SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — With spring approaching and St. Patrick’s Day falling on a weekend, Green Day Hikes are scheduled at eight West Virginia state parks March 16-17.
“Green Day Hikes invite people to go outside to look for signs of spring,” said Chris Bartley, naturalist at Watoga State Park. “Hikers who attend a guided Green Day Hike with a naturalist will receive a shamrock patch as a reminder of this enjoyable outdoors activity.”
Green Day Hikes are scheduled Saturday, March 16, at Cacapon, Holly River, Pipestem and Watoga state parks. The hikes will be held Sunday, March 17 (St. Patrick’s Day), at Blackwater Falls, Chief Logan, Twin Falls, and Tygart Lake state parks.
Information about Green Day Hikes at participating parks is available at https://wvstateparks.com/calendar. To make a weekend of your hike, view current state parks lodging deals at https://wvstateparks.com/deals.
About the Green Day Hike Patch and the Shamrock
The Green Day Hike patch is a small, round, Kelly green keepsake with a white embroidered shamrock.
The shamrock, a trifolium, is an accepted word from an Irish word for clover. Park naturalists chose a shamrock rather than a four-leaf clover for the patch because a shamrock is a sorrel (Oxalis) and it grows mostly in the shady soil of the woods, near rocks, on mossy banks and pretty much anywhere there is some moisture. Sorrels are possible to find on a trail, roadway and backyards.
Shamrocks are associated with St. Patrick, Irish and other lore, a symbol of empowerment and pride, and medicinal purposes.
In West Virginia, there are five native Wood Sorrels (Oxalis) listed in the Atlas of Vascular Flora of West Virginia: Slender Yellow, Great Yellow, Yellow and Violet Wood Sorrel.