Ice cream. Music. And tie dye.
Ice cream, Carson Peters, campfires, Appalachian music and fireflies.
And don’t forget the tie-dye, dude.
There’s something for everyone this week at Roan Mountain State Park, with an eclectic mix of fun that can end with a campfire or a dip in the pool.
Things start cooking on Thursday when Seasonal Interpretive Ranger Amanda Smithson stirs the pot with an outdoor cooking demonstration at 4 p.m., focusing on easy campfire fare.
Visitors don’t have to stand and watch: they’re encouraged to bring their favorite camping recipes for a recipe swap and meet up at the campground’s campfire ring.
A chair is recommended for comfort, but not required. In the event of inclement weather, this event will not take place.
It will be time to hit the trail at 8:30 p.m. Thursday, when visitors are invited to take a hike.
In this case, the hike, also led by Smithson, opens a window on how the forest trails come to life with the sights, sounds and smells of nighttime activity. Smithson’s “Crepuscular Creatures” program includes a moderately difficult trail hike to introduce participants to the park after dark.
This program is weather-dependent and is limited to the first 20 participants.
To sign up ahead of time, send an email to email@example.com or contact Park Headquarters at 772-0190. Participants are asked to wear appropriate footwear and to meet Smithson at the campground check-in station.
On Friday, the park will head back to “collage.”
At 1 p.m., Seasonal Interpretive Ranger Joe Nowotarski will present Nature Collages with nature to get the creative juices flowing as an artistic medium. Participants are asked to meet at the campground check-in station.
Then at 2 p.m. Smithson will delve into mystery and history with “Fields to Forest.” A forest might not be all it seems, and once you know how to read the landscape, it can tell you quite a bit about its past. Participants are asked to meet at the Blue 2 Trailhead for a moderately difficult hike to observe the history and succession of this forest.
Did we mention tie-dye, dudes?
Roan Mountain lets its groovy side loose at 4:30 p.m. when Smithson hosts a tie-dying event at Picnic Shelter 2, when participants can turn their plain-Janes groovy.
Participants should bring something white they would like to spice up and wear something that wouldn’t be worse for wear if a bit of dye goes astray.
Flowers in the hair are strictly optional.
Things get more down to earth at 6 p.m., when Nowotarski hosts a visit with one of the park’s most popular residents as he presents “Snakes Alive!” The presentation will be held at the Visitor’s Center.
Friday evening also has a musical turn, as Thistle Dew will take to the Amphitheater stage at 7 p.m. with the sounds of traditional Appalachian music. In case of inclement weather, the concert will be held at the picnic shelter in the Campground Pavilion.
A Firefly Safari begins at 8 p.m., where visitors will have a chance to learn a thing or two about fireflies’ biology and then have the opportunity to try to catch some of these light-bearing critters. Participants are asked to meet at the campground check-in station.
On Saturday morning, a trail run will start the day at 9 a.m. for a fast-paced tour through the woods. Runners are asked to wear closed-toe shoes and athletic apparel for this two-mile jog. Participants are asked to meet at the Blue 2 trailhead. In the event of rain, this event will be canceled.
The day turns sweet at noon with homemade ice cream and old-time games at the Miller Farmstead. While visitors can enjoy games of the past at the farmstead from 12 to 2 p.m., they’re urged to get there early: the ice cream is likely to disappear quickly.
Visitors can cool off another way Saturday afternoon when Smithson and Nowotarski demonstrate some classic swimming pool games at 4:30 p.m. A pool entrance fee is required for participants.
Saturday’s concert brings fiddlin’ sensation Carson Peters to the amphitheater stage at 7 p.m. Peters has already played with superstars like Ricky Skaggs and has performed on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. In the case of inclement weather, the concert will be held at the picnic shelter at the Campground Pavilion.
Conclude the evening on Saturday at the campground’s campfire ring at 9 p.m. for jokes, stories, legends and, of course, s’mores.