Big Events and a Bit of Magic

Where did the summer go? School is back in session and those trips to the parks are harder to plan for. September is a busy month, with school starting back, football games and the routine things that fill our days and weekends. But September is also a busy month in your state parks! In this month’s newsletter you’ll learn about a few special programs that we are offering.

Let’s start with the Campground Cookoff at Calhoun Falls.  At the cookoff, you will see and “experience" firsthand that a meal in the campground can be so much more than hotdogs and hamburgers, I bet someone will be making a peach cobbler (hint hint)!  Food, fellowship, a campfire and Lake Russell sounds like a perfect weekend.

Then there’s the annual Hawk Watch at Caesars Head where hundreds of birds of prey pass by each year during migration --one of nature’s most spectacular events. Caesars Head State Park, is located along the Appalachian Flyway, and provides a unique viewing platform to watch the thousands of hawks as they migrate south for the winter. While migration begins in August and continues until early December peak flights are mid-to-late September. If you are lucky, you may even observe over a thousand hawks in just one day. The majority of the count consists of broad-winged hawks, however several other species including Bald Eagles, American kestrels, Mississippi kites, merlins, and Peregrine Falcons are also seen. So keep your eyes to the sky and make sure to bring a pair of binoculars!

End September with a bit of art and culture at our “castle by the sea," when Huntington Beach hosts more than 100 of the finest artisans, in an amazing setting.  The Atalaya Arts & Crafts Festival provides aesthetic beauty against a background of natural beauty. Walk through the winter home of Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington, where Mrs. Huntington, a noted sculptor, used the castle as her studio.  The home comes alive with artists and the delightful sounds of music against the natural background music of birds, laughter and the unmistakable sounds of the Atlantic Ocean.

If you can’t make one of our big events for September, I’ve got just the plan. A magic show!  At several of our state parks this fall we will be featuring a magic show.  No, not that kind, rather one where you are the magician. Here’s how you do it. Try camping at any of our state parks with a campground, build a campfire and wait for nightfall, then gather people around the fire and watch the magic.  Or pack a picnic lunch and sit at a picnic table…watch the magic. Put on your hiking books, pick a trail and a partner and start hiking.  At your first break, listen, then watch the magic. Walk through a historic site with a child, and learn something you didn’t know and share it…watch the magic.

September starts a magical time of year in state parks, it means fall is almost here and the magic is just beginning, it’s time to come out and play.

See you in the parks,

Phil