RALEIGH -- State parks in North Carolina are gearing up for National Trails Day June 1 and National Get Outdoors Day June 8 with a number of special programs designed to enrich the experience of recreation and education in the outdoors, according to the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation.
The state parks system is also joining other national and state organizations to commemorate June as Great Outdoors Month by proclamation of Governor Pat McCrory, designating the time to recognize North Carolina’s wealth of natural resources and the outstanding opportunities they provide for safe and healthy recreation and lifestyles.
American Hiking Society's National Trails Day is the country's largest celebration of trails. Events include hikes, biking, horseback rides, paddling trips, birdwatching, geocaching, gear demonstrations and stewardship projects.
“Every day is a great day to connect with nature, but National Trails Day and National Get Outdoors Day offer opportunities to simply celebrate our state, its natural wonders and its recreation opportunities,” said Lewis Ledford, state parks director. “I urge everyone to take the days to explore the state parks and spend time with family and friends in the special settings nature provides.”
A highlight of National Get Outdoors Day will be the dedication of two new TRACK Trails designed for childrens’ exploration of nature at Morrow Mountain State Park in Stanly County and Lake Norman State Park in Iredell County. The TRACK Trails program of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation and its partners is a network of self-guided hiking trails with activities and learning experiences for youngsters. The state parks system has so far designated 10 TRACK Trails.
The Morrow Mountain event will be at 10 a.m. at the swimming pool trailhead. The Lake Norman dedication will be at 2 p.m. at the Lakeshore Trail trailhead on Short Leaf Drive. Ranger-guided hikes will follow the ceremonies.
State parks have scheduled more than 24 programs for National Get Outdoors Day, as diverse as astronomy at Mayo River State Park, musket demonstrations at Fort Macon State Park and fishing at Eno River State Park and Jordan Lake State Recreation Area. Information about these free programs can be found at NC State Park Events. More information about National Get Outdoors Day is at http://bit.ly/2HsWhw.
Hammocks Beach State Park will celebrate Military Appreciation Day June 2. All active duty and retired service members and their families are invited to attend. The park will provide ferry rides to Bear Island. Activities for kids include face painting, T-shirt painting, inflatables, waterslides and nature exhibits.
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