Celebrate Take a Child Outside Week


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Several North Carolina State Parks have events planned to recognize Take a Child Outside Week. The program, an initiative of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, takes place annually Sept. 24-30. The goal of Take a Child Outside is “to help children develop a better understanding and appreciation of the environment and an enthusiasm for exploring the natural world.”

Participating in the program is easy! Register and simply attend any of these family-friendly events, which are a short drive from the Triad:


Elk Knob State Park

5564 Meat Camp Road, Todd

  • Fall Color

Sept. 24, 2 p.m.
Come out and learn about the changing leaves and what significance they hold. Meet at the trailhead parking lot.

Hanging Rock State Park

1790 Hanging Rock Park Road, Danbury
Please call to register. 336-593-8480

  • Hike to Tory’s Den

Sept. 24, 3 p.m.
Join a park ranger at the Tory’s Den Parking Lot for a short (0.3 mi) hike to the den. Learn the legend of the cave and how the area was used as a hideout during the American Revolution. Meet at the Tory’s Den Parking Lot.

  • Walk on the Wild Side

Sept. 25, 11-11:45 a.m.
Join an Environmental Educator at the Hanging Rock Trailhead and learn to identify the signs that wild animals have walked our trails.  Match tracks and scat to the furs and pictures of these park residents.

Lake Norman State Park

759 State Park Road, Troutman
  • I Canoe, Can You?
    Sept. 25, 9:30 a.m.
    As part of National Take a Child Outside Week, bring your child to learn some basic canoeing techniques, while paddling around Park Lake. Meet inside the visitor center. You must preregister for this program.

Mayo River State Park

500 Old Mayo Park Road, Mayodan

  • Owl Prowl
    Sept. 24, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
    Go on a prowl to learn more about the mysterious birds of the night.  Meet at the park office

New River State Park

358 New River State Park Road, Laurel Springs

  • Family Hike
    Sept. 27, 10:30 a.m.
    Join a ranger for a stroller-friendly hike at the US Hwy 221 Access area. We will walk about ½-mile and discuss interesting things along the way. There’s also a nature craft activity for the kids to take home.

Pilot Mountain State Park

1792 Pilot Knob Park Road, Pinnacle

  • Hawk Watch
    Sept. 23-30, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
    Join members of Forsyth Audubon and park rangers to count and document the number of migrating raptors. Stop by the Little Pinnacle Overlook and look to the skies to see migrating hawks, falcons, eagles and osprey.

Stone Mountain State Park

3042 Frank Parkway, Roaring Gap
  • Stream Safari
    Sept. 24-25, 2 p.m.
    Join a ranger for a program on what trout eat in our mountain streams. Bring clothes and shoes that you can get wet. Weather permitting.

For event more events planned in the Triad by participating partners, visit the Take a Child Outside website or the North Carolina State Parks website.

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