VIPP, Take 2

In March of 2012, Jon and I signed up with the West Virginia State Parks’ VIPP Program (Very Important Parks Person).  One of my first posts detailed the VIPP Program (read it here) and explained that to become a VIPP, you must visit 20 of West Virginia’s state parks and forests and stamp your card with the associated VIPP stamp and date.  When you complete your card, you mail it in and in return will receive a nice VIPP jacket.  You also have the opportunity to attend the VIPP Picnic, held each year in September at various state parks.  This year’s picnic was held at Cass Scenic Railroad State Park and 2014’s is scheduled for Pipestem State Park.

When we originally signed up for the program in March 2012, we had a goal of six months to complete the 20 stamps.  We started off strong until we only had 5 outlier parks to obtain, all of which were not easily mapped in a day drive.  So we put it off.  And off.  And off.  And then in July 2013, with us still only 5 parks away from completing the program, our apartment flooded and the cards were destroyed.

Bye-bye VIPP.

Last week, I finally made the phone call to the State Parks’ office and signed us up for the VIPP Program once again… and we received our cards on Saturday!  To be fair, I’m giving ourselves one full year to get all 20 stamps, which means come November 14, 2014 (the day we signed up for them), we will have them all!  I’m hoping we can finish it before then but we’ll see 🙂

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If you’re interested in participating, visit the VIPP Homepage for all the details.  You can also stay tuned throughout the coming months as I recap our VIPP project until we get all 20 stamps — and this time, it WILL happen!

VIPP Website: http://www.wvstateparks.com/community/vipp.htm
Map of all WV State Parks: http://www.wvstateparks.com/map.html

Until next time,
Sara (WV Travel Queen)

Mountain State Monday: Diamond Point Overlook

West Virginia’s mountainous terrain makes it the perfect place for hikers, both advanced and novice.  I find myself on the novice end of the spectrum but still enjoy a moderate-to-hard hike, especially when the view is breathtaking.  I have a lot of harder trails on my to-do list but one of my favorites is the moderately easy 1-mile (approximately) hike to the “Grand Canyon of the East”… also known as Diamond Point Overlook.

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Located in the Fayetteville area of the New River Gorge, Diamond Point Overlook is accessible by the Endless Wall Trail, a mostly level trek from Lansing Edmond-Road to a spectacular view of the cliffs that line the gorge.  The cliffs can be seen from various vantage points in the area but the best is to get up close and personal — literally standing on the edge of a cliff.  The area is a favorite of rock climbers but it’s also a nice stroll for any adventurers, including families or those who like to take their dogs on mountain walks.  Bonus?  If you’re a geocacher, check out this great Earth Cache (GC2J57E) while you’re hiking along the Endless Wall Trail.

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Jon overlooking the cliffs.  Use caution when approaching the cliffs.

Jon overlooking the cliffs. Use caution when approaching the edges.

For a map of the Endless Wall Trail and for parking information, visit the following website:
http://www.newriverwv.com/Recreation_Hiking_Trails_Endles_Wall_Trail.php

Until next time,
Sara (WV Travel Queen)