Volunteer Dates for Spring Planting Along the Blackwater Rail Trail!


Davis Riverfront Park Virtual Sign Tour

Davis sign installation (4) (1)

West Virginia Species Kids Art Contest 

esa contest winners
small plants with their leaves edged in frost

We are building a circle of love and protection around the landscapes and communities that we cherish.

Friends of Blackwater works to protect and promote natural beauty, diverse creatures, unique heritage, and the outdoor recreation economy in the Mid-Atlantic Allegheny Highlands -- home to the magnificent, 10,000-acre Blackwater Canyon – West Virginia’s “Scenic Crown Jewel.”  Our professional staff and grass-roots citizen advocacy are a strong force for responsible conservation and sustainable progress in the Highlands.

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The Spring 2021 Newsletter is Here!

The Spring 2021 newsletter is here! Read it online by clicking the button below, or visit the newsletter archive to catch up on previous issues.

Upcoming Events

Connect with Friends of Blackwater at these upcoming special events

Backcountry Film Fest 2021!!

Calling all backcountry enthusiasts and winter lovers! The 16th annual Winter Wildlands Alliance Backcountry Film Festival will show on February 11th at 8 PM at your home! By purchasing a ticket, you’ll have access to the film festival for 2 weeks to watch at your leisure, but we hope you’ll join us on the 11th. […]

Tucker County WV Railroad Heritage

Tucker County WV Railroad Heritage Webinar Recording

Tucker County, West Virginia has a rich heritage of railroading, coal mining, and timbering. You can explore historic sites, and learn hidden stories from the past, in a one-hour live, interactive Zoom webinar with historian David Vago on a webinar that was hosted on October 29th- click here to view the recording of this educational […]

Rail Trail Botanical Restoration

Rail Trail Botanical Restoration Volunteering Opportunities

Friends of Blackwater was awarded a grant from the National Forest Foundation to begin the Blackwater Rail Trail Botanical Restoration project. Today, non-native “invasive species” like autumn olive, stilt weed, multiflora rose, garlic mustard, Tartarian honeysuckle, and Japanese barberry are choking out native plants like milkweed, an essential host for migrating Monarch butterflies. Last fall, […]

Become a Supporter

Friends of Blackwater is a 501(c)3 non-profit working to protect the Blackwater Canyon and Allegheny Highlands region

If you prefer to donate by check, you can mail your contribution to PO Box 247, Thomas WV 26292.


Click on each of the images to learn more about our projects


Public Lands


State Parks





Latest News

Keep up with Friends of Blackwater!

Update: Climate Warming in Tucker County Paused in 2020

By Dave Lesher Among the weather headlines at the start of the New Year, we see that 2020 went into the weather record books as the fifth warmest year for the entire Lower 48 states since record-keeping started in 1895. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) made that analysis based on observations from more […]


Groups Challenge Trump Administration’s Latest Assaults on the Endangered Species Act

Earthjustice, a nonprofit environmental law firm, just filed two law suits against the former Trump administration after their final attacks on the Endangered Species Act that stripped vital protections from federal lands that research indicates are necessary for endangered and threatened species conservation. The first case challenges what the Trump administration defines as “habitat,” which […]

Friends of Blackwater

Caring and courageous people are the key to effective environmental stewardship. These people and their stories are a part of Friends of Blackwater.
Purdue University researcher Liz Flaherty

Friends of Ginny!

Purdue University scientist Elizabeth Flaherty, and her graduate student are learning important new information about the diet of "Ginny", the West Virginia Flying Squirrel.
volunteers stand in front of a historic site

Blackwater Volunteers

These energetic volunteers are upgrading historic sites in the Blackwater Canyon.
postage stamp of civil rights lawyer J.R. Clifford

J.R. Clifford

West Virginia’s first African American attorney, who won a historic victory for equality in education. (1848-1933)
herpetologist Dr. Pauley with a snake and a turtle

Dr. Tom Pauley

Dr. Pauley has studied the endangered Cheat Mountain salamander for 40 years, while raising up new generations of skilled biologists. 
volunteer getting ready to go monitor flying squirrels

Brianna All

Brianna All spent a summer deep in the Monongahela National Forest, monitoring the West Virginia Northern Flying Squirrel.
group of people with a sign that says "Save the Blackwater Canyon"

Save Blackwater Canyon supporters

Supporters at Cheat Fest sign a photo petition with Ginny the flying squirrel, to help save Blackwater Canyon.

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