EWING, Va. — Whether you’re a history buff, love nature, or are simply looking for fun and entertainment, Wilderness Road State Park has something for everyone. This month kicks off an exciting season at the park, headlined by the opening of Martin’s Station and the Nature Center.
The Nature Center is a completely interactive learning experience where you can touch the furs and skulls of some of the area’s more unique mammals, peruse a field guide, learn about our solar system, or discover the geological history of the region. Learn about the native trees, native fishes and check out Adventure Packs you can use on a hike along one of the trails. Grab a GPS and go on an adventure. Speak with the nature interpreter to find out some entertaining and fun facts about the many critters and creatures that call the park their home.
The Nature Center is open Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
On weekends throughout the month, Historic Martin’s Station will bring the 18th century Virginia frontier to life with daily interpretation and demonstrations. Join the men and women of Martin’s Station as they demonstrate blacksmithing, gunsmithing, hide-tanning, 18th century gardening, open hearth cooking and other activities you may have witnessed while traveling the Wilderness Road in 1775. The fort is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each weekend.
Area schools won’t have far to look for fun and educational activities this spring break through April 23. The park will be offering self-guided opportunities throughout the park, including geocaching, hiking, bike riding and more. Also, take advantage of our Adventure Pack program which offers a backpack full of useful tools based on your interests such as birds and mammals. Also, catch one of the ranger led programs like Tales for Tots, Making Tracks and more.
Interpretation through stories can be some of the best memories children experience in parks. Listen closely during Tales for Tots as our ranger leads children on a nature adventure through story. A journey awaits from the first words read through the final chapter. Participants are encouraged stick around after the tales for fun crafts. The program begins at 10 a.m. on April 21 and 28.
In honor of Earth Day, the park will host a special tree planting on April 22. This event will help restore the beauty and natural setting of the park grounds, with volunteers assisting park staff. Over time, we lose trees to weather, disease and other issues. And with them, we lose shelter for animals, oxygen we breathe and so much more. Some of the trees we lose each year are hundreds of years old. By planting new trees we can help restore the natural history, as various species of birds, bugs and other animals call these trees home. Participants are asked to meet at the Visitor Center. The program begins at 2 p.m.
A trail cleanup is planned on April 29. Stewardship Virginia is a campaign to recognize and encourage citizens to engage in activities that help protect and restore Virginia’s natural resources. This is the first part of the park’s semi-annual volunteer service event. Partnering with area hiking clubs and other volunteers, the park will conduct a trail cleanup of the popular 8.5 mile Wilderness Road multi-use trail. This fun and important volunteer opportunity, with each participant receiving a certificate from the Governor of Virginia. Participants are asked to meet at the Visitors Center. Drinks and snacks will be provided. The program begins at 1 p.m.
While the woods and open fields offer endless amounts of fun and educational opportunities, they can also create troublesome situations in case of injury or you get lost. There will be a “Building a Survival Kit” workshop on April 30 at 2 p.m. In this short workshop, the tried and true basics of putting together a survival kit they may very well save your life will be discussed. See what items our park ranger packs for safety and dares not venture into the woods without.
In addition to these programs, the park offers an ADA handicap accessible playground, a nature playscape, picnic shelters, hiking trails and more. The new nature center is open on weekends and includes interactive and educational activities. See and touch the hides and skulls of several of the area’s native wildlife and more. The park’s visitor center houses guest information, a gift shop, frontier museum and a state-of-the-art theatre that showcases the film, Wilderness Road: Spirit of a Nation.
For more information, contact the park office at 276-445-3065 or visit the park’s official website at www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/wilderness-road.shtml. You can also visit the Friends of Wilderness Road State Park official website: www.friendsofwildernessroad.org or Martin’s Station’s website at www.historicmartinsstation.com.