UPDATED: WV Governors Cancels Fees at West Virginia State Parks

Updated 2 years ago Edited from a Press Release

UPDATED: WV Governor Jim Justice has rejected the state park entrance fees. They will not be put in effect. Justice said the pilot program was established without his approval. "WV  parks will remain free and open to the public. When I see a mistake , I make it right.

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia State Parks will begin requiring entrance passes at seven parks and forests as part of a pilot project to support the state parks system with maintenance and upkeep costs.

Beginning Memorial Day weekend, passes will be required to enter Babcock State Park, Blackwater Falls State Park, Cacapon Resort State Park, Coopers Rock State Forest, Little Beaver State Park, Pipestem Resort State Park and Valley Falls State Park.
Two types of passes will be available. An annual pass providing unlimited entrance to the parks may be purchased for $12 per vehicle, or a daily pass may be purchased for $2 per vehicle for a single day use. There will be exemptions for overnight guests and school groups that schedule visits at least a week in advance.
“West Virginians and visitors to the state love our state parks and forests. I hear this all the time,” said Division of Natural Resources Director Stephen McDaniel. “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.”
The annual passes are 3-inch by 3-inch windshield stickers that display support for West Virginia’s park system. Everyone in a vehicle displaying a pass will be covered. The annual passes may be purchased at all state-operated parks and forest gift shops, including those that do not require a pass for entrance. Daily passes may be purchased at pay stations at the park entrance. Money collected at any park for a pass will be used for maintenance and upkeep at that specific park.
DNR anticipates the state parks passes will generate an additional $1 million annually for maintenance and upkeep.
“This is a pilot project that likely will evolve over time,” McDaniel said. “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.”
More about West Virginia State Parks and park passes

  • The West Virginia state park system has 45 areas and includes year-round lodges, campgrounds, cabins, lakes, conference settings and restaurants in addition to traditional park activities of picnicking, hiking, fishing, water-based recreation and outdoor pursuits. There are miles of hiking and biking trails, in addition to two rail trails and scenic views that attract visitors from around the world.
  • The annual parks pass will assist in supplementing rising costs of routine maintenance, upkeep and renovation of park and forest facilities at the area where the annual pass is purchased, regardless of whether that area has a daily fee. The goal is to reduce the gap between expenditures and revenue. Introduction of park passes will assist with maintenance and upkeep of West Virginia’s state park system for years to come.
  • Stonewall Resort will be exempt. It has an independent entrance fee and will not be recognized in the annual pass program.
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