WEST MILFORD, W.Va. — The West Virginia Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program is honoring National Trails Day with a two-day celebration on the river.
The second annual Float the Fork! kicks off Friday night at Veterans Memorial Park in Clarksburg for early registration, river education and other entertainment. Then at 10 a.m. Saturday, guests are welcome to float down the 75.4 mile West Fork River.
“It’s going to be a 6-mile float from the Good Hope access in Lost Creek down to the West Milford Park, which was put in last year,” said Abby Devlin, an AmeriCorps member with Partners for Fish and Wildlife.
Kayaks, canoes and paddle boarders of all boating experience levels welcome. Paddle board enthusiasts can also enter a race in conjunction with the float.
“Everyone is welcome, whether you’re experienced or not,” Devlin said. “It’s a way to get people outside to experience the West Fork River in honor of National Trails Day. We want to get out there and enjoy it.”
The event was made possible by the extensive environmental work the river has seen in recent years.
“In 2016, Fish & Wildlife Service removed three dams from the West Fork River, and it really has brought back wildlife and made the river more free-flowing and a good place for recreation,” Devlin said. “It’s a lot safer for floating down. It’s expanded the water trail, and we just want to show it off and get people out there and see what’s going on.”
Devlin said they anticipated roughly 40 for the inaugural float last year.
“It ended up being 160 people to come out to float, and everyone had a good time,” she said.
Guests are welcome to skip the float and just take part in the community event.
“Even if you’re not floating, come join us at the West Milford Park from 11 to 2. We’ll be just celebrating and greeting the floaters as they come in,” Devlin said.
Registration begins at 8 a.m. Saturday at the New Bethel United Methodist Church in Good Hope.
For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page or click here.