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Contact: Bradley Block, 605-673-8330
Finding time to plan a unique weekend adventure is often the biggest barrier to enjoying time in the great outdoors.National Trails Day makes it easy to kick-start a summer filled with adventures.This Saturday, thousands of National Trails Day activities will take place all across the nation and all you have to do is pick your choice of trail adventure.
In celebration of the NPS Centennial, Jewel Cave is offering two ranger-guided hikes. Both activities are geared toward families with kids, although everyone is invited. Not only will participants learn more about the Monument's surface features, the hikes also complement a national initiative entitled Healthy Parks Healthy People.
The one-quarter-mile Roof Trail Hike starts at 10 a.m.This easy trail winds through a ponderosa pine forest and offers participants a chance to observe several signs of nature.The three and one-half mile Canyons Trail Hike begins at 1 p.m.This easy to moderate trail descends into Lithograph and Hell Canyons. It treks through an open grassland environment, surrounded by wildland fire scars.
Superintendent Bonnie Schwartz states, "National Trails Day is a great time to visit the Monument and take in the early summer scenery. Some wildflower species are already blooming along the trails, and we hope the ranger-guided hikes entice visitors to take a healthy and active part in the NPS Centennial."
Both hikes start at the Jewel Cave visitor center, located 13 miles west of Custer, SD and 24 miles east of Newcastle, Wyoming on Hwy 16.Reservations are not required, nor are there any fees associated with the hikes. Participants should meet at the visitor center, dress according to the weather conditions, and furnish their own snacks and beverages. Although both trails are considered easy, strollers and wheelchairs are not recommended.NOTE: All youth ages 16 or under need to be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian.
The Monument is also hosting an Open House and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony from 10 a.m. until noon. The event celebrates the successful completion of an addition to the visitor center, originally built in 1972.The new space allows for a dedicated park store for the Monument's partner - Black Hills Parks and Forests Association. The additional space also provides an indoor area for interpretation and education for groups and individuals during the Centennial Year and for the next century.