Tracking an enormous black bear one morning in the mid 1700s, George Casey Harness came to a spot, “on the western slope of the Alleghenies which overlooked a wide, well-watered, wooded and grassy valley. The breathtaking beauty of the wild valley so impressed young Harness that he involuntarily cried out, ‘Behold! The Land of Canaan!’”* This story is but one of the ways that the valley may have gotten its name. *Quoted from Jack Preble’s book Land of Canaan, (1960, McClain Printing Company, p.1)Refuge History
About the NWRS
The National Wildlife Refuge System, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America’s fish, wildlife, and plants.
Learn more about the NWRS
Around the Refuge
There are events for the whole family year-round at Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge. Check out our calendar for a list of upcoming events.Events Calendar
Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) applications are being accepted through April 16, 2014. Are you between 15 and 18 years of age and interested in working on natural resource conservation, enhancement, and protection projects this summer? Our YCC job opportunity might be just what you’re looking for!Get Involved
There are activities year-round at Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge including wildlife viewing, cross-country skiing, hunting, photography and environmental education. Learn more on our Visitor Activities page.Visitor Activities
A patchwork of 23 wetland types, including bogs, shrub swamps and wet meadows carpet the valley floor. At about 8,500 acres, this is the largest wetland complex in the state of West Virginia, and is a regionally significant wetland complex within the southern Appalachians.
Page Photo Credits All photos courtesy of USFWS unless otherwise noted., Sunrise over Canaan Valley - Frank Cervalo.
Last Updated: Jul 23, 2013