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  • Youth birder on the refuge - Cindy Phillips/USFWS.

    Canaan Valley Institute

    Learn more about our effort to enhance visitor opportunities and our vision to connect youth with science and nature.

    A Vision for Connecting Youth with Science & Nature

  • Hunters in silhouette - USFWS.

    Hunting on the Refuge

    Visit the hunt page for information on how to apply for and report on the 2014-2015 Refuge hunt permit.

    Hunting page

  • Scene from Forest Road 80 in Autumn

    Forest Road 80

    Forest Road 80 is open to the public and allows access to the Dolly Sods Wilderness from SR 32 via Freeland Road.


Land of Canaan

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

National Wildlife Refuge System


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  

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Around the Refuge

  • Public Events

    Interpretation on 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
  • Get Involved

    Young volunteers on the refuge - USFWS.

    There are many ways to get involved at Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge, from helping out with Wild School Day to planting trees for our forest restoration projects. Visit our Get Involved page to learn more.

    Get Involved
  • Visitor Activities

    Youth doing photography on the refuge - USFWS.

    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
Page Photo Credits — All photos courtesy of USFWS unless otherwise noted., Sunrise over Canaan Valley - Frank Cervalo.
Last Updated: Dec 03, 2014
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