Tag Archives: July

Celebrate the Supermoon at the State Parks!

full moon, trees, night sky, black

Image: www.universetoday.com

On July 12, the third Supermoon of 2014 will light up the night sky. What makes a Supermoon so special? A Supermoon happens when the full moon is at its closest point to the earth. Because of this, the Supermoon appears as much as 14% larger in the sky and 30% brighter than the average full moon! Other names for the full moon in July are Thunder Moon, Hay Moon, and Buck Moon (this time of year, male deer begin sprouting new antlers).

micro-moon, Supermoon, superimposed, night sky, black, moons

A micro-moon (smallest full moon) superimposed over a Supermoon [Image: apod.nasa.gov]

And what better way to enjoy this upcoming Supermoon than at the State Parks? From hiking to horseback riding, these parks have come up with great ways to get you outside and moon-gazing:

Moonlight Stroll Concert Series
Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park, New York
July 11, 2014

Sonnenberg Gardens, night, lights, greenhouse

Moonlight Stroll at Sonnenberg Gardens [Image: www.sonnenberg.org]

Watch the Supermoon rise as you walk through the beautifully lit gardens at Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park. In July, flowers such as delphinium, shasta daisies, coneflower, and daylillies will be in full bloom. Once you’ve finished touring the gardens, head to the mansion’s veranda to listen to the Tullamore Celtic Band, featuring dances by The Young School of Irish Dance. Light refreshments, such as delicious wines by the glass, will be sold at Sonnenberg’s Finger Lakes Wine Center.

Moonlight Trail Ride
Little Manatee River State Park, Florida
July 12, 2014

Horseback riding, sunset, silhouette, trail riding

Image: www.latigotrails.com

Saddle up and experience the nature trails of Little Manatee River State Park at night. Under the glow of the full moon, watch for many of the park’s animals such as deer, raccoon, armadillos, bobcats, and alligators. Don’t have your own horse? You can rent one from Wolfe’s Born to Ride stable. For those looking to see the park day and night, reserve an equestrian campsite at Little Manatee River State Park using Pocket Ranger®’s Official Guide for Florida State Parks.

Moonlight Canoe Tour
Bear Creek Lake State Park, Virginia
July 10, 2014

Canoeing at night, sunset, lake, forest

Image: surfky.com

If horseback riding isn’t your thing, get out in a canoe at Bear Creek Lake State Park to gaze at the full moon this July. Park rangers will guide you through the twilight, identifying creatures of the night and sharing bits of lunar lore. No canoe experience is necessary and, best of all, all equipment is provided.

Full Moon Hikes

To get closest to the beauty of the Supermoon, climb up high!

hiking at night, sunset, headlights, silhouette

Image: www.theclymb.com

Wasatch Mountain State Park, Utah
July 10, 2014

A full moon hike suitable for all abilities is happening at Wasatch Mountain State Park. Meeting at Dutch Hollow Trailhead, look forward to panoramic night views of the valley. Fun fact: Wasatch Mountain State Park was the host of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games!

Washoe Lake State Park, Nevada
July 12, 2014

Watch the sun set and the moon rise on this two-mile, moderate hike inside Washoe Lake State Park. Leashed dogs are welcome! Love to windsurf? Washoe Lake is known for its high winds, making it a popular windsurfing destination. Spend the night at one of the park’s first-come, first-served campsites, so you can windsurf the day away.

Full Moon Mangrove Tour
Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, Florida
July 15, 2014

mangrove, sunset, swamp, water, sun, tree

Mangrove at Sunset [Image: birchstatepark.org]

Under the silver hue of Supermoon-light, canoe through the mangrove at Hugh Taylor Birch State Park. On this ranger-guided tour, weave through mangrove canals, coast through the mangrove hammock, and maybe catch a glimpse of fish and roosting birds. These tours are very popular, so make sure to reserve a spot!

Full Moon Kayak Tour
Hard Labor Creek State Park, Georgia
July 11 & 12, 2014

kayaking, full moon, water

Image: blog.iheartmiami305.com

Enjoy a peaceful paddle as the Supermoon crests Lake Rutledge at Hard Labor Creek State Park. On this guided kayak tour, you can learn about the night sky and the history of Hard Labor Creek State Park while stargazing. Stay overnight to play the park’s well-known, 18-hole golf course. The first hole has been called “the hardest starting hole in Georgia!”


July’s Best State Park Events

park rangers, demos, festival, Eno River, state park, kids

Image: www.ncparks.gov

July is bursting with great events (and fireworks!) at state parks around the country. We’ve combed through the event calendars and uncovered the ones that you won’t want to miss:

Three Rivers Regatta
Point State Park, Pennsylvania
July 2 – 4, 2014

Three Rivers Regatta, Point State Park, Pennsylvania, crowd, boats, water, festival

Three Rivers Regatta [Image: www.brooklineconnection.com]

Point State Park is the place to be this summer! Just a few weeks after holding the Three Rivers Arts Festival, Point State Park gears up for another colossal event: the Three Rivers Regatta. Work on your summer tan while at Regatta Beach (one of only two makeshift inner city beaches in the world), then mosey on over to the larger-than-life replica of the Battle of Ft. McHenry made entirely of sand. Don’t blink or you could miss the powerboat races, where boats frequently top speeds of 125 mph!

Looking for more excitement? This year, the Regatta is hosting the XPogo World Championships in addition to BMX and agility dog stunt shows. A fan favorite is “Anything that Floats,” a parade of handmade, crazily decorated parade floats that bob down the river. This year’s headliners include American rock singer Steve Augeri, former lead vocalist for the rock group Journey, jazz musician Kenny Blake, and Beatlemania Magic. The Regatta culminates with Pittsburgh’s Official 4th of July Celebration fireworks, widely considered to be one of the Top 10 Fourth of July fireworks displays in the country. And did we mention that all of this fun is free? There is no admission fee and no charge for any of the Regatta’s concerts, acts, activities, or events!


Festival for the Eno
Durham City Park, North Carolina
July 4 – 5, 2014

Festival for the Eno, drums, band, live music, North Carolina, crowd, summer, tents

Festival for the Eno [Image: blog.fmrealty.com]

Looking for fantastic music this Independence Day weekend? Check out the 35th Annual Festival for the Eno in Durham, North Carolina. With over 65 acts on four stages, there’s sure to be something that strikes your fancy. All proceeds of ticket sales go towards funding important conservation of the Eno River Basin. An assortment of local food trucks will be serving up some great bites, and the Sweetwater Beer Garden at the heart of the festival will be happy to pour you a local brew. Be sure to rent a kayak or canoe so you can spend some quality time paddling around on the festival’s namesake! Need a place to crash for the night? Using Pocket Ranger®’s Official Guide for North Carolina State Parks, you can easily rent a campsite or vacation cabin at Eno River State Park.


World Championship of Catfishing & Independence Day Celebration
Pickwick Landing State Park, Tennessee
July 4 – 6, 2014

Catfish, World Championship, Tennessee, fishermen, summer

World Championship of Catfishing [Image: www.tnvacation.com]

Catfish, fireworks, bluegrass, golf. What better way to celebrate Independence Day? Pickwick Landing State Park will present an excellent fireworks display over Pickwick Lake on July 4th. Spend the night at Pickwick Landing’s inn, so you can tee up at the golf course or lounge at the beach bright and early the next day.

Nearby Savannah, Tennessee, also known as “Catfish Capital of the World,” is currently hosting the National Catfish Derby. Through July 5, any catfish caught in the Tennessee River is eligible to win. (Don’t forget to upload photos of your own monster catch onto Pocket Ranger Trophy Case®!) On July 6, the World Championship of Catfishing will have its final weigh-in at Pickwick Landing State Park with cash and prizes awarded to the winner. Not so interested in noodling for your own catfish? Then stick around for the after-party for free catfish and live music. Or grab a lawn chair and head to the 35th Annual Savannah Bluegrass Festival to listen to the best that Tennessee has to offer.


11th Toledo Lighthouse Waterfront Festival
Maumee Bay State Park, Ohio
July 12 – 13, 2014

Toledo Lighthouse, girl, sunglasses, water, Lake Erie, lighthouse

Toledo Lighthouse Waterfront Festival [Image: www.toledoblade.com]

Looking to tour the inside of a 100-year old lighthouse this summer? Head to the 11th Toledo Lighthouse Waterfront Festival at Maumee Bay State Park! Since Toledo Lighthouse remains active, this festival is one of only two times annually that the lighthouse is open to visitors. Afterwards, visit the Nautical Village arts & crafts show to pick up some lighthouse-inspired souvenirs and try your luck at the silent auction. With over 200 items at the auction, you’re bound to win something! Help yourself to delicious food like brats, homemade fries, shrimp, and funnel cake while listening to Jimmy Buffet-style musical entertainment at the park’s amphitheatre. And while you can’t spend the night in the lighthouse, you can reserve a campsite (or a yurt!) at Maumee Bay State Park.


Bannack Days
Bannack State Park, Montana
July 19 – 20, 2014

Bannack Days, Montana, collage, pioneers, old, horses, gunfight

Bannack Days [Image: blog.rv.net]

A fun-filled weekend celebrating 152 years of history, Bannack Days at Bannack State Park is something you don’t want to miss! Learn how to shoot a black-powder rifle, pan for gold, and hand-dip a souvenir candle. Watch the local blacksmith forge incredible works of art and take a wagon ride along Bannack’s historic main street. Get ready for good eats like ice cream, kettle corn, fry bread, corn on the cob, and fresh lemonade. Throughout both days, there will be plenty of live bluegrass, gospel, and old-time fiddler music. And keep your eyes peeled for a few staged gunfights!


4th Annual Wakonda Indian Festival
Glen Elder State Park, Kansas
July 19 – 20, 2014

Wakonda Indian Festival, Native American, dance, feathers, tribal dress, haybale

Wakonda Indian Festival [Image: www.sparkpeople.com]

Dancing, drumming, storytelling: Learn all about Native American culture firsthand at the 4th Annual Wakonda Indian Festival at Glen Elder State Park. Waconda Lake was once a spring, believed to hold great healing powers. On the shores of this lake, there will be traditional and contemporary Native American drumming and dances, such as the Hoop Dance and Crow Hop Dance. Stories and legends will be told by master storyteller Ron Brave in the festival’s tipi. Help yourself to delicious Indian tacos, fry bread, and buffalo burgers, and browse the fine silverwork, leatherwork, jewelry, and dreamcatchers on display. Since it’s sure to be a bit warm that day, bring along a bathing suit so you can take a dip in Waconda Lake.