Your trip planner for your five-star birding and nature vacation begins here!

1) Check out the Speaker & Trip Schedule and refer to Trip Descriptions to choose your daily destinations

2) See the available Lodging options with our partners

3) Go to Registration to reserve your personalized package

Just to build anticipation -

- Meet the professional Trip Leaders, browse authentic checklists in Trip Descriptions, and check out what other birders are saying about us.

Then, get ready -

- Review Trip Planning and What To Pack ... and remember, all kinds are welcome here and we always have room for one more!

2021 Virtual Festival, on Facebook, April 25 - May 1. It's FREE and everyone is welcome. Click here for information.

The gist.

Join us all week, either half of the week, or any combination of single days.

Carpool trips return by 1:00. Recommended for those who want a day to slip in late or slip out early for a little additional rest or sight seeing.

Gold Standard trips return by 1:00. A few are tried-and-true and a few are new; all are absolute gems. Limited to fifteen participants plus guides, these trips are on a big blue bus.

Premium trips return by 3:30 and are an additional $50/person to the base package price. Limited to ten persons plus guides, these small group trips roll through the afternoon in deluxe transportation via suv or van.

All Day trips return by 4:00 (exception Bobolinks to Bald Eagles and Cranberry Original return by 6:30) and are an additional $25/person to the base package price. Limited to twelve persons plus guides, these trips use a comfortable minibus (exception Cranberry Original, limited to fifteen participants, uses a big blue bus).

Use Your Birding & Nature Vacation to Revitalize Your Mind and Body, and your afternoons are the perfect opportunity to take personal time. Spend yours as you please... napping, reading, hot tubbing, walking, journaling, site seeing, Popcorn Presentation, etc.

This is where you get to know the field trips. Take a leisurely scroll or click a trip name to go straight to its description. Keep in mind as we travel to outdoor locations, after we depart our breakfast location modern restroom facilities are limited in availability on most trips. In response to weather conditions and bird movement, trip routes are subject to adjustment and a few trips may overlap territory.


Carpool Trips carpool Share a ride to minimize impact, these trips return around 1pm. We recommend driving yourself if you want to slip in late or slip out early... just let us know.
• Monday – Birding by Butt
• Tuesday – Fayette Station
• Wednesday – Summerlee Rail Trail
• Thursday – Long Point Walk
• Friday – ACE Reptiles & Amphibians
• Saturday – Wolf Creek Walk

2021 FREE Virtual Festival begins Sunday evening, April 25 through Saturday, May 1 - click here for details


**Text of this color that shows an underline when you hover over it, is clickable. Click it, or tap it, to open and navigate pages and registration forms.**

This is where you design and register for a birding and nature vacation to revitalize your mind and body. All you have to do is show up.

Package options range from a single day without lodging as low as $225, to all week with deluxe cabin accommodations. Multiple people and lodging nights are discounted in multi-day Packages. Each day offers a field trip of your choice, three great meals, knowledge and fun packed presentations, and world-class professionals and fellow participants you will call friends!

Transportation is provided on field trips from the breakfast location and back again... unless it's a carpool trip.

Lodging packages start with a special rate agreement with our partners and we handle the reservations for you. Lodging check-in is the afternoon before your first field trip, and check-out is the morning after your last field trip. Additional days may be requested but depend on lodging availability. All lodging options are on a first-come-first-serve basis. Keep scrolling to choose your registration option or click here to review lodging options.

Festival check-in depends on the Package you select; details are in your registration Confirmation. Upon check-in you'll be provided a checklist, personal itinerary, name tag and other fun items.

The Nitty-Gritty


♦ Arrange your own transportation to get here, and to and from your lodging, the breakfast location at Burnwood, and the presentations and dinners at our Opossum Creek Retreat headquarters.
♦ Field trips depart from and return to the breakfast location at Burnwood.
♦ Carpool Trips use your own vehicle or jump in with someone else.
♦ Field trip transportation is provided (exception, Carpools).
♦ Gold Standard Trips use a big blue bus. Exactly like a school bus.
♦ Premium Trips use deluxe transportation via suv or van.
♦ All Day Trips use comfortable minibus with bucket seating and a center isle (exception, Thursday Cranberry Original is on a big blue bus).
♦ Directions and maps are provided prior to Festival arrival.
♦ Go to Where We Are


♦ Lodging check-in is the day before your first field trip and check-out is the day after your last field trip.
♦ Additional lodging days may be requested but depend on lodging availability.
♦ All lodging options are on a first-come-first-serve basis.
♦ We have special rate deals with our lodging partners that we pass on to you!
♦ Other area lodging option links are found under "Travel" below.
♦ Go to Lodging

A Few Tips to Get You Started...

Bird and nature watching is an outdoor sport - bring your gear and be prepared to have fun! The mornings start outdoors at 6am and the days are spent in the mountains at various elevations and physical environments. Mornings can be quite cool, afternoons quite warm, and a spring shower may pop up. You never know what you're going to get into.

Gear Ideas
- binoculars
- camera
- spotting scope*
- field guide(s)
- sunglasses
- hat with a visor**
- rain jacket

Travel Notes
♦ Plan your routes ahead of time; paper maps are important because gps systems are not all equal and some will lead you astray.
♦ AT&T seems to have the best coverage in the area, however it is spotty and difficult to find a signal when exploring mountains and valleys. 
Yeager Airport (CRW) in Charleston, WV is approximately 63 miles (~1.25 hours) from Festival headquarters at Opossum Creek Retreat; 61 mi (<1.25 hrs) from Canyon Rim Visitors Center at the New River Gorge National Park.
Raleigh County Memorial Airport (BKW) in Beckley, WV is approximately 38 miles (44 minutes) from Festival headquarters at Opossum Creek Retreat headquarters; 30 mi (39 min) from Canyon Rim Visitors Center at the New River Gorge National Park. 
♦ Car rentals are available at both airports, Beckley and Summersville; make arrangements in advance as they are not always open. 
♦ Train travel on Amtrak's Cardinal Route to the Thurmond Depot (THN), approximately 21 miles (34 minutes) from Festival headquarters at Opossum Creek Retreat; 18 mi (31 min) from Canyon Rim Visitors Center at the New River Gorge National Park.
♦ Shuttle/Driving service may be available with prior arrangements through Hills to Hills Tours & Shuttle, Uber or Lyft.
♦ We recommend our Lodging Partners. For other options in the area, go to New River Gorge Visitors Bureau list or AirBnB.
♦ Local dining options are plentiful: New River Gorge Visitors Bureau list of restaurants. Check your Door Dash app for availability.
♦ Shopping local and souvenirs: New River Gorge Visitors Bureau shopping guide.
♦ Local outdoor gear shops: ACE Adventure Gear and Water Stone Outdoors, as well as a nearby WalMart.