Winter in bloom: brighten those winter blues with this wild, floral beauty

Break up the winter’s white pallette with the colorful hues of West Virginia’s wildflowers.

Even when the greenery retreats and snow settles over the mountains, you can enjoy the bright beauty of the West Virginia wilderness at these arboretums:

1. Fred E. Brooks Arboretum

Take a snowy stroll along the 4 ½-mile outdoor trail at the Fred E. Brooks Arboretum at Watoga State Park. Cross a quaint wooden footbridge into the 400-acre nature area to explore, and keep an eye peeled for signs that tell you more about the plantlife.

You’ll spot some hearty year-round greenery, but even the bare trunks have an eerie elegance in this quiet space (which is even more serene in the winter.)

2. Core Arboretum

The WVU Department of Biology keeps the beauty thriving year-round at this outdoor arboretum, which covers 91 acres with 3 miles of trails, planted lawns, growth forest and more.

The year-round trails sweep down to the Monongahela River, where you may see winter-weather birds and other critters among the many trees, shrubs and plants. Some of the trees towering overhead are more than 200 years old.

3. C. Fred Edwards Conservatory

Step into a bright paradise at the C. Fred Edwards Conservatory, the state’s only plant conservatory. Part of the Huntington Museum of Art, the collection brings together unique species from around the world.

Among the fragrant and unusual finds, you can uncover more than 200 varieties of orchids, nature’s most captivating creations. These fanciful (but notoriously hard-to-grow) flowers are raised in the greenhouse, and brought to the conservatory when they’re blooming, so you can marvel at them in their full, vibrant beauty.

Find breathtaking displays of nature year-round.

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This post was last updated on July 17, 2020