As summer winds down, activities abound at Beech Fork
HUNTINGTON — It’s less than two weeks before most area schools start back, so now is the time to splash down.
Head out to Beech Fork State Park, located 12 miles south of Huntington and Barboursville at 5601 Long Branch Road, where Beech Fork’s 50-meter swimming pool and bathhouse facility is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; noon to 6 p.m. Sunday; and closed Mondays, with the exception of holidays. The cost is $5 for those 11 years and younger and $6 for those 12 and older. The pool also is available party or large group rental after hours from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
In addition to swimming, paddling, fishing, hiking, and mountain biking, the park also has cabins available for rent and is one of the state park system’s largest campgrounds.
During the summer, naturalist Brian Tabor has scheduled a wide range of activities. Here’s a look at the events planned for this weekend:
Friday, Aug. 10
5:30 p.m. — Musical Instrument Craft. Meet the naturalist in the Activities Room to make an awesome musical instrument.
8:45 p.m. — Lightning Bug Hike. Meet the naturalist behind the Camper’s Corner store for a evening walk on the nature trail where you’ll learn to use glowsticks to communicate with lightning bugs.
Saturday, Aug. 11
9 a.m. — Beech Fork Birds. Meet the naturalist behind the Camper’s Corner Store to go for a short walk to see and learn about the beautiful birds of Beech Fork.
3 p.m. — Fishing with the Naturalist. Meet the Naturalist at the boat launch area before the fishing contest to practice before the contest starts. You can also ask questions and advice if you’d like, and the Naturalist will show you one of the easiest and best fishing knots you can tie.
4 p.m. — Fishing Contest. Kids 14 and under can bring their fishing poles to the dock behind the boat rentals to try and win ice cream.
6:30 p.m. — Tie Dye. Pick up a T-shirt at the camp store (or bring your own) and meet the Naturalist behind the headquarters building to tie dye your shirt. You can also bring bandanas, shoes, towels, hats, etc. Beech Fork shirts are in the store for $8 plus tax. If you bring your own items the activity costs $3 dollars to cover the cost of materials.
9 p.m. — Perseid Meteor Shower Star Party. Meet in the front parking lot at the headquarters building to look at stars, and watch the Persied meteor shower. They’ll be telescopes to look at planets and other celestial bodies as well. Here’s a look at some of the other main events that are coming up in the next few weekends.
• Saturday, Aug. 18, National Bee Awareness Day. Various activities on this day will include bee themes, including a drawing for free West Virginia honey, and a walk to see the 11 bee hives recently added to the park.
• Saturday, Aug. 25, Kayak and Canoe Paddle. Meet at the boat dock by 11:30 a.m. for a shuttle to the new water trail launch site and a 3 mile paddle back to the park through Beech Fork Creek. Kayaks, canoes, and life jackets are available for rent if you don’t have your own.
• Saturday, Sept. 1, Whatever Floats! At noon, bring anything that floats and join us for a regatta on the lake! Giant rubber duck, air mattress, whatever, just not motorized vehicles. Life Jackets are required; we have a limited supply.
• Sunday, Sept. 2, Adult’s Cornhole Tournament at 2 p.m. Meet at the horseshoe pits by the boat dock. Double elimination. First Place wins free camping.
• Sunday, Sept. 2, Bill Lepp. A nationally renowned storyteller and five time champion of the West Virginia Liars’ Contest, Lepp explains that while his stories may not be completely true, they are always honest.
Also, be sure and check out more information about the newly formed Beech Fork State Park Foundation, which is looking for volunteers to help with activities, fundraisers, and projects for the park.
For more information visit www.BFSPF.org or email Michelle Tabor at firstname.lastname@example.org.