Explore forests and ferns at Riverlands
BERWICK - Learn how to identify trees and ferns from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Sunday at PPL's Susquehanna Riverlands
Botanist and world-renowned expert on ferns, Dr. James Montgomery, will lead a walk around the Riverlands to show how to identify trees as their leaves are falling as well as the adaptations that allow them to survive. He will take a look at the forest from floor to canopy and discuss some of the changes that take place in autumn.
Meet at the PPL Susquehanna Energy Information Center. For more information, call 1-866-832-3312 or email email@example.com. For directions, visit www.pplpreserves.com, click on "Susquehanna Riverlands," then select "Contact Us and Directions."
Take a hike with regional group
The Otzinachson Regional Group of the Sierra Club and the Edward Abbey Hiking Society will hold a number of hikes throughout the region in the fall.
They are open to the public, but hikers must contact the hike leader prior to the event. Participants are advised to bring lunch and water on every hike.
Hikes will be held:
Today - Loyalsock Trail, Lycoming County, 13.5 miles, strenuous. Hike from Miller Road to Route 87 and see views of the Loyalsock Creek Valley from Smith's Knob. Meet at 8:30 a.m. at the Minit Mart/Sovereign Bank parking lot along Route 87 (off of Route 220) in Montoursville. Leader: Roy Fontaine, 220-4707.
Sept. 30 - Gillespie Point Figure 8 Loop, Tioga County, 11 miles, strenuous. From Blackwell, we will climb to the top of Pennsylvania's Matterhorn, Gillespie Point, with fine views of the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon. After looping back to Blackwell, we will continue on the Bohen Run Falls Trail to the West Rim Trail, then back to Blackwell on the Pine Creek Rail Trail. Meet at parking lot behind Lewisburg Post Office at 7:45 a.m. or boat launch parking lot in Blackwell at 9:30. Leader: Duane Button, 596-3454.
Oct. 6 - Sones Pond and Haystacks, Loyalsock Trail, Sullivan County, 6.5 miles, easy to moderate. Meet at 8:30 a.m. at the McDonald's in Hughesville. Leader: Roy Fontaine, 220-4707.
Oct. 7 and 14 - R.B. Winter State Park, Union County, 10 miles, moderate to strenuous. Meet at the parking lot at the breast of the dam along Route 192 at 8:30 a.m. Leader: Joe Rebar, 259-0134.
Board of Game Commissioners plans meeting
FRANKLIN - The state Board of Game Commissioners will hold its final quarterly meeting of 2012 on Monday and Tuesday in the Venango Room of the Quality Inn and Conference Center, 1411 Liberty St., in Venango County.
On Monday, the board will gather public comments and hear Game Commission staff reports beginning at 8:30 a.m. Doors to the meeting room will open at 7:45. Registration for those interested in offering public testimony also will begin at that time.
On Tuesday, beginning at 8:30 a.m., the commission will take up its prepared agenda, which will be posted on the agency's website prior to the meeting. Doors to the meeting room will open at 7:45.
The meeting will be videotaped and rebroadcast through the agency's website, www.pgc.state.pa.us, at a later date.
Learn about raptors at Audubon Society meeting
At 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, the Lycoming Audubon Society will meet in the Lowry Room of the James V. Brown Library. The guest speaker is Joe Yoder, of Williamsport, who will present a program on identifying the raptor species commonly found in the Northeast, with an emphasis on what to look for at hawk watches. The presentation will feature raptor photographs taken by Meredith Lombard, of Lancaster County.
Yoder and Lombard are avid birders and hawk-watchers who have served as volunteer observers each fall for many years at Pennsylvania Audubon's Waggoner's Gap Hawk Watch near Carlisle. They participate annually in the Winter Raptor Survey conducted by the Hawk Migration Association of North America.
For several years, Yoder served as compiler for a spring hawk watch he started at North White Deer Ridge in Lycoming County. Observations there confirmed that golden eagles are using the migration corridor near Williamsport on their way to nesting sites in Canada. In 2007, Lombard discovered a peregrine falcon pair nesting on a bridge near Columbia on the lower Susquehanna. She has extensively monitored and photographed their activities since then.
More information about the meeting and program may be found at the Lycoming Audubon Society website, www.lycoming.org/audubon.
Register now for PA Wilds Trails Conference
BRADFORD - Sept. 27 is the last day to register for the Pennsylvania Wilds Trails Conference, which will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 4 at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, 300 Campus Drive. A fee applies.
The conference is an inclusive trail workshop designed for all levels of trail enthusiasts and will include start-up and advanced courses. It is targeted to assist volunteers, trail associations and township, county and municipality employees on the "how-to" of trails from conception, to building, maintaining and promoting land and water trails.
The keynote speaker is Silas Chamberlin, who oversees work related to the interpretation and stewardship of historic and environmental resources, including the 165-mile D&L Trail. He manages the D&L Trial Alliance, the D&L Trial Patrol and the Visually Speaking signage program and also serves on the Pennsylvania Trails Advisory Committee.
Courses will include:
A beginners' workshop instructed by Malcolm Sias, planning coordinator of the Westmoreland County Bureau of Parks and Recreation. It will cover trail start-ups, basic trail building needs, funding sources and how to promote and market a trail.
An intermediate/advanced workshop from Larry Knutson, president of Penn Trails LLC and a member of the National Trail Builders Association and the Pennsylvania Trails Advisory Committee. It will include details on choosing the best design for a trail, the wide range of trail surfaces available, what works best and long-term sustainability. Attendees will learn how to promote trails through social media, as well as how to create a trail app.
To register, call 814-274-4877 or log on to www.pottercountyedcouncil.org/signup.
Hear about tall timber at Montour Preserve
WASHINGTONVILLE - Enjoy an afternoon of songs, stories and photos from 2 to 3 p.m. Sept. 30 at PPL's Montour Environmental Preserve.
Danville native and singer/songwriter Van Wagner will explore Pennsylvania's early logging days when trees stretched to the sky. Lumbermen harvested the trees with hard work and long days. Van Wagner's stories will be great for the whole family. Stay around after the program for his concert from 3 to 4 p.m..
Meet at the PPL Montour Preserve Environmental Education Center. For directions, visit www.pplpreserves.com and click on "Montour." For more information, contact the preserve at 437-3131 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Game Commission to conduct game farm tours
The state Game Commission will offer public tours of its four pheasant game farms in Armstrong, Crawford and Lycoming counties from noon to 3 p.m. Sept. 30, rain or shine.
Tour stops will include hatcheries, brooder houses, and rearing, "grow-out" and over-wintering pens. Workshop discussions will focus on objectives in propagation management, including sportsmen's organizations participating in raising day-old chicks provided by the farms to increase local hunting opportunities and surplus day-old hen chicks that are sold to the public. Also, after registration and before taking the tour, visitors may view a brief DVD highlighting farm operations throughout the year.
When visitors arrive, they will register before game farm personnel take them on a guided tour. In order to maintain biosecurity and minimize human contact with the birds, visitors must remain with tour groups.
For directions to the game farms, visit www.pgc.state.pa.us or call the particular regional office.
Tour a cemetery
DANVILLE - Iron Heritage Festival Cemetery Tours will be offered from 4 to 6 p.m. Oct. 5 and 5 to 8 p.m. Oct. 6 at the Fairview and Episcopal cemeteries.
Get up close and personal with the men and women who once walked this valley. Hear their stories and imagine what it was like to live in this community when they did.
Walking shoes required and flashlights are needed at dusk.
A fee applies. For more information, call 275-6700 or visit www.ironheritagefestival.net.
See vehicles from years gone by
EAGLES MERE - The fourth annual Bi-Planes, Trains & Antique Cars Fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 6 at Eagles Mere Historic Village in Sullivan County.
An admission fee applies for those ages 13 and older.
For more information, email email@example.com or call 525-3370.
Family fun day scheduled
MILLERSBURG - The Ned Smith Center for Nature & Art will hold a Fall Family Fun Day on Oct. 13.
The annual event is designed to increase awareness of the natural world with many activities for children and families. See live animal presentations, get your face painted, visit the pumpkin patch, create a fall decoration at the Art Creation Station, try your skills with a round of pumpkin bowling or stroll across the Wiconisco Creek on the footbridge.
For more information, call 717-692-3699.
Annual harvest festival planned
PENNS CREEK - Shade Mountain Winery's annual Harvest Festival will be held Oct. 13-14 at the winery, 16140 Route 104.
On Oct. 13, T & D's Cats of the World will be on hand with a display. Grape stomping will be held in a handmade vat at 1, 2 and 3 p.m., food vendors will be set up and The Pepper Street Band will perform outside from 3:30 to 6 p.m., weather permitting.
On Oct. 14, carriage rides through the vineyards will be held from noon until 4 p.m. and guided tours of the facility by the winemakers will be offered at 1, 2 and 3 p.m.
The vintner's pig roast and special bean soup available for a fee.
For more information, call 837-3644.
Outdoor events sought
Do you have a meeting or outdoor event you'd like to publicize in the Sun-Gazette?
Announcements must be submitted at least three weeks prior to the date of the event, preferably earlier.
Information and news releases may be:
Mailed to Outdoor editor, Williamsport Sun-Gazette, 252 W. Fourth St., Williamsport PA 17701
Emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Dropped off at the Sun-Gazette office, 252 W. Fourth St., Williamsport
Submitted through the Outdoor section of the Virtual Newsroom on the paper's website, www.sungazette.com.
All submissions must contain the name, telephone number and, if available, email address of a contact person.
Photographs by area residents of trophy fish or game animals or other interesting outdoor occurrences also will be considered. Digital photos may be sent by email.
Hard-copy glossy prints, negatives or slides may be dropped off or mailed. Polaroid prints typically cannot be reprinted in the newspaper.
Only photos sent with a stamped, self-addressed envelope will be returned.
Announcements published in the "Outdoor Briefs" section will print in chronological order as space permits.
The Outdoors section is published weekly on Sundays, but it goes to print early on Wednesday mornings.
Therefore, all information for publication on any given Sunday must be submitted by noon on the Monday prior.
For more help, call 326-1551, ext. 3116.