HARRISBURG, Pa., Nov. 6, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Acting Secretary Ellen Ferretti today invited Pennsylvanians to enjoy the 2.5 million acres of state park and forest lands available for outdoor enjoyment on the upcoming extended Veterans Day holiday weekend.
Ferretti noted there are more than 20 recreational and educational programs being held in state parks over the weekend, some of them especially for veterans and their families.
"DCNR works every day to encourage our citizens to take time to explore and be active outdoors," Ferretti said. "Many people enjoy our parks and forests during the summer months, but nothing beats a walk on a trail on a crisp autumn day."We like to remind visitors, and especially veterans, that our parks and forests have no entrance fees and are open year-round, providing an opportunity to enjoy their beauty, get some exercise or learn something at a program," Ferretti said. Programs for the Veterans Day weekend include:
- "Explore the Night," French Creek State Park, Berks County, Nov. 8, 7 p.m.; A leisurely 1.5-mile walk near the Hopewell Lake to enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of an autumn evening and learn about nocturnal wildlife through fun activities.
- "Peregrine Falcons: The Saga of Recovery," Nolde Environmental Education Center, Berks County, Nov. 8, 7:30 p.m.; Baird Ornithological Club presents speaker Art McMorris who will talk about the natural history of peregrines throughout the commonwealth with a spotlight on the Reading falcons.
- "Geocaching Family Event," Sinnemahoning State Park, Cameron County, Nov. 9, noon; Cameron County claims it is the geocaching capital of the world with more caches per square mile than people. Individuals and families new to the sport can get help with using a GPS, setting up a Geocaching.com account, marking waypoints and finding geocaches, including the eight easy-to-find and easy-to-get-to Ranger Ricks Jr. caches already in the park. Experienced geocachers can challenge themselves with the new Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Legacy of Conservation geotrail.
- "Golden Eagle Migration at the Allegheny Front," Ohiopyle State Park, Fayette County, Nov. 9, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; Head to the Allegheny Front to watch golden eagles migrating. Registration is required, and there is a charge for this program.
- "Beginning Binoculars," Tiadaghton Resource Management Center, Lycoming County, Nov. 10, 1 p.m.; This state forest program is an introduction to binoculars and bird watching. Ten sets of binoculars and bird books will be available, and the public is encouraged to bring their own as well.
- "Birdwatching for Veterans and their Families," Frances Slocum State Park, Luzerne County, Nov. 11, 10 a.m.; Veterans and their families are invited to join the park naturalist for a look at the birds using the park's bird feeding area.
- "The Henry Longrifle," Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center, Northampton County, Nov. 11, 7 p.m.; The Henry Longrifle was used in all of our nation's conflicts from the Revolutionary War through the Civil War. In recognition of Veterans Day, Tim Lubenesky of the Jacobsburg Historical Society will share his insights on how the Henry Longrifle played a role in our nation's military history.