Visitor Activities

  • Hunting

    Woodcock - USFWS.

    All hunters must carry a current, signed Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge hunt permit, appropriate State hunting license, and a photo ID to hunt on the Refuge. Hunting brochures/permits will be available after September 1. Check for new hunting opportunities this year. To get your hunt brochure/permit simply go by a kiosk (wooden structure with brochures in front) located in refuge parking lots (click on "Canaan Valley NWR Hunt Information" below for more information), sign the front of the brochure/permit and go hunting. For more information stop by the Visitor Center at 6263 Appalachian Highway. Refuge staff are available between 8 am to 4 pm, Monday through Friday.

    Canaan Valley NWR Hunt Information

  • Fishing

    Blackwater River - Frank Ceravalo.

    The refuge works closely with state agencies and other partners to encourage and increase access to recreational fishing. Fishing provides opportunities for communities, families, and individuals to enjoy the outdoors, support conservation efforts, and participate in a popular American tradition. At Canaan Valley NWR, anglers must possess a valid West Virginia state fishing license and abide by state rules and regulations. 

    Canaan Valley NWR Recreational Fishing Plan (July 2020)

  • Wildlife Viewing

    Visitors viewing wildlife - Mary Konchar.

    There are numerous birds to be spotted on the refuge. These can be found along every trail on the refuge. Some other animals which may possibly be seen are whitetail deer, black bear, beaver, muskrat, raccoon, fisher, fox, coyote, etc.

    List of trails on the refuge.

  • Interpretation

    Interpretation on the refuge - USFWS.

    Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge provides a variety of regularly scheduled interpretive programs during all four seasons including volunteer-led wildflower and birdwalks and naturalist-guided walks that encourage the understanding of refuge places, its history, and cultural and natural resources. In addition, brochures, signage, factsheets, and other printed and online resources provide information on upcoming events. Consult the refuge’s website Events Calendar and Facebook page for the most up-to-date listing of these events.

  • Environmental Education

    Kids Birding

    A variety of environmental education programs are offered at the refuge for a range of ages, including pre-school through middle and high school, college, and adults. These programs are designed to build an awareness and encourage the enjoyment and connection to the outdoors and the refuge. Staff and refuge volunteers can provide educational materials to teachers, including those for informal and formal classroom settings; help arrange and coordinate age-appropriate field trips; bring together outdoor experiences that augment classroom learning and meet curriculum standards; and, conduct training for teachers and volunteers to build on-going success and effectiveness in the classroom. Please contact the refuge for opportunities to expand your teaching into the outdoors by using the refuge as an outdoor classroom.

  • Photography

    Young visitor looking through a large camera - USFWS.

    In late spring photographers might catch a glimpse of the bobolink, a distinctive bird of Refuge’s grasslands, at Freeland Boardwalk and along the Beall Trails The bobolink is the only American bird that is black underneath and white on the back. This coloring makes the male stand out while he is performing his displays. This bird’s song is as distinctive as its look and its melodious, bubbling song fills the air.

    In the summer, female bobolink makes a well-hidden nest on the ground for her young using grasses and weeds. Sometimes there is even a grassy cover to protect her young. After their eggs hatch both parents provide food to their young.

    The bobolink’s extraordinary migration can cover over 12,000 miles annually starting as far north as Canada and continuing as far south as Argentina. No wonder these birds arrive late and leave early!

    Winter on the refuge is a great time to see Rough Legged Hawks.