By April 25, 2017 Read More →

Blackwater Falls entry fee on tap: Seven state parks will have $2 per-person charge; pass is $12

By BROOKE BINNS

The Inter-Mountain

DAVIS, W.Va. — Beginning Memorial Day weekend, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources will be introducing a park fee that will affect a state park in Tucker County.

Blackwater Falls State Park is one of seven West Virginia State Parks that will require an entrance fee as part of a pilot project that will ultimately support the state parks system in West Virginia. The DNR is hopeful that this pilot project will reduce the gap between annual expenditures and revenue.

Division of Natural Resources Director Stephen McDaniel said in a press release, “This is a pilot project that likely will evolve over time. Other states incorporate parks passes to bolster maintenance costs. We believe West Virginia can use the same approach as we address maintenance and upkeep in the 21st century of special places we return to visit decade after decade.”

The DNR anticipates that passes will generate an additional $1 million annually.

Visitors will have the option of purchasing a single day use pass or an annual pass. For $2 per vehicle a daily pass can be purchased to enter any of the parks subject to this fee. Daily passes can be purchased at the pay station of the respective park entrance.

Money that is generated from daily fees will go directly to the maintenance and upkeep of the park where the pass is purchased.

For unlimited entrance to any of the parks, a $12 fee will be charged per vehicle. Annual passes can be purchased at any state park or state forest gift shop in West Virginia.

Money generated from the rate of annual passes will assist with the cost of maintenance, upkeep and renovation.

Exemptions will be made for overnight guests and school groups that schedule visits one week or more in advance.

In addition to Blackwater Falls, a fee will be implemented at six other state parks in West Virginia including Coopers Rock State Forest in Bruceton Mills, Little Beaver State Park in Beaver, Pipestem Resort State Park in Pipestem, Babcock in Clifftop, Cacapon in Berkeley Springs and Valley Falls State Park in Fairmont.

“The individual areas, the people and the opportunity to enjoy the facilities, activities and natural settings all work in harmony. There’s something about driving into a park that is relaxing and a welcomed departure from work or stress. My goal is to maintain our state park system for generations,” McDaniel said.

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