Here we are at the end of July already. Soon the kids will be back in school and the summer vacation season will be a distant memory. But we still have about a month left to get out and enjoy summer in our local state parks. And this weekend is a great time to do it.
The Johnstown area weather has been spoiling us for the past couple of days with some cooler temperatures and lower humidity. The heat and humidity will be returning for Friday and then a cold front will bring high temperatures in the mid-80’s for Saturday and Sunday. This means that we will probably see showers and thunderstorms for Friday into Saturday morning. But the skies should clear out Saturday and be sunny on Sunday. It looks like an excellent weekend to get out to our local parks. However, remember that even with the rain over the past couple days, there is still an elevated danger of wildfire. So be careful with campfires if you have them.
Topping the list this weekend is Keystone State Park about 50 minutes west of Johnstown. On Saturday, July 30, you can join the naturalist for two programs. In the morning you can come out for a hike with your best-friend. The Doggy Day Hike begins at 9:00 am at the Visitor’s Center. During the hike designed for your canine companions there will be some nature facts and some puppy pampering. In the afternoon you can Kayak Keystone with the park naturalist. You’ll have a chance to learn about kayaking and conservation. The kayaking program begins at 2:00 pm. Both of these programs require registration. You can register by calling 724-668-2566 or emailing [email protected]
If you don’t want to wait until the afternoon to kayak, then try Laurel Hill State Park. The park, which is located about 50 minutes southwest of Johnstown, has a Learn to Kayak program on Saturday morning. The program, which begins at 10:00 am, includes kayaking lessons followed by a leisurely paddle on Laurel Lake. Pre-registration is required and can be done by calling the park at 814-352-8649.
Blue Knob State Park, about forty minutes east of has an evening fishing program on Saturday. Come on out to the Burnt House Pavilion beginning at 6:00 pm for the Stream Investigation thru Fly Tying and Casting program. The program will be presented by volunteer presenters Tim Clingerman from Stream Guardians and Guy Stottelemyer from the Fort Bedford Chapter of Trout Unlimited. They will be demonstrating fly tying and casting techniques. Then you will have a chance to try it yourself using their equipment. In addition, you will have a chance to explore the aquatic insect life in the nearby creek.
If you are looking for an activity for Sunday, try Trough Creek State Park. You can join the naturalist from Canoe Creek State Park for the Balanced Rock Hike. The hike which starts at 10:00 am at the Balanced Rock Trailhead will take you over the swinging bridge, and by rainbow falls on your way to balanced rock. This hike may not be appropriate for all ages as there are some narrow trails with high cliffs. However, it provides some wonderful views.
So get outdoors and enjoy some great weather this weekend Johnstown. You are sure to find an activity to suit you. See you at the parks.