officer (304) 558-3381
Willa Grafton or Tom Shriver, Hawks Nest State Park, (304) 658-5212;

Lighted Spruce Trees and Interpretive Wreaths New at Hawks Nest State Park

Ansted, W.Va. – Lights along the Midland Trail this holiday season shine brightly. Hawks Nest State Park is part of that scenic trail and transportation route, but this year is a little more natural. Programmer/naturalist Willa Grafton and the staff at Hawks Nest have set up and lighted 10 real Norway spruce trees on the grounds at the park. In addition to other lighted decorations as part of the Lights Along the Midland Trail, the installation of real trees blends well with the natural surroundings at Hawks Nest.

Grafton has also added an interpretive note to this year’s decorations at Hawks Nest. “People love fresh greenery, so what better way to teach visitors and guests about conifers and vegetation than with Christmas wreaths?”

Wreaths at the lodge made with white pine, Serbian spruce, blue spruce, concolor fir, and Douglas fir are outside for display. Grafton, a registered forester, is implementing a relaxed atmosphere program format using wreaths as the education tool. “The entire staff at Hawks Nest put their heart and souls into making this holiday season a special time at the park. People seem to be looking for the ‘real’ meaning of Christmas. Using conifers at a state park just seemed the natural thing to do and guests are excited to learn the different species without taking a hike.”

Hawks Nest is located on Route 60 at Ansted, WV. This state park has one of the most photographed views in West Virginia, according to Tom Shriver, Park Superintendent. “The lower park, our oldest section at Hawks Nest, is the home of the overlook with ‘gorge’ous views of the New River, Hawks Nest Lake and dam. The view remains constant, but the scene change with the seasons.”

The walk from the parking lot to the overlook is approximately 100 yards. Viewfinders are positioned at the lower park. The New River Gorge Bridge is visible from the lodge view deck and restaurant.

The decorations at Hawks Nest will remain in place until the New Year. The park’s lodge, restaurant, and gift shop are open year-round. The aerial tram is closed for the season, but will reopen in May. For more information about Hawks Nest State Park’s interpretive programs and dinner theaters or other activities at WV State Parks, go online to or call 800 CALL WVA and ask for the park of your choice.



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