Date: Late April/early May annually; April 27-May 2, 2020
Location: Good ol’ Fayetteville, WV (New River Gorge National River)
Summary: Ah, where do I begin? It’s no secret that I’m fond of my home state of West Virginia. If you haven’t experienced those mountains as the trees begin to leaf in the spring, you’re missing out. And the birding in the area is vastly underrated—West Virginia is a wonderful place to catch spring migration! It’s especially wonderful for US warblers that don’t breed too far north, including Louisiana Waterthrush, Yellow-throated, Hooded, Cerulean, and Kentucky Warblers, and of course, Swainson’s Warbler. I tell folks that this festival feels more like a retreat, with meals together and lots of activities at the Opossum Creek Retreat where the festival is headquartered.
My involvement: I guided at the festival from 2015-2017. And I bird the area all the time!
Fun fact: Two of my favorite restaurants in the state are in Fayetteville—Secret Sandwich Society and (the original) Pies & Pints. Fayetteville has a wonderful mountain-town vibe, and you’ll get to experience that at either restaurant.