Taking it outside

Ranger Nancy Williamson points out the sound of a red cockaded woodpecker during a GPS navigation program at Weymouth Woods State Historic Preserve.
Ranger Nancy Williamson points out the call of a red cockaded woodpecker during a GPS navigation program at Weymouth Woods State Historic Preserve.

Chasing butterflies, navigating by GPS, eating fresh crabs…just some of the adventures during Take A Child Outside week in the state parks. Today is the final day of the annual event that framed dozens of educational, fun and free programs. Wrapped into the middle of this on Saturday was National Public Lands Day, an opportunity to give back as volunteers tackled some tough projects in the parks. At Falls Lake State Recreation Area, friends helped rebuild a fishing pier. At Lake James State Park, they planted wildflowers. In other parks, there were celebrations, such as Nature Day at South Mountains and a heritage festival at Stone Mountain. Hanging Rock State Park introduced an all-new event, as 103 intrepid hikers traversed 11 miles across all the park’s high points to “Reach the Peaks.” Volunteers from Friends of Sauratown Mountains kept track of the hikers and members of the Stokes County Arts Council “painted the park” for all to enjoy. Here’s a gallery of just a few of the adventures for you to enjoy. Click any photo to begin.

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