Wind Cave Begins Night Hikes Looking for Ferrets
Contact: Tom Farrell, 605/745-1130
WIND CAVE NATIONAL PARK, S.D. – Rangers at Wind Cave National Park will be offering special night hikes this summer in hopes of seeing a black-footed ferret, the rarest animal in North America.
These special ranger programs begin at the Elk Mountain Campground at 9 p.m. on Tuesdays and Saturdays. After a brief presentation, the group will car caravan to a nearby prairie dog town where the ranger will lead the group across the prairie. The program ends at 10:30 p.m. Visitors are encouraged to bring a flashlight, long pants, good hiking shoes, and dress for the weather. These special night hikes are offered through August 15.
“We had a very enthusiastic response from visitors who participated in these hikes last year,” said park superintendent Vidal Davila. “While only one hike saw a ferret, others were amazed at seeing the Milky Way for the first time, another group came over a hill and discovered a herd of elk, and every group remarked what a unique experience it was being out on the prairie at night.”
Beside these special ferret programs, park rangers present evening campfire programs every night on a variety of topics. These 45-minute programs begin at 9 p.m. through August 15 and at 8 p.m. from August 16 through September 7.
For more information on any of these programs, visit www.nps.gov/wica or call 605-745-4600.
Did You Know?
Fire is an important factor in protecting the prairie. Historically, fires burned across the prairie every 4 to 7 years. Fires burn the small trees that would otherwise march across the prairie and turn the grasslands to forest.