State forest announces habitat tour
CROSS FORK - Susquehannock State Forest will hold its annual forest management/habitat tour at 9 a.m. today at the Bureau of Forestry Office off of Route 144.
The tour includes visits to four sites and discussion on topics including how the district collects data on habitat quality and deer impact, current deer and habitat research in the district, the district's timber management program, local tree insect and disease update including the hemlock wooly adelgid and this year's gypsy moth spraying program, wildlife habitat improvement projects and rattlesnake overview.
State forest personnel, the state Game Commission and the Black Forest Conservation Association will participate in the tour. The event's goal is to exchange information, build a better relationship with those who use the forest and provide the public with a better understanding of the complexity of sustainable forest management in northcentral Pennsylvania.
The tour is free and transportation and lunch will be provided. To register, call the district office at 814-274-3600 or email email@example.com.
Take a hike with regional club
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 spring and summer.
They are open to the public, but hikers should 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, 8.7 miles, moderate to strenuous. We will hike the LT from Little Bear Road to Miller Trail via the spectacular Smith Knob Vista. Meet at the Wal-Mart parking lot on Route 87 (North Loyalsock Avenue) at 8:30 a.m. Bring lunch and water. Leaders are Sue Wright, firstname.lastname@example.org; and Hallie Luppert, hallie10 @verizon.net.
May 4 - Dale's Ridge Trail, Union County, 2 miles, easy. We will hike this easy 2-mile loop and look for migratory birds. Meet at the parking lot at the trail head on Strawbridge Road about a mile off of Route 192 about 1.5 miles outside of Lewisburg at 9:30 a.m. Leader is Roy Fontaine, 220-4707.
May 4 - Hunter Mountain, Catskill Mountains, N.Y., 5-hour hike, moderate up and down exciting Hunter Mountain Trail, then down ski slope. Great views of Hudson River Valley. Breakfast enroute, dinner in Woodstock, N.Y., after hike. Meet at 6 a.m. at Wegmans' parking lot, Williamsport. Leader: Richard Sahn, 419-1435 (cell); 435-2401 (home); email@example.com
May 5 - Rider Park, Lycoming County, 6.2 miles, easy to moderate.Walk a figure 8 loop centered around the parking lot. Beginning hikers or hikers with children can bail after only 2 miles. Rider Park is a good place to see migratory spring songbirds. Meet on Warrensville Road next to Loyalsock Creek just beyond the Interstate 180 overpass over Warrensville road at 8:30 a.m. or 8:45 a.m. at the parking area 1.6 miles up Calebs Creek Road. Leader: Roy Fontaine, 220-4707.
May 11 - Zindel Park, Clinton County, 10 miles, strenuous. We will hike a variety of trails in this recreation area. Meet at 8 a.m. at McDonald's just off the McElhattan exit of Route 220. Leader: Joanne Heimer, firstname.lastname@example.org, 295-1431.
May 12 - Golden Eagle Trail, Lycoming County, 9 miles, moderate to strenuous. One of the best hikes in Pennsylvania with excellent views. Meet at 8 a.m. at the Sovereign Bank parking lot, Southern Avenue between Market and Hastings streets (Route 15) in South Williamsport or at the trail parking lot along Route 414 at 8:50 a.m. Leader: Roy Fontaine, 220-4707.
Get answers to your gardening questions
LEWISBURG - Master Gardeners with Penn State Extension will be at The Public Library for Union County on Tuesday to host the last Garden Hotline from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Located just inside the library, the Master Gardeners will answer questions about gardening topics including vegetable and herb gardens, insects and pesticides, weeds, native plants, composting, water conservation, plant diseases, landscaping and more.
For more information call 523-1172 or visit www.publibuc.org.
Create something beautiful and floral
MIFFLINBURG - Country Farm and Home, 7801 Old Turnpike Road, has announced several Make and Take Classes, through June 26. A fee applies for each course.
Wednesday - Hypertufa Planter, 7 p.m. This is a two-night class. Make the planter May and plant it on May 15.
May 8 - Patio Planter, 7 p.m. Learn Keith's secrets for successful container gardening while planting a beautiful container full of the top performing thriller, filler and spiller annuals on the market.
May 22 - Butterfly Garden Planter, 7 p.m. Learn what is needed to entice butterflies to your garden while planting a butterfly garden, filled with host and nectar plants, in a beautiful planter.
June 5 - Living Wall, 7 p.m. - Graphically arrange a collection of plants in the Living Wall Planter System. We will frame your creations, so once you get it home, you mount it on a vertical surface, giving you a whole new world in which to express your creativity.
June 12 - Everlasting Butterfly Pitcher, 7 p.m. Fill a beautiful pitcher with everlasting summer flowers and butterflies.
June 26 - Gypsy Garden, 6 p.m. Create a unique fairy garden. This will be the final class and guests are asked to bring a salad to share. A meal will be held prior to the class.
Call 966-4030 to register or for more information.
Driving event planned for offroaders
SNOW SHOE - Eagle Valley Off Roaders, a family-based, non-profit, four-wheel drive club in central Pennsylvania, will hold a "4x4 Adventure" from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. May 4 and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 5 at the Snow Shoe Mud Track, off Interstate 80 at Exit 147.
The event will feature an obstacle course with tests for every 4x4 from stock to highly modified. Obstacles range from mud pits, including one 100-feet long and 5-feet deep, to a seemingly impossible tire crawl.
A registration fee applies for drivers and an entry fee will be charged for spectators.
The Adventure also offers guided rides on an onsite trail system. Spectators have a hillside overlooking the obstacle course.
Snow Shoe Fire Co. will sell food items.
For more information, visit www.eaglevalleyoffroaders.com.
Club plans fishing derby
PICTURE ROCKS - The Consolidated Sportsmen of Muncy Creeks will hold its annual Dick Harner Memorial Children's Fishing Derby on May 5 at Van Renselar Park. The park is behind George Ferrell Elementary School.
The derby is open to children up to age 12. Registration begins at 12:15 p.m., and lunch will be available.
Kids 5 and younger will start fishing at 1; 6-, 7- and 8-year-olds at 2; and ages 9 to 12 at 3. Only bait fishing is allowed and the limit is four fish.
The derby will be held rain or shine. Only high water could cause a postponement.
For more details, call Art Fry at 368-1245.
Master Gardeners to sell perennial plants
The Penn State Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners will hold a perennial plant sale beginning at noon May 10 at Bruce E. Henry Park on Miller Avenue, behind St. Ann's Church. The sale will continue until all of the plants are sold.
The sale has been very popular, with plants selling out within the hour. They will cost $3 each.
Varieties will include yarrow, columbine, lupines, catchfly, money plant and dozens more.
Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer questions.
For more information, call Penn State Extension at 433-3040 or email@example.com.
Conference for private forestland owners set
ALTOONA - The state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources will co-sponsor a two-day conference for landowners focused on conserving and managing privately owned woodlands.
The "2013 Private Forest Landowner Conference: The Future of Penn's Woods," will be held May 10-11 at the Blair County Convention Center.
"Past regional and local private forestland conferences have targeted primarily private forest landowners, both industrial and non-industrial," DCNR Secretary Rick Allan said. "This event is expanded to include a wider range of landowners with outdoors interests and a commitment to sustaining healthy forests. We invite recreation-related businesses, timber interests, family forest owners, policy makers, and all others with an interest and stake in private forest land stewardship."
The event will focus on conserving and managing healthy, regenerating forests with the intent of bringing together landowners who want to demonstrate commitment to forest sustainability.
"Whether a person owns five or 500 acres, they are among nearly 740,000 Pennsylvania woodland owners who can impact the health and well-being of nearly 12 million acres of private forests," Allan said.
Regionally and nationally recognized experts will give presentations on a variety of topics including conservation options, invasive species, taxes, water quality, woodland care, wildlife, and backyard woodlots. Exhibitors will offer informational and resource displays, and demonstrators will showcase tools and services.
On May 10, optional tours addressing wind energy and forests, invasive species control, vernal ponds and early successional wildlife habitat will be offered before the conference officially starts at 1 p.m. The program continues from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. May 11.
Registration is open and costs $75. Registration details and other information can be found at ecosystems.psu.edu/research/centers/private-forests/events/2013-private-forest-landowners.
Public invited to club's trout stocking
On May 11-12, the Consolidated Sportsmen of Muncy Creeks will do their inseason stocking for the tributaries to Muncy Creek that were stocked preseason.
The public is invited to join in.
Explore, paddle, learn on West Branch Sojourn
The Susquehanna Greenway Partnership's annual sojourn on the West Branch of the Susquehanna River will start May 14 in Mahaffey, Clearfield County and end May 19 in Keating, Clinton County. A fee applies.
The six-day, 97-mile canoe and kayak trip takes paddlers of all ages and skill levels to some of the most beautiful and remote locations along the river. Along the way, local experts will give exclusive access to the area's history, wildlife and conservation efforts through river-side presentations.
Registration includes river guides, camp sites, meals, insurance, shuttles, a T-shirt and educational programs and entertainment. Paddlers must provide their own boat and gear. Boat rental information and a daily schedule are available in the online registration packet. Beginners are encouraged to join.
Paddlers may pay for the entire trip or on a day-to-day basis. Early registration is due May 1. Information may be downloaded at www.susquehannagreenway.org or by calling Erin Pierce, program coordinator, at 522-7244.
"The West Branch sojourn will be a great way for folks to explore this stretch of water trail, since much of it is breathtakingly rural, secluded and one of the closest things we have in Pennsylvania to a wilderness experience," Pierce said.
Pennsylvania's river sojourns are a national model for connecting people to their natural environment in a fun and educational way. National Geographic Adventure named the West Branch a "Best Adventure Destination for 2012" and the 228-mile river also is recognized as a National Recreation Trail by the National Park Service.
ATV safety class scheduled
An all-terrain vehicle safety class will be held at 8:30 a.m. May 18 at Wheels Of Williamsport Inc., 99 Grey Fox Drive, Montoursville.
Class size is limited and advance registration is required. Students - youths or adults - must provide their own ATVs.
State-certified safety instructors Bill and Nancy Stugart will teach the course.
Pennsylvania law requires that youths ages 8 through 15 take a Department of Conservation and Natural Resources-approved safety training course and earn a safety training certificate from it before operating an ATV off their parents' or legal guardian's property.
To register for the course, call Bill or Nancy at 435-0923.
Women in the Outdoors event planned
TIOGA - A Women in the Outdoors event will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 19 at Ives Run Recreation Area at Hammond Lake. Women ages 14 and older may apply.
The event is designed to teach women new skills and activities and introduce them to new friends. No experience is necessary.
Paid registration includes four classes, a one-year membership to the Women in the Outdoors program, breakfast and lunch and use of equipment and materials. Raffles and a silent auction also will be held.
Classes include birding, outdoor photography, preparing wild game, archery, fishing, bobcats, Dutch oven cooking, shotgun and trap, geocaching and kayaking.
This Women in the Outdoors event is sponsored by the Arnie Hayden Memorial chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation. More information about the program and other area events can be found at www.womenintheoutdoors.org.
Get down and dirty at Clinton County mud run
MACKEYVILLE - The Clinton County Fair Association is sponsoring its first Kels Lomison Mud Run at the fairgrounds on June 15.
The 5K will be open to people of all ages who want to run, walk, crawl or climb the course.
The run will be non-competitive and will not be timed. Individuals or teams may register.
Three courses will be set up - one for adults ages 14 and up; the Mini Mudder for ages 9 to 13; and the Pee Wee Mudder for ages 4 to 8. Participants will receive a free Kels Lomison Mud Run T-shirt.
Proceeds benefit the new permanent Kels Lomison Memorial Stage being planned at the fairgrounds.
For more details, visit www.clintoncountyfairpa.com or call Ruth Eoute at 660-1231.
Register now for greenway sojourn
The 2013 Rails-to-Trails Conservancy Greenway Sojourn - a fully supported, five-day ride along the Great Allegheny Passage - will take place June 23-27, and participants now can reserve their seat.
The Greenway Sojourn is part bicycle ride, part trail-building program. It celebrates newly opened trails and promotes the completion of others to create regional trail systems.
The ride covers mostly off-road, multi-use trails between Pittsburgh and Cumberland, Md.
All ages and skill levels may register by going online to wilderness-voyageurs.com/rails-to-trails-greenway-sojourn.html.
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.