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National Get Outdoors Day Offers Family Fun

All 36 Virginia State Parks will host programs on Saturday, June 14, 2014, as part of National Get Outdoors Day (GO Day), the seventh annual event to encourage healthy, active outdoor fun. This national event seeks to reach first-time visitors to public lands and to reconnect our youth to the great outdoors.

First Landung State Park Interpreter Jennifer Huggins shows a turtle to a group of teens
First Landing State Park Interpreter Jennifer Huggins shows a turtle to a group of teens

For a complete list of offerings by park for this event click here. Some highlights statewide include:

Claytor Lake State Park in Dublin hosts its annual Celebration of Summer Festival beginning at 10 a.m. and concluding with fireworks. Live music, a car show, antique fire trucks, food vendors, arts and crafts and live demonstrations make this a great day outside with the family.

Claytor Lake's Celebration of Summer
Claytor Lake's Celebration of Summer

Grayson Highlands State Park in Mouth of Wilson is known as the best place on the east coast for bouldering, a form of rock climbing that takes place on boulders and small rock formations usually less than 20 feet high without the use of ropes. If you have been practicing on that indoor climbing wall or even if you have no experience, learn how to do it on a real boulder along with a variety of other outdoor activities.

Easy to see why Grayson Highlands is a bouldering mecca
Easy to see why Grayson Highlands is a bouldering mecca

If water challenges are more your style, explore Pocahontas State Park in Chesterfield County on a stand up paddle board with instruction from Black Dog Paddle. You can climb a tree with Riverside Outfitters at Powhatan State Park in Powhatan County. Later, learn about orienteering, finding your way through a course with map and compass, with the Central Virginia Orienteering Club.

Tree Climbing with Riverside Outfitters
Tree Climbing with Riverside Outfitters

Come out to Twin Lakes State Park near Farmville to learn and practice skills like canoeing, archery and geocaching. then head over to High Bridge Trail State Park for a spectacular display of thousands of fireflies seen from the bridge at night. You can also pick up basic outdoor skills like setting up the perfect campsite, basic survival skills and outdoor cooking at Hungry Mother State Park in Marion. Bear Creek Lake State Park in Cumberland is offering programs featuring a guided canoe tour (no experience necessary), a discovery hike with tips on getting the most out of your woodland walk and how to stay safe, and an open house at the archery range. End the day with a campfire cooking demonstration from the Old Dominion Iron Chefs.

Dutch Oven Cooking
Dutch Oven Cooking

Some events require pre-registration or fees. Please call the park for more information. Many of our parks offer camping and cabins so you can plan a longer stay. To make reservations, contact our Customer Service Center at 800-933-7275 Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Reservations can also be made on line 24/7 by clicking here.

National Get Outdoors Day makes it easy to come out and have fun at a Virginia State Park. The hardest part might be deciding which park to visit. GO Day is part of a month long celebration of National Great Outdoors Month.

Published: 05/26/2014

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