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 - 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.
Saturday - Tiadaghton State Forest, Lycoming County, 12.3 miles, strenuous. Meet at 7:45 a.m. at the parking lot of the Comfort Inn in New Columbia, just off Route 15 south of Interstate 80, or at 9 a.m. at the parking area along Route 414 off of Slate Run Road. Leader: Tony Robbins, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Next Sunday - Boxcar Rocks, Lebanon and Schuylkill counties, 11 miles, moderate-strenuous. Our loop hike begins near the impressive Boxcar Rocks (aka The Chinese Wall) and continues through old coal mining lands to the Lebanon Reservoir. Meet at K-Mart parking lot off Route 15 in Shamokin Dam at 9 a.m. or McDonald's on Route 61 in Shamokin at 9:30. Leader: Paul Shaw, 717-215-8339 or email@example.com.
Nov. 25 - 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.
Dec. 2 - The Chili Hike, Luzerne County, eight miles, moderate. This year's chili hike will take us back to North Mountain for a brisk walk followed by a bowl of hot chili and cold beverages at the leaders' home near Stillwater. Meet at 10 a.m. in the parking lot of the Ricketts Glen Hotel, one mile east of Red Rock on Route 118. Leaders: Catherine McLaughlin and Ed Lawrence, firstname.lastname@example.org, 925-5285.
Dec. 9 - Appalachian Trail, Perry County, 12 miles, strenuous. The hike begins at Route 944 and climbs to the top of Cove Mountain, following the ridgeline to Hawk Rock with spectacular views of the Juniata and Susquehanna rivers and Duncannon. Meet at the K-Mart parking lot along Route 15 in Shamokin Dam at 8:30 a.m. or at Sheetz along Route 322 just north of Duncannon at 9. Leader: Paul Shaw, 717-215-8339 or email@example.com.
Dec. 16 - 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.
Enjoy paintings of area streams
LEWISBURG - Through Saturday, an exhibition of 30 oil and watercolor paintings of regional streams by Alice Kelsey and Jeanne McKinney will be on display at Faustina Gallery, 229 Market St.
The "Upstream: Images of Susquehanna Waterways" exhibit "speaks to the beauty that surrounds us and the threat that is under," according to organizers. The paintings focus primarily on streams within the waterbasin of the West Branch Susquehanna, especially those in Union and Snyder counties.
A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Merrill W. Linn Land & Waterways Conservancy, which promotes stewardship of area streams.
For more information, visit www.linnconservancy.org.
Learn about the benefits of bats
BERWICK - Learn about the benefits of bats from 6 to 7 p.m. Saturday at PPL's Susquehanna Riverlands.
Carbon County Environmental Education Center Chief Naturalist Susan Gallagher will discuss the myths and superstitions surrounding the vastly misunderstood animals. She will describe how they help the ecosystem and also will update attendees on white-nose syndrome.
Meet at the Susquehanna Energy Information Center. For more information, call 1-866-832-3312 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For directions, visit www.pplpreserves.com, click on "Susquehanna Riverlands," then select "Contact Us and Directions."
State parks schedule winter events
State parks in the area are planning the following winter events:
Sinnemahoning State Park, Cameron County - Turkey Talk, 1-2 p.m., wildlife center, Saturday; Natural Ornaments, 1-3 p.m., wildlife center, Dec. 8. Call 814-647-8401 to register.
R.B. Winter State Park, Mifflinburg - Natural Ornaments, 10 a.m.-noon. Dec. 5 and 1-3 p.m. Dec. 6 and 8. Call 570-966-1455 to register.
Bald Eagle State Park, Howard - Nature for Toddlers series, 10-11:30 a.m., ages 3 to 5, Dec. 6. Call 814-625-2775 to register.
Women in the Outdoors event planned
STROUDSBURG - A Women in the Outdoors event will be held Saturday at Pocono Pistol, 85 N. First St. Attendees must be members of the National Wild Turkey Federation, but memberships may be purchase upon registration. A fee also applies to register for the event.
Four courses will be offered: Purchasing a Gun, Gun Maintenance, Basics of Concealment and Explore Archery.
For more information, or to register, call Tricia Fritz at 570-421-7950.
Club offers free snowmobile course
HANEYVILLE - Registrations are being accepted now for a free snowmobile safety course planned for Saturday at the Hyner Mountain Snowmobile Club lodge, along Route 44, about six miles north of here in Clinton County.
State law requires that children ages 10 to 15 earn a safety certificate before lawfully operating a snowmobile, except upon lands owned or leased by their parents or legal guardians.
The goal of the course, which was developed by the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, is to develop safe attitudes in all Keystone State snowmobilers. Student manuals and workbooks will illustrate the sport's basic principles and safety concepts. Course content will cover winter clothing, machine safety and snowmobile laws and regulations. Class participants qualify for a certificate by completing their workbooks and achieving a score of 80 percent or better on the final examination.
Course instructors will be Henry Hartman, of Hanover, and Harrison Langley Jr., of Palmyra.
Parents must accompany their children to registration so required forms may be completed. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. Class starts at 8 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m. The club will provide lunch.
Enrollment is limited to a maximum of 30 students. Registration priority will be given to those between the ages of 10 to 15.
Students who register in advance will be guaranteed a seat until 8 a.m. Walk-in students, including adults, only will be accepted if the class is not completely filled or if the registered students do not arrive by 8.
To register, contact Louise Davidson at 368-2288 or email@example.com.
Explore the world from a diver's point-of-view
Rich Best, of Sunken Treasure Scuba Center in Jersey Shore, will be the guest speaker at the Lycoming Audubon Society meeting at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 28 in the James V. Brown Library's Lowry Room.
For more than 25 years, Best, a master scuba instructor, has been diving in the Susquehanna River basin. At the meeting, he will answer a variety of questions on topics such as the river's condition in this area, the state of the fish population above the dam and what can help improve this area in the future.
The program is free and open to the public. For more information, see www.lycoming.org/audubon.
Discover Santa's Secret Garden
HERSHEY - This December, Hershey Gardens will introduce a new family event for the holiday season. An array of children's activities will link a traditional Christmas celebration with a message that shares the importance of taking care of each other and the green earth. Santa's Secret Garden will be held from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, Dec. 7, 8, 14 and 15.
During this first-time event, families will be greeted by Santa's elves as they travel along a path of twinkling lights to discover Santa and his secret winter garden. Visitors can explore Santa's Greenhouse, where they'll see some of the plants that Santa and Mrs. Claus cultivate during the winter season. Some plants include flowering kale, cabbage and perennials, such as evergreen Christmas ferns and wintergreen.
Children will create take-home crafts, including reindeer food, in Santa's Workshop, located in the Gardens' Education Center. After leaving the workshop, families can visit with Santa at the heart-shaped fountain in The Children's Garden, where he will surprise each child with a sapling Norway spruce tree to take home.
During the event, guests can visit with Mrs. Claus, listen to music and warm up by a fire. Cookies and hot chocolate will be available for purchase.
The cost for Santa's Secret Garden is included in general admission; regular (ages 13 to 61) at $10, seniors (ages 62 and older) at $9, juniors (ages 3 to 12) at $7, and children ages 2 and younger are free. For more information about Hershey Gardens, visit www.HersheyGardens.org or call 717-534-3492.
NWTF chapter plans annual event
STATE COLLEGE - The Pennsylvania chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation will hold its 38th annual rendezvous and awards banquet on Jan. 5 at the Ramada Inn.
Habitat-Martin Run Project, 12:30-1:30 p.m. - Learn about this project in the Allegheny National Forest that included oak release, opening construction and restoration, herbicides, native warm season grasses, vernal pond construction, and installation of nesting and roosting structures.
Outreach workshop, 2-3 p.m. - Share ideas to improve local outreach programs such as JAKES, Women in the Outdoors and Wheelin' events and hunts. Discover how to grow committees and fund events.
Understanding the New Super Fund Split, 3:30-4:30 p.m.
A prime rib and stuffed chicken dinner follows, with raffles and silent and live auctions. A variety of prizes are up for grabs.
Attendees may purchase the early bird raffle package by Dec. 31 and receive $300 worth of tickets for $100. Donations may be submitted for prizes.
For more information, or to purchase tickets, write to: Jim Panaro, 224 Buck Road, Ebensburg, PA 15931.
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.