Spring time in Pocahontas County Experiencing the four seasons in Pocahontas County, West Virginia, is like partaking in a moveable feast for the senses, with plenty of surprises thrown in for seasoning. April here in the mountains can mean a warm walk among spring blossoms one day, and waking up the following day to snow on the ground. Average April temperatures fluctuate between the low 30s and highs in the 60s… just right for hiking, biking and exploring during the day and curling up by the fire at night.

Whatever time of year it is, when you’re enjoying the great outdoors here in Pocahontas County, you’ll be sure to encounter some of the native wildlife. We often see squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits, foxes, raccoons, white-tail deer, coyotes, black bears and dozens of bird species.

A deer wandering in Pocahontas County This time of year, it’s not unusual to round a bend and catch a glimpse of wild turkeys courting- groups of gobblers putting on a show, strutting with tails fanned as the hens gather together and feign indifference. Deer fawns are usually born between the middle of May and the middle of June, but it’s not uncommon to see the little dappled darlings frolicking with each other, or snuggled by their mothers as early as April or as late as August.

Please remember to respect all wildlife and do not disturb it. Look but don’t touch. It may appear as if a baby animal has been deserted, but chances are, the mother is close by and will return as soon as she’s sure the humans have gone. Every season is a good time for outdoor adventures, but you can’t beat spring for the sheer joy of seeing the forests and fields come back to life after a long, snowy winter.

Whether you’re hiking or biking, be like a Boy Scout and always be prepared. Dress in layers with a lightweight, water-resistant outer layer, waterproof footwear, moisture wicking knee high hiking socks and some kind of cap or stretchy hat. Bring a good amount of water, a high calorie snack- and, of course, a camera.

Stay right at home at Snowshoe and hike the back country trails of Cheat Mountain where there are 11,000 acres at your disposal. That’s 17 square miles of pristine wilderness right outside your door. The whole family will enjoy the Shavers Lake Trail where a relatively easy walk takes your around the edge of Shavers Lake and past the dam.

If you’re very stealthy, you may even catch a glimpse of Snowshoe’s resident beavers working on their own dam. Of course, there are more challenging trails which rugged outdoorsmen might call a “real hike.” There’s the Cheat Mountain Ridge Trail, 6,000 Steps and Bail-Out, any one of which is more than enough to work up one’s appetite for a hearty supper.

Beautiful Flowers blooming in Pocahontas County When you’ve explored all you can on top of Cheat Mountain, head down to the neighboring logging town of Cass where there are plenty of trails for hikers, bikers, horseback riders and motorized wheelchairs. Or take a short drive to the Highland Scenic Highway, a two lane road that stretches across the tops of Elk and Cranberry Mountains. The views are endless, the drive spectacular and there are lots of pullouts where you can take photos, eat a picnic lunch or launch into a hike on any number of seemingly endless trails.

Contact the Pocahontas County Convention and Visitors Bureau at 304-799-4636 or 800-336-7009 for directions and details about how to get out and about in Nature’s Mountain Playground and for lots more ideas on what to do in Pocahontas County, visit their website naturesmtnplayground.com

* Photos by Laura Dean Bennett