• One of the Twin Arches by Deannia Murphy

    Big South Fork

    National River & Recreation Area KY,TN

Interpretive Programs for July 2012

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Date: July 2, 2012
Contact: Howard Duncan, 423-569-9778

Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area will offer a series of day and evening programs throughout the summer. Park rangers will present a variety of program topics in both Tennessee and Kentucky. Programs will be held at the Bandy Creek Visitor Center in Tennessee and at the Blue Heron Campground in Kentucky. All programs are scheduled on Eastern Time.

Saturday, July 7
9:30 a.m. - Birding for the Non-Birder - Learn how to identify at least 10 varieties of birds using different techniques and guides. Ranger Sue Duncan will lead this program geared for those who always wanted to learn about birds. Meet at the Bandy Creek Visitor Center back porch. Bring binoculars and field guide if you have them.

1:00 p.m. - (ant) LION Safari (doodle bugs) at the Twin Arches - Hike to the Twin Arches and experience the demons of the sand. Discover how these fascinating creatures make ingenious pitfall traps and create miniature landslides to outmaneuver and catch their prey. Ranger Brenda Deaver will meet park visitors at the Twin Arches trailhead for this activity. We will hike the 0.7 mile trail out to the base of the South Arch and return to the parking lot for a total distance of 1.4 miles. Comfortable hiking footwear is recommended.

7:00 p.m. - Big South Fork Scavenger Hunt - Join Rangers Dustin Beaty and Teacher-Ranger Lounicia Hughett at the Bandy Creek Visitor Center for an exciting and fun-filled scavenger hunt. Children need to be accompanied by an adult during this 90 minute activity.

7:30 p.m. - Owl Prowl - Join Ranger Debby Zimmerman at the Blue Heron campfire circle to learn more about the different species of owls found in the Big South Fork. This program also includes a short walk around the campground to call barred owls. Please wear closed toed shoes and bring a flashlight. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Sunday, July 8
10:30 a.m. - Recycle/Unnatural Trail - Have you ever noticed items that don't belong on a trail? Ranger Jessica Brown will help young hikers learn how to keep our trails trash free. Meet at the Bandy Creek Visitor Center for this junior ranger activity.

Saturday, July 14
10:30 a.m. - Hike Along the Oscar Blevins Trail - Get into the great outdoors and hike the Oscar Blevins Loop Trail. Ranger Dustin Beaty will meet visitors at the picnic shelter adjacent to the Bandy Creek Trailhead and Area F for this moderate 3-mile hike. Please wear sturdy walking shoes on this adventure.  

1:00 p.m. - Tree Ring Discovery - Did you know you can learn about a habitat's history by looking at the surrounding trees? Meet with Rangers Jessica Brown and Lounicia Hughett at the Bandy Creek campfire circle. Everyone is invited to attend this discovery activity.

5:00 p.m. - Wet & Wild at Leatherwood Ford - Join Ranger Brenda Deaver to discover what creek critters tell us about the quality of water in our streams and rivers. She will take a close look at some tiny aquatic macro-invertebrates found in the Big South Fork of the Cumberland River. Meet in the gazebo at Leatherwood Ford along Highway 297. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Wearing of creek shoes is highly recommended.

7:30 p.m. - One Fox-Two Fox/Red Fox-Gray Fox - Want to learn more about the two species of fox that make their home in Big South Fork? Join Ranger Debby Zimmerman at the Blue Heron campfire circle to discuss the differences and similarities of these elusive creatures.

Sunday, July 15
10:30 a.m. - Trailside Botany - Let's move outside to learn more about the beautiful trees, shrubs and other plants growing across the Cumberland Plateau. Meet with Ranger Bill Herman on the back porch of the Bandy Creek Visitor Center for this easy hike along the 1.3 mile long Bandy Creek loop trail.

Saturday, July 21
10:30 a.m. - Barn Swallows - Want to learn more about the birds zipping around the Bandy Creek Visitor Center? Meet with Ranger Brenda Deaver at the visitor center to learn more about natural history of these aerobatic birds.

1:00 p.m. - Civil War Stories of Big South Fork - Come listen to Ranger Lounicia Hughett as she recounts stories of the Civil War on the Cumberland Plateau. These tragic tales are marked by murder, bushwhacking, and guerilla fighting. This program commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. Meet at the Interpretation and Education building across from Bandy Creek Visitor Center.

7:00 p.m. - Sunset Stroll Along the John Litton Trail - Join Ranger Bill Herman for this hike to watch, investigate, and learn more about some common, but often overlooked, trailside flora and fauna. This program will begin at the Bandy Creek campfire circle.

7:30 p.m. - Legends of Big South Fork - Ranger Sherry Fritschi will entertain you with some mysterious legends and colorful stories from these hills and hollows. Could they be true? Perhaps you can join in and share a tall tale of your own. This program will be held at the Blue Heron Campground campfire circle.

Sunday, July 22
10:30 a.m. - Home Sweet Home - Where do all the creatures live and sleep at night? Join Ranger Jessica Brown on the back porch of the Bandy Creek Visitor Center when she takes a look at different animal homes.

Saturday, July 28
10:30 a.m. - My Trail Pack - Hey kids, do you want to become a junior ranger? Meet Ranger Dustin Beaty on the back porch of the Bandy Creek Visitor Center to learn how. Find out what park rangers carry in their packs and what you need to carry in your pack when day hiking in Big South Fork. Spaces are limited for this activity. Please sign up at the Bandy Creek Visitor Center on Saturday morning at 8:00 a.m.

1:00 p.m. - Lying Logs and Standing Snag - Learn about the important roles decaying wood plays within the forest ecosystem. Meet on the back porch of the Bandy Creek Visitor Center for this ranger guided hike. Ranger Bill Herman will lead this easy walk along the Bandy Creek Loop trail to discover what makes these habitats so special.

7:30 p.m. - Bear Facts of Big South Fork - Learn some interesting facts about black bears and their habits, along with some safety tips for dealing with bears in Big South Fork. Meet Ranger Jessica Brown at the Bandy Creek Campground campfire circle for this program.

7:30 p.m. - We Just Wanted To Be Left Alone - Meet with Lizzy. Ranger Sherry Fritschi portrays this imaginary lady who could have lived on the Cumberland Plateau during the Civil War. She tells stories that will make your skin crawl because as she says, "they are the truth as I know it." You will learn of events that took place on or near the land that became Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area. This program commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. This program will be held at the Blue Heron Campground campfire circle.

Sunday, July 29
10:30 a.m. - Snake Tales - Snakes are one of the most misunderstood animals of our area. Interesting myths and legends are told about snakes. Join Park Ranger Sue Duncan and her special guests to learn interesting facts about snakes in Big South Fork. Meet at the Bandy Creek Visitor Center.

For more information about these activities, contact the Bandy Creek Visitor Center at (423) 286-7275, the Blue Heron Interpretive Center at (606) 376-5073.

Did You Know?

Cumberland sandwort

Cumberland sandwort is one of several species of threatened and endangered plants found throughout Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area. Cumberland sandwort only grows in the dry sandy soils of certain rockshelters found in and around Big South Fork.