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Autumn Adventures

Season assures staycation scenery

The Inter-Mountain photos by Shannon Bennett Campbell Water dominates much of this Stonewall Jackson State Park view providing a sense of quiet calm.

As we move closer to autumn and our social climate takes on another COVID surge, our upcoming vacation choices appear diminished or complicated at best. A new option is available to us, and being amidst colorful mountain forests and pleasant cool breezes, it is a choice to be considered. This year we might be very pleased to select a “staycation.”

These stay-close-to-home vacation selections are varied and can be adapted to most ages and lifestyles. Some choose to experience the State Park system. Others decide they will just stay at home, but plan several exciting activities or special restaurants to try. Still others are determined to try camping-out even though the weather deters them at times.

The West Virginia Department of Tourism has promoted “staycations” in much of their advertising where residents are encouraged to plan vacation days in the Mountain State. Our government designers have spent a great deal of state monies to modernize and brighten State Park amenities. Especially during these autumn months, park golf courses and hiking are most beautiful to experience with seasonal colors at their peak.

A recent trip to Canaan Valley, with its hotel-like rooms or rentable cabins beckoning our attention, remind us of its excellent restaurant and golfing facilities, as well as their expansive views.

Another close-by resort is Stonewall Jackson Lake where multiple water sports exist beside a full-sized golf course. The Stillwaters full-serve or buffet dining room have many selections that have won this vacation spot high accolades.

Children enjoy early morning kayaking at one of the Stonewall Jackson State Park waterways.

The cost to one’s family in being part of the staycation scene is much reduced since less gasoline mileage is registered for travel. Precious time is saved in addition, because it is so much quicker to get where one is choosing to go.

If one wants to put a little more distance in their trip, Wheeling’s Oglebay Park or Hinton’s Pipestem have terrific golfing, hiking and biking. A children’s zoo at the Wheeling venue is popular.

The stay-at-home option could involve a trip to see the West Virginia Museum of American Glass in Weston, the State Fair at Lewisburg or the Sept. 2-4 Stonewall Jackson Jubilee.

While it is too early for snow at Snowshoe, the Raven golf course would welcome your stay and their ski-lift would provide a picturesque vie of color turning on forested acres below.

Those who would prefer shopping and getting ready for Christmas decisions may prefer a trip to Bridgeport’s Eastpointe, where many gift choices exist along with a splendid array of restaurants for meal-eating before returning home.

Cottages or rustic cabins are available for stays at many West Virginia State Parks.

Vacations, at best, are times we decide to change our normal routines. Now, most of us have one routine we would really like to dismiss and that is pulling out masks one more time to add some protection against another round of COVID. This may be possible by taking a staycation. We are called upon to make decisions that assist our families in coping with life as it is. I will have to say that people in our area have banded together very well to answer the challenges we have been handed. We can be proud of this. And, we certainly do deserve vacations.

Consider going a direction that will save time and money. Plan a staycation and discover ways to recreate while having some first-time adventures near your back-yard. It might be an event that not only saves money, but preserves peace of mind.

Autumn craft fairs can be part of the staycation scene. Elaine Sinclair is seen here preparing several baskets for assorted events.

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