Edited from a Press Release
West Virginia joins America’s State Parks  in challenge to “#OptOutside” beginning Black Friday

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia State Parks are taking the challenge from the America’s State Parks organization by recommending that shoppers #OptOutside. Shoppers are encouraged to include the outdoors as a healthful, natural break during the stressful holiday season, beginning with Black Friday. 

“Parks are a tonic for the mind, body and spirit at any time of the year,” according to Lewis Ledford, executive director of the National Association of State Park Directors, which is promoting the #OptOutside challenge.“These experiences can be unlocked without a key and are within a short drive from home virtually anywhere in the country.”

West Virginia state park areas are close to home and offer magnificent vistas and many trails and recreational opportunities to rejuvenate the mind and work off the calories absorbed from the turkey and fixings consumed Thanksgiving Day and through the holiday season. 

There are no admission fees to West Virginia’s state-operated parks and forests. West Virginia State Parks Chief Sam England encourages hiking any time of the year, but in 2016, he is implementing the Chief’s Challenge, an outdoors hiking opportunity. 

“Beginning with our First Day Hikes in January, we’re encouraging anyone to enroll in the hiking challenge of 100 miles in 2016. It’s a way to enjoy the outdoors, increase physical activity and is an invitation to visit state parks and state forests in West Virginia,” England said. Learn more about West Virginia's Chief’s Challenge at www.wvstateparks.com/Hikes_Walks.html.

To learn more about the recreational opportunities offered during Black Friday and other times of the year in America’s State Parks, go to www.visitamericasstateparks.org