These 6 spots are perfect for animal watching

If you’re looking for an educational experience or a way to slip into nature, West Virginia has many ways to see wildlife. From zoos to bird sanctuaries, there is a spot for every animal enthusiast. Bring your binoculars and spend the day at one of these animal watching spots.

Good Zoo at Oglebay Resort

The Good Zoo at Oglebay Resort, located in Wheeling, has more than 50 species of animals to see when you visit. The zoo is home to meerkats, lemurs, kangaroos, zebras and more. Try an animal encounter and meet one of the zoo’s animals. For a unique view, take the C.P. Huntington Train for a mile and half to see the animals in their habitats.

Three Rivers Avian Center

Three Rivers Avian Center, located in Hinton, provides veterinary and rehabilitation services to wild birds. Since 1990 they have had more than 4,200 patients.

The center also provides an educational program, Wings of Wonder: WV Birds of Prey, that display some of their resident rehabilitated falcons and bald eagles. The tour takes place in rotating West Virginia State Parks and other events. Visitors can tour the center on Tour Days on the first Saturday of each month May through October.

Hanging Rock Raptor Observatory

The Hanging Rock Raptor Observatory is located on Peters Mountain in Monroe County. The converted fire tower is popular among hikers looking for hawks, eagles and falcons. The trail to the tower is nearly a mile, but the trek leads to 360-degree views and a perfect spot for birdwatching.

Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad

Take a ride on the Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad in Romney. Ride along the rails by the Potomac River, and as you take in the views, there is a 90 percent chance of seeing a bald eagle. There are three trips, the most common being the Trough Trip, which offers three hours of scenic views.

Hovatter’s Wildlife Zoo

Located in Kingwood, Hovatter’s Wildlife Zoo has many exotic species including giraffes, lions, leopards and tigers. While you’re there, make sure to feed a giraffe or camel. The zoo is open from April to October. Visit nearby Morgantown or Preston County while you’re in town.

West Virginia State Wildlife Center

The West Virginia State Wildlife Center is a zoological park in French Creek. It displays West Virginia wildlife – both native and introduce. The center has a 1.25 interpretive trail through hardwood forest that teaches visitors about how the animals interact with their environment and each animal’s history.

More animal spots

This post was last updated on August 4, 2020