News‎ > ‎

Birthplace of Rivers National Monument News - January 2015

posted Jan 29, 2015, 9:33 AM by Kathleen Tyner   [ updated Jan 29, 2015, 9:35 AM ]

Explore Birthplace of Rivers: Tea Creek Backcountry

Tea Creek Backcountry by Kelly Jo Drey.

Adjacent to the Cranberry Wilderness lies some of the best cross country skiing in the East. Tea Creek Backcountry is popular for snowshoes and hikers of all abilities; trails follow early railroad grades under a mixed hardwood forest interspersed with red spruce, pine, and a scattered understory of rhododendron. Can’t get out till spring? The mountain biking in Tea Creek has been called the best in the East!

Faces of Birthplace of Rivers: Gil Willis

Gil and Mary Willis of Elk River Touring.

More than 30 years ago Gil and his wife Mary started renting cross country skis at Gil’s family farm in Slatyfork. Today, the Elk River Touring Center is one of the state’s most popular destinations for cross country skiing. You can rent skis at the center, and ski on trails Gil helped build. Gil has supported the Birthplace of Rivers National Monument campaign since the beginning. “The creation of a National Monument represents incredible new economic opportunities for many local businesses, and would be a tremendous honor to the people and the landscape of our state,” says Gil, who with Mary also owns the Elk River Inn. Gil is featured in the This American Land episode on Birthplace of Rivers. Check it out.

No Boost for WV Tourism Budget

As reported in the 
Wheeling Intelligencer, Governor Tomblin's budget for 2016 proposes a flat line for tourism promotion, a sign of continued belt tightening in the state's budget. It comes only four months after a tourism summit hosted by the governor called for redoubling efforts to promote West Virginia's outdoor recreation opportunities and scenic beauty—particularly among young, active travelers. Fortunately for the state's travel industry, not all good ideas require an infusion of state dollars to have a positive impact on jobs and the economy. The proposed Birthplace of Rivers National Monument is already there; all we’re trying to do is keep it that way to protect traditional uses like hunting, fishing, camping, and hiking.

Businesses for the Monument

Thanks to these businesses who recently said YES to supporting the Birthplace of Rivers National Monument:

Angler's Xstream Fly Shop; Parkersburg, W.Va.,
Chestnut Revival Coffee, Tea, Bed & Breakfast; Hinton, W.Va.
Richwood Dairy Queen; Richwood, W.Va.

Scott Fly Rods; Montrose, Colo.
Unique Concepts Unlimited; Hinton, W.Va.


Adventure Day at the Capitol

You can get an idea of just how important outdoor recreation is to the Mountain State’s economy at West Virginia Adventure Day at the Legislature, February 9, 2015 at the State Capitol from 10am–2pm. Stop by the Birthplace of Rivers booth and pick up some brochures to share with your friends or businesses owners you know.

Share your stories

Be sure to like Birthplace of Rivers on Facebook. Share your stories, photos, and videos of the outdoors or time in the Monongahela National Forest.