We love state parks here in West Virginia. They’re beautiful, they’re fun, and almost all native West Virginians have fond childhood memories in them with friends and family. And while most of us only think of state parks as a source of fun recreation and a way to escape busy city and town life; state parks also have a large economic significance for the state. Here are some great facts to help you wrap your head around our beautiful state parks.
West Virginia State Parks by the Numbers:
West Virginia currently has 35 State Parks, 8 State Forests and 2 State Rail Trails.
They are managed by the Parks and Recreation Section of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.
There are more than 400 full time state employees and approximately 1,000 part time staff members directly employed through this.
Over 7 million people visit West Virginia’s State Parks and Forests every year.
For every $1 spent on State Parks, $13.15 of local economic activity takes place. That’s a huge ROI!
State Parks and Forests generate approximately $225 million annually (a quarter billion dollars) in total state economic significance.
The first West Virginia State Park is Droop Mountain Battlefield which was established on July 4, 1928.