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Cacapon State Park (Sp, S, F, W)
Description. Cacapon State Park is located in Morgan County, 9 miles south of the city of Berkeley Springs. It encompasses over 6,000 acres on the eastern slope of the Cacapon Mountains, which run north-south through Morgan County. The Cacapon River runs along the western slope. Dense forest, mountain streams, a 6-acre impoundment lake, a reservoir, and 20 miles of hiking trails can all be found within the boundaries of the park. Additionally, there is a lodge, restaurant, cabins, golf course, and horseback riding trail. All of this adds up to great birding opportunities with the many different habitats the park offers.
Seasonal Variation in Birding. In Spring and Summer, several species of migratory birds may be found in the various areas of the park. Baltimore Oriole, Scarlet Tanager, Great-crested Flycatcher, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Eastern Phoebe, Eastern Wood Pewee, Red-eyed Vireo, Wood Thrush, Brown Thrasher, Pine Warbler along with other warbler species are just some of the birds that may be seen in and around the wooded areas of the park. Barn Swallows can be found flying over the golf course and making their nests under the eves at the Cacapon Lodge. Chimney swift and Tree Swallow may also be seen flying about as they catch their meals on the wing.
Also, be sure to keep your eyes open for the fast and small Ruby-throated Hummingbird as it darts around looking for nectar and insects. Chipping Sparrows can be heard chipping from the trees and in the grassy areas. Listen too, for the metallic sound of a Red-winged Blackbird as it moves about flashing its red wing-patches.
In the Fall, watch for migrating hawks and Osprey as well as the return of winter birds such as the White-throated and White-crowned Sparrows.
In the winter, the Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers come to join the other woodpecker species: Red-bellied, Downy, Hairy, and Pileated, which reside in the park all year long.
Other year round birds include Turkey Vulture, Red-tailed Hawk, Barred Owl, Killdeer, Canada Goose, American Crow, Common Raven, Tufted Titmouse, Carolina Chickadee, White-breasted Nuthatch, American Goldfinch, Blue Jay, Northern Cardinal, and Carolina Wren.
For birding, one can choose from easy to more difficult walking trails, or drive on the several roads throughout the park and pull over where allowed. There are several parking areas including one at the reservoir, which is a good place to walk around and observe birds that may frequent the reservoir, as well as the nearby open grassy area, and the woods that surround it.
Directions. The park entrance is located off of US Route 522, 9 miles south of Berkeley Spring, WV. Directions, details and park maps can be obtained from the Cacapon State Park website: http://www.cacaponresort.com/.
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