You Can Visit the Locations of the Winning Photos!
Our photo contest celebrating West Virginia's federal public lands and waters received over 150 submissions from photographers across the state. The winning photos capture what makes our public lands and waters so precious. The best part? You can visit the locations of all the winning photos! Public lands belong to all of us and we've included some tips to inspire you to get out and explore these incredible destinations.
Water and Landscape: Kate's Branch by Randall Sanger
You can find this picturesque waterfall and many others along the Glade Creek trail system located within the New River Gorge National River. During the spring, Glade Creek is a favorite destination for native wildflowers.
Outdoor Recreation: Hiker Admiring a Developing Rainbow by Melvin Hartley
You'll find incredible views of the New River and the New River Gorge Bridge from the Long Point Trail, part of the Fayetteville area trail system of the New River Gorge National River. Adventurous hikers can head out to the Long Point overlook during Bridge Day for a spectacular view of the festival and BASE jumpers.
WV Rivers Staff's Choice Award: Route 39 Spring by Allen JohnsonMonongahela National Forest and part of the Birthplace of Rivers, this public spring is a favorite spot for both locals and tourists. You can find the spring just 200 yards west of the Cranberry Nature Center, on the Route 39 switchback.
Blue Ridge Outdoors Editor's Choice Award: Blue Heron on the New River
by William GroahSandstone-Brooks area trails of the New River Gorge National River. Make sure you bring your binoculars, this area is home to nesting bald eagles.
KEEN "Live Monumental" People's Choice Award: Cranberry Wilderness
by Sam TaylorNorth/South Trail in the Monongahela National Forest's Cranberry Wilderness. Red spruce are the only spruce species native to West Virginia and serve as critical habitat for both the endangered West Virginia northern flying squirrel and the threatened Cheat Mountain salamander.