Join naturalist Julie Zickefoose in her favorite local birding spot, a lake surrounded by trees full of red-headed woodpeckers!

A gifted writer and artist, Julie pens the True Nature column in each issue of Bird Watcher's Digest, and has also contributed lovely bird paintings for the cover of many issues of the magazine. She is a frequent NPR commentator and a musician. Oprah selected Julie's most recent book, The Bluebird Effect, as a book of the week. Thousands of people follow her blog and Facebook postings, but only a few people will get to spend a weekend with Julie at West Virginia's North Bend State Park, birding, hiking, biking, kayaking, picnicking, and pontoon boating. Truly, this weekend will be "almost heaven." Join us for this special Bird Watcher's Digest Reader Rendezvous, August 22-24, 2014.

Bring casual clothes for active relaxation. Julie will be birding, boating, biking, and hiking with you throughout the weekend, so pack with those activities in mind. You will be primarily in an eastern deciduous hardwood forest, so even in August, you might need a sweater at night. Insect repellent, sunblock, a hat with a brim, and raingear are also wort h packing. Of course, you'll need binoculars, a field guide, camera, and whatever other birding gear you want.

Directions to North Bend State Park

Located in northwestern West Virginia, North Bend is easily accessible from four-lane U.S. 50, between Parkersburg and Clarksburg. Driving east, take U.S. 50 to the junction of WV 31, 21 miles from Parkersburg. Take WV 31 to Cairo and follow signs to the park. Driving west on U.S. 50 from Clarksburg, take WV 16 to Harrisville and follow signs to the park. Consult a highway map for further details.

NOTE: Map Quest and Google Maps give directions that North Bend State Park staff do not recommend. North Bend encourages guests to follow the directions provided on this website. They have been written by park staff members.

The closest major airports to North Bend are Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Columbus, Ohio. United Airlines offers flights between Washington Dulles International Airport and North Central Regional Airport, in Clarksburg, Monday through Friday.

Birding Valhalla with Julie Zickefoose

August 22-24, 2014
North Bend State Park—Cairo, WV

Register for this rendezvous »


$400 per person, includes all programs, field trips, and guiding. Lodging is not included.

Add a meal plan for $95/person.

A $25 non-refundable registration fee is included. The Reader Rendezvous event fee does NOT include lodging or transportation to/from the event.

What to Expect

You will get to meet and chat with Julie Zickefoose during this intimate weekend event. You'll be birding and recreating with her and her delightful little Boston terrier, Chet Baker. The event will kick off with a picnic dinner Friday evening, followed by a keynote presentation by Julie. Active birding events will begin Saturday morning and conclude at noon Sunday. Kayak and pontoon boat use are included in the event fee, or you can bring your own canoe or kayak. (Bringing your own does not reduce the event fee price.)

Lodging and Travel

To make lodging or camping arrangements, call North Bend State Park at 304-643-2931.

The lodge at North Bend will offer lodging at $110.02 per night for a double room, and $98.96 per night for a single room. To take advantage of this event rate, there is a two-night minimum stay. Lodging reservations must be made directly with the North Bend Lodge. Note that cabins in the park are not available for weekend rental in August.

Inform the reservationist you are with the Reader Rendezvous birding event to ensure you receive the special rate.

Travel note:

North Bend State Park is off the beaten path in western West Virginia. That's part of its charm! The closest major airports are Columbus, Ohio, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but United Airlines offers flights Monday through Friday between Washington Dulles International Airport and North Central Regional Airport, in Clarksburg, West Virginia, about 50 miles east of the park.

Register for this rendezvous »