The West Virginia State Wildlife Center has a new resident biologist and while he’s only been on the job for a few months he already has some advice for people planning a visit in the coming months.
“I’m really excited to be here and I love the fact that my job brings something new every day and gives me a chance to interact with cool animals and teach people about wildlife,” said Trevor Moore, who moved to West Virginia with his family earlier this year to take the job.
Here are a few things Moore shared to help you plan your trip.
Plan to see native animals in a natural setting
The Wildlife Center is home to nearly 30 native and once-native wildlife species. Animals include carnivores, herbivores, game species of all sizes and many other animals. The facility also is the home to French Creek Freddie, West Virginia’s famous weather-predicting groundhog.
During your visit, you can see:
- River otter
- Mountain Lion
- White-tailed deer
- Barred Owl
- Red Fox
- Gray fox
- Golden Eagle
- Bald Eagle
- Eastern Screech Owl
- Red-Tailed Hawk
- Striped skunk
- Black bear
- Wild Boar
- Ring-Necked Pheasant
- Great Horned Owl
- Black Vulture
- Turkey Vulture
- Red-eared slider (turtle)
Pack a picnic and plan to walk at least one mile
The Wildlife Center is a 327-acre park that provides a safe and quiet place for families to enjoy the outdoors. There is a 1.25-mile interpretive trail that leads visitors through a mature hardwood forest past spacious enclosures where each animal can interact naturally with its environment. The trail is an easy stroll and wheelchair accessible.
In addition to wildlife exhibits, there is a large wooded picnic area with grills and a shelter, a well-stocked fishing pond and a gift shop.
When to visit the West Virginia State Wildlife Center
The Wildlife Center is open year-round, seven days a week, including weekends and holidays. Between April and October, hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and admission is $4 for adults, $2 for kids 6-15 and free for kids younger than 5. From Nov. 1 to March 31, the facility is open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and admission is free for everyone.
“The animals are out every day, so there’s never a bad time to come visit,” Moore said.
The Wildlife Center also sells season passes, which are good for the entire season. Individual passes are $10 and family passes are $20-40.
To buy season tickets or schedule a group visit, call 304-924-6211 Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. To learn more about the Wildlife Center, visit wvdnr.gov/outdoor-recreation/west-virginia-wildlife-center/.
Directions to the West Virginia State Wildlife Center?
The Wildlife Center is located in Upshur County in French Creek, which is about 10 miles south of Buckhannon on State Route 20.
Take exit 99 off Interstate 79 and follow State Route 33 east approximately 12 miles to Buckhannon and turn south on State Route 20.
Take exit 67 off Interstate 79 at Flatwoods and follow State Routes 19 and 4 north approximately 30 miles to Rock Cave and Route 20. Follow State Route 20 North for 2 miles to the center.