Two powerful storms last year -- a summer derecho windstorm and an autumn snowstorm from Superstorm Sandy -- caused widespread damage to parks that added to the list of needed repairs, Ruby said.
Hunter Boshell of Huntington is a fan of the state's biking trails.
"The mountain biking in West Virginia is amazing," he said before a long ride with a friend at Beech Fork State Park, where the trees in the nearby hills showed splashes of fall colors.
Boshell said he would accept paying an entrance fee if the money was used for upkeep at the parks, but he would have problems with the fee if "you don't see anything for it."
Lindsey Garretson of Cross Lanes, who was watching her three children ride bikes in a meadow at Beech Fork, said she probably wouldn't go to the parks as often if the state charged an entrance fee.
"You can bring your kids down and have a good time and not have to worry about paying to get in," she said.
Mindful of the gap between available funding and maintenance needs, parks officials are preparing a system-wide assessment of the most crucial projects, Ruby said. Commerce Department officials will then present a proposal to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to help catch up on maintenance and ensure sufficient future funding for parks, she said.
Lawmakers also are delving into the issue. Their review includes discussions about finding a revenue source for repair and maintenance. The parks, with a $38.7 million budget, are financed in part by general revenue and Lottery funds, along with self-generated money.
Laird said lawmakers haven't yet discussed any specific funding or revenue proposals for the parks.