Big South Fork is an area with a wide range of outdoor activities available for children while they visit the park with their parents. You can ride a train at the Big South Fork Scenic Railway, the swimming pool at Bandy Creek is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day, in addition there are many easy and enjoyable hikes to take and even ranger programs to attend during the weekends during the summer.
National Park Service
The Junior Ranger Program at Big South Fork is available to children of to enjoy. The program is designed for children 5 to 12 years of age to help them learn about the National Park Service, the Big South Fork, and have fun too! If you are planning on visiting Big South Fork soon, be sure to stop by either of the park visitor centers and pick up your Junior Ranger Booklet.
To complete the booklet you will need to visit parts of Big South Fork, attend ranger programs, do a little drawing and answer some questions. When you are finished, bring the completed booklet to one of the visitor centers to have it checked and answer some questions about the park. You will receive your Junior Ranger badge, patch and certificate. If you need the help of your parents to finish the booklet, that's OK.
The Big South Fork Junior Ranger Booklet may be completed through use of the park's website. You will need to download and print the PDF Junior Ranger Booklet (861 kb), then explore the Big South Fork website, visit another park's website, do a little drawing and answer some questions. When you are finished, just mail the booklet to the park headquarters. We will check your booklet and mail back it back to you with a badge and a certificate. If you need the help of your parents to finish the booklet, that's OK.
The National Park Service also has web sites designed for children to visit which they are sure to enjoy.
In addition the National Park Service has developed a Junior Ranger Gazette which is available at most park visitor centers or for download here.
2006 Junior Ranger Gazette pdf (1,737KB)
2007 Junior Ranger Gazette pdf (1,868KB)
Did You Know?
Longhunters were some of the first Europeans to traverse the Big South Fork region. It is said they were called longhunters either for the long rifles they carried or because the were typically gone on hunting trips for so long, sometimes up to a year.