It’s time for trees, butterflies and more
From meeting trees and snakes to chasing butterflies and climbing balds, there’s a little something for everyone this week at Roan Mountain State Park.
The fun kicks off Thursday at 11 a.m. with the Meet A Tree program.
Did you know that the Southern Appalachians have more trees than all of Europe combined? Join Seasonal Interpretive Ranger Amanda Smithson at Park Headquarters to learn about the park’s most productive resource and also learn how to identify the trees in your own backyard. Participants are asked to wear appropriate gear for a short hike. The park notes this program is weather dependent.
The outdoor fun continues at 1 p.m. with Hike the Balds. Participants will get the chance to see unparalleled views and learn about the rare ecosystems that make Roan Mountain such a unique place all while enjoying a hike on the Appalachian Trail. Those wishing to take part in the hike are asked to meet Smithson at Park Headquarters in order to caravan up to Carver’s Gap for the hike. Participants are advised the trail is moderate in difficulty with some steep sections and are asked to wear appropriate shoes and bring water, a jacket and a light snack. This program is also weather dependent.
At 2 p.m., Seasonal Interpretive Ranger Joe Nowotarski will lead a Salamander Hunt at Shelter 2.
The fun moves to the historic Miller Farmstead at 4 p.m. for a Butterfly Chase. Participants are invited to come out and learn about some of the parks most beautiful and fragile inhabitants. Nowotarski will lead the program.
Following the theme of flying, the final event on Thursday will be at 9:15 p.m. at Shelter 3 as Nowotarski presents Moths: Nature’s Night Fliers, where participants will learn to identify some of the butterfly’s nighttime cousins.
Friday morning kicks off in high gear with a morning Trail Run. Participants are asked to meet at 9 a.m. at the Blue 2 trailhead for a two-mile jog. Those planning to attend are asked to wear appropriate footwear and clothing. In the event of rain, the morning run will be cancelled.
Then on Friday afternoon, kids have the opportunity to take part in a special nature scavenger hunt beginning at 1 p.m. at the campground check-in station.
At 3 p.m. activity moves back to the Miller Farmstead with a program on Summer Wildflowers presented by Smithson. Participants are asked to meet at the Farmstead to take a tour of the native wildflowers growing atop Strawberry Mountain. This program is weather dependent.
Park visitors are invited to attend Snakes Alive, a presentation on some of the parks reptile residents. This event will take place at 4 p.m. at the Campground Check-in Station.
The fun takes to the water at 6 p.m. with a program on mountain stream ecology. Participants are asked to meet at the Campground check-in station wearing closed-toed shoes and prepared to get wet.
Friday night concludes with a special movie night. Visitors will meet at the picnic shelter at the Campground Pavilion to watch Charlotte’s Web as park staff dish up hot, fresh popcorn.
Saturday’s events start at noon at the historic Miller Farmstead where Mary Proffitt will present a program on the traditional art of basket weaving. The program will last until 2 p.m.
There will be music in the mountains as The Jeters take the Ampitheater stage at 7 p.m. for a night of bluegrass renditions of old and new favorites. In the event of rain, the concert will be held at the picnic shelter at the Campground Pavilion.
At 8 p.m. Smithson will have a presentation on fire building at the campground fire ring. After the presentation, stick around as the campfire fun continues at 9 p.m. with jokes, stories, legends, and of course everyone’s favorite treat – s’mores.
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