Nature Weekend is coming up Sept. 26-28

Our third annual Nature Weekend will kick off at 1 pm on Friday, September 26, with a guided hike on the Lake and Cold Spring Trails. Later in the afternoon, visitors can attend a Birds of Prey program with live birds, and a Nature Scavenger Hunt.

Planned on Saturday are an early morning bird hike, a book signing and hike with author Tony Scales, and a geocaching experience. A water ecology class will allow hands on experience in gathering and identifying aquatic bugs.

On Saturday afternoon, visitors will have the opportunity to participate in Breaks Park’s first ever Elk Tour. Transportation will be provided, and the tour will leave Breaks Park and travel a short distance to view Elk that were released into Buchanan County. The program is free of charge, but due to limited seating, those interested in participating must register in advance at the Visitor Center. Bradley said the inaugural tour would be a glimpse into a new branch of programming planned for Breaks during the spring and fall seasons of 2015.

Sunday will feature programming such as nature oriented craft activities and tomahawk throwing.

Bradley noted that there would be something for anyone interested in nature to enjoy, including adults, children, students, youth organizations and more. For more information, contact Park Naturalist Carl Mullins at 276-865-4413 ext. 3221 or cmullins@breakspark.com

Here’s a full schedule:

Friday, September 26

1:00 PM – HIKE ON LAKE & COLD SPRING TRAIL - Meet the interpretive guide at the Visitor Center for a short hike and learn about the various plants, trees and animals that are found here at the park. This hike is rated easy, with some up- and downhill terrain. Please wear appropriate closed-toe footwear. Children 12 and under MUST be accompanied by an adult. FREE ACTIVITY

2:30 PM – TIME WARP – Meet Carl, our park historian, at the Visitor Center to learn about the lifestyle of the early settlers in this region. Tour an actual log cabin home, and get hands-on experience grinding cornmeal at a working gristmill! FREE ACTIVITY

3:30 – 6:00 PM – BIRDS OF PREY - Raptors, or birds of prey are the apex predator of the skies. Meet Mitch Whitaker, raptor rehabilitator and Master Falconer, along with his feathered friends to learn about these wonderful birds. Program meets at the Visitor Center. FREE ACTIVITY

5:30 PM – NATURE SCAVENGER HUNT - It’s time to do some nature hunting! Come to the Visitor Center for your Scavenger Hunt list, and see how many items you can find. You’ll have 1 hour to complete the list and get back to the Interpretive Station for the chance to win a prize. The top three scores will receive a prize. FREE ACTIVITY

8:30 PM – MOVIE NIGHT AT THE AMPHITHEATER – Join us for THE LAND BEFORE TIME, Rated G. FREE ACTIVITY

Saturday, September 27

8:00 AM – EARLY MORNING BIRD HIKE – Meet up with local bird enthusiasts David Raines and Darell Owens at the Visitor Center and look for the various bird species that call Breaks Park home. It’s a great time for viewing many species as they prepare to make their journey south for the winter. Participants should wear closed-toe footwear. Children 12 and under MUST be accompanied by an adult. FREE ACTIVITY

10:00 AM – BOOK SIGNING WITH AUTHOR TONY SCALES – Come out to Visitor Center to meet Tony Scales, author of the books “The Breaks” and “Natural Tunnel”. He will be selling and signing copies of his book, and will also be available just to talk about the historical and natural significance of the area. So stop by and say hello! FREE ACTIVITY UNLESS PURCHASING A BOOK

10:30 PM – 12:00 PM – GEOCACHING 101 - Geocaching is a great family activity of high tech hide and seek! This geocaching event will be held at Shelter 2 near the Loop Trail Trailhead, and is appropriate for beginners, or seasoned cachers. You can bring your own GPS, but it’s not required. GPS units are also available for rental at the Visitor Center. FREE ACTIVITY UNLESS RENTING GPS UNITS

12:00 PM – WATER ECOLOGY - Join Biologist James Stapleton to collect and identify aquatic bugs. This information will be used to indicate the health of one of our park’s streams, and will be recorded in the park’s official flora and fauna species list. Be prepared to get wet, and to contribute to the Breaks Park scientific record. This scientific adventure will begin at the Visitor Center. FREE ACTIVITY

2:00 pm – HIKE ON THE GEOLOGICAL TRAIL - Join Geologist Tony Scales, author of The Breaks: The Grand Canyon of the South and Natural Tunnel: Nature’s Marvel in Stone at Stateline Overlook to learn about some of the most unique geology in the eastern United States. Learn how the Breaks gorge was formed, and what type of rocks, minerals, and formations can be found in the park. Trail is rated moderate with some steep up- and downhill walking. Participants should wear closed-toe footwear. Children 12 and under MUST be accompanied by an adult. FREE ACTIVITY

5:00 PM – ELK VIEWING TOUR – We will depart from the Visitor Center parking lot at 5 pm and head out to view elk which were introduced into Buchanan County two years ago, as well as the reclaimed strip mine they now call home. We will have a limited number of slots for this activity, so those interested will need to register in advance at the Visitor Center. FREE ACTIVITY

7:00 AM – STORYTELLING & OLD TIME MUSIC – Storytelling and music have long been an important part of Appalachian culture. Stores and songs have been passed down generation to generation since the first settlers came to this area in the 1700’s. Meet David at the Visitor Center to experience some of the stories and music that have been passed down to him. FREE ACTIVITY

Sunday, September 28

10:00 AM – TIME WARP - Meet Carl, our park historian, at the Visitor Center to learn about the lifestyle of the early settlers in this region. Tour an actual log cabin home, and get hands-on experience grinding cornmeal at a working gristmill! FREE ACTIVITY 

11:00 AM – HOMEMADE BIRD FEEDERS - Birds can be seen during spring and summer looking for food, but when winter comes and food resources begin to dwindle, it can be good to offer them some help as they make their way south for the winter. Our staff will be at the Campground Interpretive Stage next to the Basketball Court, along with all of the supplies needed to make a bird feeder to help the birds around your house. COST IS $1.00 PER PERSON

1:00 PM – TOMAHAWK THROWING - Tomahawks were early tools used by pioneer settlers and Native Americans for general duties around camp like cutting firewood and processing game. Often when a day’s duties were done, everyone would get together for a friendly competition of tomahawk throwing. Our staff will teach you the art of tomahawk throwing and you will get the opportunity to throw a few yourself. Meet at the Visitor Center to learn this skill!  Children 12 and under MUST be accompanied by an adult. FREE ACTIVITY

 

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