Fall colors update: Ohio

As we welcomed the first week of autumn, highlights of color are beginning to speckle the canopies of Ohio's woodlands as the weather begins to cool.

“Many maple and ash trees are welcoming us into this year’s fall color season,” said Casey Burdick, from the ODNR Division of Forestry. “The maples are splashing yellows and reds near the edges of Ohio’s woodlands and in many other areas white ash trees are showing their deep red and purple while green ash trees are showing their vibrant golden yellow color.”

Ohioans and out-of- state visitors who are waiting for peak fall color are encouraged to head outside and enjoy the crisp fall days leading up to it. Ohio state parks and nature preserves are offering many family-friendly activities that all can enjoy. The burst of color at the onset of the season provides a perfect backdrop for hikers, bikers or horseback riders who make their way across the hundreds of miles of publicly accessible trails. The brilliance of fall color will add to the excitement of games of disc golf and golf, which can be played on beautiful, award-winning courses at several state parks. Anglers and boaters can also get priceless perspectives of amazing fall foliage as it reflects in the rippling water along miles of shoreline and waterways.

This coming weekend, check out one of the following events at one of your Ohio State Parks…

Fall Campout, Buck Creek (SW) - Oct. 1-3. Crafts, nature programs, games, contests, trick or treat & hayrides. (937) 322-5284

Harvest Days, Beaver Creek (NE) - Oct. 2-3 at the pioneer village & Gaston’s Mill. Craft displays & demonstrations of pioneer life, including the working grist mill. (330) 382-9227. Beaver Creek Wildlife Education Center open 10 AM-5 PM, duck race at 3 PM Sun. (330) 385-3091 or www.beavercreekwildlife.org.

Halloween Campout, Grand Lake St. Marys (NW) - Oct. 1-3. Apple bobbing, pumpkin carving, hayrides, costume & campsite decorating. (419) 394-3611.

Apple Butter Festival, Hueston Woods (SW) - Oct. 2-3 at the pioneer farm. Arts, crafts & traditional apple butter making. (513) 524-4250.

Halloween Campout #1, East Harbor (NW) - Oct. 1-2. Scarecrow & decorated campsite contests, kids’ crafts and games, hayrides, haunted house, dance & bonfire. (419) 734-4424 ext. 2.

To find out more about these and other events, visit www.ohiodnr.com. The website will serve as a guide to Ohio’s fall color season. Its pages provide information for travelers who want to map a scenic road trip, adventurers who are refreshed and energized by the cool autumn weather, vacationers who seek places of solace to enjoy the changing seasons and even the students who need a resource for leaf collection projects. Ohioans and out-of-state visitors can also find information about fall foliage by calling 1-800-BUCKEYE or visiting www.discoverohio.com/autumnadventures.

Ohio's 74 state parks, 21 state forests and 134 state nature preserves provide excellent locations to view fall foliage. Here are the most current reports from selected locations:

Location (Region) Color Condition
Alum/Delaware Creek State Parks (Central) Near Peak
Beaver Creek/Guilford Lake State Parks (East) Changing
Blackhand Gorge Nature Preserve (Central) Changing
Dillon/Blue Rock State Parks (East) Changing
Buck Creek State Park (West) Changing
Burr Oak State Park (Southeast) Changing
Caesar Creek State Park (Southwest) Changing
Clifton Gorge Nature Preserve (West) Changing
Deer Creek State Park (Central) Changing
Harrison Lake State Park/Forest (Northwest) Changing
Hocking Hills State Park/Forest (Southeast) Changing
Hueston Woods State Park (Southwest) Near Peak
Indian Lake State Park (West) Changing
John Bryan State Park (West) Changing
Kent Bog Nature Preserve (Northeast) Changing
Kiser Lake State Park (West) Changing
Lake Hope State Park (Southeast) Near Peak
Malabar Farm State Park (Northeast) Changing
Maumee State Park/Forest (Northwest) Changing
Mohican State Park/Forest (Northeast) Changing
Mt. Gilead State Park (Central) Near Peak
Pike Lake/Paint Creek State Parks (Southwest) Changing
Punderson State Park (Northeast) Changing
Quail Hollow/Wingfoot State Parks (Northeast) Changing
Salt Fork State Park (East) Changing
Shawnee State Park (Southwest) Changing
Sycamore State Park (West) Changing
Tar Hollow State Park/Forest (Southeast) Changing
Triangle Lake Bog (Northeast) Changing
Van Buren State Park (Northwest) Changing
Zaleski State Forest (Southeast) Changing

Color Condition Key
Changing – Still mostly green, less than 25 percent color.
Near Peak – Significant color showing – anywhere from 30 to 60 percent color.
Peak – Peak colors – as much as 85 percent showing. Fading – Fading from peak conditions and leaves falling to forest floor.

Traverse City activates Fall Foliage Hotline

Call 1-800-727-5482 for regular color reports

It’s a bit later than usual this year, but fall color is finally beginning to appear across northern Michigan – and the past summer’s warm temperatures and plentiful moisture should ensure that it will be one of the best ever!

On the hillsides overlooking Grand Traverse Bay, you’ll now see a sudden burst of orange or scarlet among the green stands of oak, maple and pine. Here and there, the mounds of sumac are touched with deep smoldering crimson, while the orchards and vineyards of the Leelanau and Old Mission peninsulas are filled with brightly colored apples and thick clusters of dark purple grapes. In a matter of weeks, the entire region will be aflame with sheets of red, orange and gold.

Since fall colors can “peak” fairly quickly, the Traverse City Convention & Visitors Bureau is providing visitors with up-to-date information about autumn colors through its Fall Foliage Hotline. By dialing 1-800-727-5482, visitors can receive updated reports on the progress of the annual fall color display, including areas where the best colors can be found.

For a list of color tour driving routes and information about Traverse City’s super-affordable Fab Fall Getaway Packages, log on to the Bureau’s web site at www.traversecity.com.

2011 Annual Vehicle Permits for Oakland County (Mich.) Parks and Recreation, available Oct. 1

Camping at Groveland Oaks County Park
Oakland County Parks and Recreation 2011 Annual Vehicle Permits are available for purchase Oct. 1 and are valid through December 2011.

“The one-time, low cost offers 15 months of unlimited entry at the county parks,” Supervisor of Administrative Services Karen Kohn said. “This is a great offer for those who enjoy the parks and want to be active outdoors.”

The 2011 Annual Vehicle Permit offers unlimited entry to eight Oakland County Parks and provides free parking at the Fourth of July fireworks and Oakland County Fair on Oakland County Parks Day.

A new, lower price of $22/permit is offered for resident seniors ages 62 and over, adaptive and active military patrons. Cost is $30/permit for non-resident seniors ages 62 and over, adaptive and active military patrons.

Regular rate is $30/permit for Oakland County residents or $46/permit for non-residents.

The Parks Perks Pass is also available and valid at eight county parks and 13 Huron-Clinton Metroparks. Cost is $48.

The parks system offers trails for hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and equestrian use; lakes for boating, fishing and swimming; nature education opportunities at the Wint Nature Center; and more. Dogs and their owners will relish Lyon Oaks, Orion Oaks and Red Oaks off-leash dog parks.

Annual Vehicle Permits and Parks Perks Passes can be purchased at select permit sales locations; online at DestinationOakland.com; or by mail by completing a Vehicle Permit Form.

To view permit sales locations, or to print a mail-in Vehicle Permit Form, visit www.DestinationOakland.com.

Lake Erie license plate funding improves water quality

The Ohio Lake Erie Commission (OLEC) recently approved two new Lake Erie Protection Fund grant awards, which will help improve water quality and provide a direct benefit to Lake Erie and its tributary watersheds in Ohio.

The Lake Erie Protection Fund is supported by Ohioans through the purchase of the "Erie...Our Great Lake" license plates, which display either the Marblehead Lighthouse or the Toledo Harbor Lighthouse plate, as designed by noted Lake Erie artist Ben Richmond. $15 from the sale or renewal of each plate is invested in the Lake Erie Protection Fund grant program.

Ohioans have donated more than $9.3 million to the Lake Erie Protection Fund by purchasing or renewing a Lake Erie license plate each year.  Lake Erie license plates displayed on vehicles give Ohio's citizens the opportunity to personally help preserve and protect Lake Erie, according to Ed Hammett, executive director of the Ohio Lake Erie Commission.

Bowling Green State University (BGSU) will receive $11,770 to train U.S. Coast Guard personnel to perform water quality monitoring while conducting routine activities, particularly in the winter when other sampling programs are limited by weather conditions. Coast Guard personnel will be offered data collection training by BGSU to ensure that data meets "credible data standards" for the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency's water quality repository. The project is an opportunity to engage Coast Guard crew in scientific research and take advantage of financially efficient means of collecting samples on Lake Erie.

Lake County General Health District will receive $15,000 for a project entitled "Pharmaceutical Drug Collection and Disposal Program." Both prescription and non-prescription drugs are being found in the nation's waterways causing associated environmental concerns. Freestanding receptacles will be placed in Lake County law enforcement reception areas to collect prescription and non-prescription drugs that might otherwise be flushed into the wastewater stream or otherwise improperly disposed. Continuous collection locations will help reduce the contamination of surface waters, while providing convenient and secure collection sites for residents. The program will include an education and promotion plan to inform the public of the benefits of participating.

The Lake Erie Protection Fund was established to help finance research and implementation of projects aimed at protecting and preserving Lake Erie and its watershed.

The Ohio Lake Erie Commission was established for the purpose of preserving Lake Erie's natural resources, protecting the quality of its waters and ecosystem and promoting economic development in the region. The director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources serves as the commission's chairman. Additional members include the directors of the state departments of Transportation, Health, Development, Agriculture and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Industry Readies for Upbeat 48th National RV Trade Show

After the recession severely cut back the size and scope of the National RV Trade Show last year, preparations are under way for a larger and more widely attended 48th National RV Trade Show, taking place Nov. 30 – Dec. 2 at the Kentucky Exposition Center (KEC) in Louisville, Ky.

As of Sept. 19, 71 manufacturers and 230 suppliers have been assigned display space totaling more than 760,000 square feet for the event. At the 2009 National RV Trade Show, 70 manufacturers and 211 suppliers filled just over 604,000 square feet of space.

“We are very encouraged by the increase in exhibit space at this year’s show. It is another promising sign that the RV industry is on the road to recovery,” RVIA President Richard Coon said in a press release. “A large, well-attended National RV Trade Show will send a powerful message to consumers, the media, the financial markets, and our own industry about the health and outlook for the RV market.”

With RV wholesale shipments on the rise, there is a stronger sense of optimism as the industry looks ahead to the upcoming show.

“We’re certainly in a better position than we were last year with many reasons to be optimistic – shipments are rising, consumers love our products, and the long-term outlook remains positive,” said Coon. “I’m looking forward to a strong show that will further reinforce our industry’s recovery.”

The National RV Trade Show will kick off with RVIA’s popular all-industry market expansion showcase, Outlook 2011: A New Era Begins, taking place from 7 – 9 a.m. in the KEC South Wing Ballroom. The event will feature a complimentary breakfast for attendees and several informative and entertaining presentations. These will include:

Forging Our Future with Richard Coon sharing his thoughts on the important trends impacting the RV market and how RVIA is working to forge a bright future for the industry.

• Go RVing: Inspiration for a New Era with Go RVing co-chairs Bob Olson and Tom Stinnett joining RVIA’s Gary LaBella to introduce the new Go RVing Leads Plus program, report on the impact of the Ambassadors of Affordability campaign, and unveil new plans for 2011.

• RVIA Public Relations: A New Era of Possibilities with RVIA Public Relations Committee Chair B.J. Thompson and LaBella discussing tools and strategies to maximize the exposure of RVing in a changing media landscape and sharing some of the resulting high-impact publicity that’s helping stoke demand for RVs.

In addition to the 2011 RV product lines and latest RV accessories that will be on display, the show will also feature educational seminars led by popular industry experts and a series of hour-long proprietary seminars hosted by exhibitors chosen by lottery.

The show also offers attendees the opportunity to learn more about resources available to them. Industry members can visit the Go RVing booth to learn about the national advertising campaign and how to tie into it. For more information about RV technician education initiatives and certification, attendees can stop by the RVIA Education booth.

Final 2010 Wonder of Wildlife school coming to Missouri State Park Oct. 8-10

WOW is a National Outdoor Recreation and Conservation School that introduces families and individuals to a variety of outdoor activities including archery, camping, fishing, hunting, natural history, shooting sports, fly fishing, primitive skills, outdoor cooking, outdoor adventures and more family fun.

WOW teaches through hands-on learning experience in an outdoor setting attracting a wide range of ages, interests and abilities making it an affordable family outing with an educational experience.

The final WOW School for 2010 is coming up soon — Oct. 8-10 at Roaring River State Park. Click here for more information, including a catalog of WOW activities, registration form and Kids Camp registration form.

The WOW School is part of the Wonder Of Wildlife (WOW), whose mission is to educate, inform, and entertain visitors concerning the value of fish and wildlife, to help them appreciate our heritage of hunting, and fishing and to motivate their personal involvement in the conservation of our outdoor resources.

Wonder of Wildlife believes that successful conservation begins with education.

The organization's education department is in full swing, traveling across the state educating about conservation and wildlife. The education department provides many opportunities for families, schools and individuals to learn about conservation.

WOW museum and offices are located next to the Bass Pro Shops world headquarters in Springfield, Missouri. The offices are undergoing a dramatic transformation, set to be completed in 2011. Rob Keck, WOW board chairman, says the project will take the WOW Facilities from "an outstanding educational and entertaining facility into a world-class attraction."

According to the WOW website, the new museum will feature exhibits modeled after the great nocturnal exhibit at The Henry Doorly Zoo and the Rain Forest Exhibit at The Dallas World Aquarium. The new museum will also include some new surprises not found in any of the major aquariums. Many world-class exhibits and displays are planned for the museum including several interactive displays that will heighten the visitors’ experience. Many of these are aimed at entertaining and educating young visitors. Some of the displays and features include a flooded rain forest exhibit, shark and ray touch tanks, sturgeon touch pool, a large living coral tank, a bird aviary and a nocturnal swamp just to name a few. The Museum will increase in size from 126,100 to more than 200,000 square feet with many new exhibits. WOW is also planning a new Conservation Education Center for the WOW educational programs and WOLF school to provide a fun and educational space for young people in the Springfield Public School System.

Remarkably, the $25 million project has received private cash donations of over $24 million.

For more information, contact the Missouri Department of Natural Resources at 1-800-334-6946 or Wonders of Wildlife at 1-877-245-9453 or www.wondersofwildlife.org.

Preview of the Fall Camper & RV Show in Metro Detroit

Note: I wrote this article for the newspaper where I work. Also, this is my first attempt at an Internet video. Please be gentle. I hope to fix the narration audio in future video attempts, and maybe not make them as long as this one.

The 21st Annual Fall Detroit Camper & RV Show, which is Oct. 6-10 at the Rock Financial Showplace in Novi, is expected to draw thousands of people all looking for the same thing: to continue their love affair with RVing — or, if they're newbies, then they simply want to take a closer look at what this family- and budget-friendly activity is all about.

It's estimated that 10 percent of all pleasure travelers in Michigan are doing so with an RV and there are 30 million RVers in the United States. Ask them what they enjoy about RVing, and they'll tell you how RVs offer a fun and affordable way to vacation with the entire family. They experience comfortable and hassle-free vacations every time they travel—taking all the comforts and amenities of home with them. The RV lifestyle provides the freedom to go where you want, whenever you want.

Veteran RVers come to the Fall Detroit Camper & RV Show because they're either in the market to upgrade or to simply enjoy exploring so many RVs all in one place. And those newbies attending the show who are testing the RV waters are exactly where they need to be. The show will feature over 200 new recreation vehicles on display including folding campers, motorhomes, travel trailers, truck campers, park models and fifth wheel travel trailers. Prices range from folding campers (pop-ups) starting at $4,999; trailers from $8,999; and motorhomes from $49,999. Plus, manufacturer rebates will be available on select RVs and many dealers will feature bargain deals on 2010 year-end models.

Also at the show, which is sponsored by the Michigan Association of Recreation Vehicles and Campgrounds (MARVAC), will be dozens of booths featuring parts and accessories, campground information, on-site RV financing and RV rentals make this the complete RV show experience. In addition, at the show you can enter to win the Ultimate MIS Race Experience package from Michigan International Speedway. Includes tickets, camping and VIP access (valued at nearly $3,000).

Two local RV dealerships, A&S RV Center in Auburn Hills and General RV in Wixom — which also has several other locations in Michigan, Indiana, Utah and now Illinois — approach the fall RV show somewhat differently than the RV show in late winter/early spring.

"For the fall show we usually bring in bigger coaches, so we'll have bigger motor homes, bigger 5th wheels, bigger travel trailers, and we do that because a lot of the people buying at the fall show are buying for a full season's use down in Florida or in Texas or wherever they might want to go for a longer season," said Larry Andree of A&S RV Center.

Although the spring show, which is Feb. 16-20, 2011, is more geared toward families and RVs more suited for weekend trips, Andree quickly pointed out that the fall RV show will have a number of those types of campers as well.

"There will be a lot of smaller units here, a lot of family units and a lot of bunkhouse trailers," he said.

Dennis Anderson of General RV said his dealership also focuses on "couples coaches" for the fall show, but they, too, will be bring a wide selection of a variety of RVs.

"We'll be bringing really the whole gamut, across the board, from trailer trailers to 5th wheels to diesel pusher motor homes," Anderson said. "There's quite a few new floor plans an new products that have come out over the summer. In fact, the RV industry has really evolved quite a bit in the last year to two years."

Anderson said perhaps the biggest development to hit the RV industry in the last several years has been the advent of the ultra-lightweight travel trailers. This allows more SUVs, half-ton trucks and even some minivans to act as tow vehicles, plus it allows more features to be included on the camper, making them more functional. Flat screen televisions are the resulting space-saving cabinetry are another innovation, as are outdoor kitchens. Although not as recent, slideouts — in which sections of a wall "slide out" to create more interior living space — has been a huge evolution for the industry.

One of the RVs A&S RV Center will be bringing to the show is a 43-foot Ventana diesel pusher by Newmar, which features four slideouts. The yacht on wheels is fully equipped with full body paint, washer and dryer, satellite dish, tile floors, air conditioning and a whole host of other  high-end amenities. "It's about as deluxe a motor home as you can find," Andree said.

Both Andree and Anderson said their businesses have seen a dramatic improvement as people are starting to buy RVs again. It's a refreshing sign, especially since the RV industry's decline preceded the national recession, so it's rebound is seen as an indicator the downturn may soon be over. Nationwide, dealers are reporting a 48-percent overall increase over 2009 sales. This is pretty significant as it follows years of 9.5-percent, 33-percent and 30-percent decreases in the previous three years. And, through the first six months of 2010, the industry has shipped 136,000 units, which represents an increase of 87.1 percent from 2009.

"There's been a real swing in the industry," Anderson said. "Certainly two years ago we went through a very difficult time in the recreational vehicle industry as well as in the automotive industry here locally. But we've seen a tremendous upswing. Many of the manufacturers have opened all of their plants back up. They've hired all of their workers back. It's been a tremendous upswing in the recreational vehicle industry this year.

"Basically, what we feel is many people are looking at RVing as being a family friendly thing to do. And affordable thing to do, as opposed to hopping on an airplane and traveling across the country to stay in a condo somewhere or staying in a hotel. Frankly, with an RV, you have your hotel right in your driveway. And you know in an RV, you don't put your clothes in a suitcase, you put them in the closet in the RV, and a lot of people really like that idea."

The 21st Fall Detroit Camper & RV Show will be held at the Rock Financial Showplace and is open weekdays 2-9 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-9 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m.-6 p.m. The cost for adult admission (ages 13 and up) is $8; senior admission is $7; children ages 12 and under are admitted free! Your RV show ticket will also get into the Fall Remodeling & Design Expo in adjacent area, Thursday through Sunday.

Call 517-349-8881 or visit www.marvac.org for more information.

Fall Remodeling & Design Expo
Running simultaneously with the RV show at the Rock Financial Showplace is the Fall Remodeling & Design Expo, Oct. 7-10. One admission ticket will get you into both shows.

Anything and everything you need to remodel and design your home can be found under one roof. Browse exhibits in kitchen and bath interiors, windows and doors, flooring products, furniture, cabinetry and more. Talk to local home improvement specialists and designers to see the latest trends in indoor and outdoor design and get inspired.

A special “Green Lifestyles Area” will showcase the latest trends in incorporating the green lifestyle into your home. Special appearances will be made by “America’s Favorite Handyman” Glenn Haege, The Inside/Outside Guys and Murray Gula. Walk through a whimsical fall-themed home and garden scene, made entirely of balloons by the crew of Pabloon Balloon Company. Gleaners Food Bank of Southeast Michigan will be accepting nonperishable food and monetary donations at the show.

At the show, enter to win valuable giveaways, including:

· A Free Complete Roof  PLUS “Solar” Panel Package, which includes up to 2,000 square feet of shingles, lifetime workmanship warranty and a 1kw photovoltaic (solar) system connected to the energy grid, courtesy of Rapid Roofing. Two second place prizes of 2,000 square feet of shingles and 10 third place prizes of free insulation, gutter or shingle upgrades will be awarded. Total value for all prizes is $35,000.

· A deluxe 15-piece set of stainless steel cookware valued at $2,895 from Kitchen Craft by Americraft Cookware.

·  A full kitchen, stainless steel appliance giveaway, including an Energy Star refrigerator, dishwasher, stove and microwave by Whirlpool. Prize is awarded by Wholesale Builders Supply.

The Fall Remodeling & Design Expo, sponsored by the Building Industry Association of Southeastern Michigan, is open weekdays 2-9 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-9 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m.-6 p.m. The cost for adult admission (ages 13 and up) is $8; children ages 12 and under are admitted free! Seniors (ages 55 and over) are admitted for just $7. A coupon and more information is available at available on www.novihomeshow.com.

Deadline coming soon for Michigan RV association photo contest

UPDATE: And the winner is...
The RV & Campsite editorial team has chosen JudeAnn Baillod’s gorgeous photo of Black Lake as the winning photo (pictured at right).

The Michigan Association of Recreation Vehicles and Campgrounds (MARVAC) is holding a photo contest, with the winning entry to be featured in the 2011 edition of the organization's RV & Campsite magazine!

Share your camping and RV photos on MARVAC's Facebook page for a chance to get published in the 2011 RV & Campsite magazine and win four tickets to the 21st Annual Fall RV & Camper Show at the Rock Financial Showplace, Oct. 6-10, in Novi.

Guidelines: High quality, high resolution photos showing natural beauty, outdoor activities and sports, people around a campfire, a tourist attraction — you name it, as long as it portrays the RV lifestyle in a positive light. Photos must be taken in Michigan, but can be anything related to anything RVing and/or camping.

To submit a photo, go to MARVAC's Facebook page, and then to the space where you would write on their wall and click the little photo icon (located immediately to the right of "Attach:"). That will allow you to upload a photo to the page

MARVAC will choose the winner Sept. 27 and announce it on its Facebook page.

(That's my photo of the Tawas Point Lighthouse pictured above.)

Free entrance to these National Parks on Sept. 25

National Public Lands Day is the nation's largest hands-on volunteer effort to improve and enhance the public lands Americans enjoy. In 2009, 150,000 volunteers built trails and bridges, removed trash and invasive plants, planted trees and restored our water resources.
In celebration of National Public Lands Day, the following parks will waive their entrance fee on Saturday, Sept. 25

Free Entrance Days - Participating Parks (by state)

Casa Grande Ruins National Monument
Chiricahua National Monument
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
Grand Canyon National Park
Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Montezuma Castle National Monument
Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
Petrified Forest National Park
Pipe Spring National Monument
Saguaro National Park
Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument
Tonto National Monument
Tumacacori National Historical Park
Tuzigoot National Monument
Walnut Canyon National Monument
Wupatki National Monument

Fort Smith National Historic Site
Pea Ridge National Military Park

Cabrillo National Monument
Death Valley National Park
John Muir National Historic Site
Joshua Tree National Park
Lassen Volcanic National Park
Lava Beds National Monument
Muir Woods National Monument
Pinnacles National Monument
San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park
Sequoia National Park
Whiskeytown Unit National Recreation Area
Yosemite National Park

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
Colorado National Monument
Dinosaur National Monument
Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument
Great Sand Dunes NP & Preserve National Park
Hovenweep National Monument
Mesa Verde National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park

Canaveral National Seashore
Castillo de San Marcos National Monument
Dry Tortugas National Park
Everglades National Park
Gulf Islands National Seashore

Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area
Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park
Cumberland Island National Seashore
Fort Frederica National Monument
Fort Pulaski National Monument

Haleakalā National Park
Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park
Pu'uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park

Craters of the Moon National Monument
Yellowstone National Park

Jefferson National Expansion Memorial National Memorial

George Rogers Clark National Historical Park
Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial

Effigy Mounds National Monument

Fort Scott National Historic Site

Acadia National Park

Antietam National Battlefield
Assateague Island National Seashore
Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park
Fort McHenry NM and Historic Shrine National Monument
Fort Washington Park
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

Gulf Islands National Seashore

Adams National Historical Park
Cape Cod National Seashore
John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site
Longfellow National Historic Site

Isle Royale National Park
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Grand Portage National Monument
Pipestone National Monument

Vicksburg National Military Park

Harry S Truman National Historic Site
Jefferson National Expansion Memorial National Memorial
Wilson's Creek National Battlefield

Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area
Glacier National Park
Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument
Yellowstone National Park

Agate Fossil Beds National Monument
Scotts Bluff National Monument

Death Valley National Park
Lake Mead National Recreation Area

New Hampshire
Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site

New Jersey
Edison National Historic Site
Morristown National Historical Park

New Mexico
Aztec Ruins National Monument
Bandelier National Monument
Capulin Volcano National Monument
Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Chaco Culture National Historical Park
El Morro National Monument
Fort Union National Monument
Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument
Pecos National Historical Park
White Sands National Monument

New York
Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site
Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site
Martin Van Buren National Historic Site
Sagamore Hill National Historic Site
Saratoga National Historical Park
Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site
Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site

North Carolina
Wright Brothers National Memorial

North Dakota
Theodore Roosevelt National Park

James A. Garfield National Historic Site
Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial National Memorial

Fort Smith National Historic Site

Crater Lake National Park
Lewis & Clark National Historical Park

Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site
Fort Necessity National Battlefield
Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site
Johnstown Flood National Memorial
Steamtown National Historic Site
Valley Forge National Historical Park

Puerto Rico
San Juan National Historic Site

South Carolina
Fort Sumter National Monument

South Dakota
Badlands National Park
Jewel Cave National Monument

Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park
Shiloh National Military Park

Big Bend National Park
Fort Davis National Historic Site
Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Padre Island National Seashore

Arches National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park
Canyonlands National Park
Capitol Reef National Park
Cedar Breaks National Monument
Dinosaur National Monument
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
Golden Spike National Historic Site
Hovenweep National Monument
Natural Bridges National Monument
Zion National Park

Virgin Islands
Christiansted National Historic Site

Appomattox Court House National Historical Park
National Memorial
Assateague Island National Seashore
Colonial National Historical Park
George Washington Birthplace National Monument
George Washington Memorial Parkway's Great Falls Park
Manassas National Battlefield Park
Petersburg National Battlefield
Prince William Forest Park
Shenandoah National Park

Fort Vancouver National Historic Site
Lewis & Clark National Historical Park
Mount Rainier National Park
Olympic National Park
Whitman Mission National Historic Site

West Virginia
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area
Devils Tower National Monument
Fort Laramie National Historic Site
Grand Teton National Park
Yellowstone National Park

Life on Lake Erie' photo contest winners

Oak Harbor resident Stephanie Lehr received the overall favorite award in this year’s “Life On Lake Erie” Photo Contest for her image, “And the Beak Goes On,” which depicted two cute baby geese.  Lehr was recognized for her winning photo along with 10 other “favorites” by members of the Ohio Lake Erie Commission at their Sept. 22 meeting in Euclid.

The Ohio Lake Erie Commission sponsors the contest annually and encourages camera aficionados to submit images depicting what “Life on Lake Erie” means to them as they enjoy Ohio’s Great Lake year round. The photo contest, which drew more than 250 entries this year, is designed to capture the day-to-day lives of the people, plants and animals living and thriving in the Lake Erie watershed.

Winning photos are featured in the Commission’s Lake Erie Photo Gallery that tours Ohio’s north coast and will be exhibited at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Columbus headquarters in October, as well as other destinations along the shoreline in the coming months.

Other winning “favorites” included (click here to see their photos):
• Merle Weiss of Toledo for his picture, “Maumee Bay September Morn,” of a relaxing sunset on the Bay.
• Richard Hutman of Elyria for his picture, “Lakeview Park in Lorain,” of the grand entrance to East Beach.
• Jarrod Will of Westerville for his picture, “Roaring Waters of the Lake,” of waves roaring onto the Lake Erie shore.
• Mike Rosa of Lorain for his picture, “Lorain Municipal Pier,” of the Lorain Lighthouse taken at dusk.
• Linda Schneider of North Ridgeville for her picture, “Cedar Point in the Off Season,” of Cedar Point in the background along with a Lake Erie ice jam.
• Brian Sims of Port Clinton for his picture, “Make Waves,” of a colorful mallard duck in the water.
• Tom Greene of Dayton for his picture, “Harbor Lights,” of reflected lights on sailboats taken at night.
• Debra Atkins of Findlay for her picture, “Wintertime at Marblehead,” of the majestic Marblehead Lighthouse in the winter.
• Julie Oglesbee of Marblehead for her picture, “Stunning,” of a white gull, close up, resting.

The Ohio Lake Erie Commission was established for the purpose of preserving Lake Erie’s natural resources, protecting the quality of its waters and ecosystem, and promoting economic development in the region. The director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources serves as the commission’s chairman. Additional members include the directors of the state departments of Transportation, Health, Development, Agriculture and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

The Commission also oversees the Ohio Lake Erie Protection Fund, which is the source of grant money for projects that benefit the lake’s watershed economically and environmentally. The fund is supported by Ohioans who purchase a Lake Erie license plate displaying the Marblehead Lighthouse or Toledo Harbor Lighthouse designed by Ohio artist Ben Richmond.

11 Great Fall Color Drives in Wisconsin

Autumn in Wisconsin is all about the color … and getting out to see it. Here are eleven fall color driving tours guaranteed to put you in a front row seat for Mother Nature’s annual show. Of course, you can always design your own fall tour; from urban parks to colorful country roads, Wisconsin is loaded with Colorama opportunities this time of year. 

So, without further adue, and compliments of Travel Wisconsin, here are...

11 Classic Wisconsin Fall Drives


1. Marinette County’s Waterfall Tour is a scenic wonder in autumn; a series of 14 falls and cataracts linked in a 125-mile loop tour. See one or see ‘em all; make the trip as long or as short as you want. Half the falls are located in pleasant county parks with picturesque footbridges and practically-perfect picnic areas.

Marinette County boasts some of the finest whitewater paddling in the Midwest on the Pike, Peshtigo and Pemebonwon Rivers. They run fast and clear through pine and hardwood forests that light-up in autumn. Their tributaries offer 623 miles of excellent trout fishing.

Access the falls via Parkway Road on the west side of the county, or Hwy 141 on the east. Blue “waterfall tour” signs mark the route and help you find some of the more hidden – and lovely – falls. For online maps and driving instructions, visit therealnorth.com; or call 715-735-6681.

2. The Hayward Lakes Area in northwestern Wisconsin has developed six fall color tours ranging from 45-70 miles in Sawyer County. Most of the routes traverse portions of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, the Lac Courte Oreilles Indian Reservation, or the Blue Hills vibrant with color this time of year. Routes are well-marked with numbered signs that incorporate a distinctive leaf-design.

Hayward is one of Wisconsin’s prime vacation areas, so you’ll find plenty of resort accommodations and eateries, as well as world-class fall walleye and musky fishing. The 74-mile Tuscobia State Trail, popular with ATV riders, bisects Sawyer County and offers another fall tour option.

For online maps, driving instructions, and narratives for each of the tours, visit haywardlakes.com; or call 800-724-2992.

3. The Upper Mississippi River Valley is fantastic in fall; a broad ribbon of water shouldered by sandstone bluffs daubed in amber and rust. Follow Hwy 35 (the Great River Road) from Prescott to Potosi for 234 miles of charming river towns, antique shops, great cafes, and stunning bluff-top views.

Along the way, observation platforms allow you to watch river barges “lock through” at Lock & Dam No. 4 at Alma, No. 6 at Trempealeau, and No. 8 at Genoa. Enjoy three Wisconsin State Parks, a pair of Wisconsin Historical Society sites, terrific walleye and bass fishing, and some of the finest bird watching in the Midwest (they do, after all, call it the “Mississippi Flyway”).

For more information about Wisconsin’s Mississippi River towns, visit wigreatriverroad.org; or call 800-658-9480.

4. Protected by the warming waters of Lake Michigan, the hardwoods of Kewaunee and Door Counties make a colorful autumn drive. You can trace Hwy 42 north from Kewaunee to Gills Rock at the very tip of the Door County thumb (75 miles). On the return trip, follow Hwy 57 down the Lake Michigan side of the peninsula for the “other half” of the Door County experience.

Along the way, enjoy terrific bluff-top views of the lake, a set of four popular state parks (Potawatomi, Peninsula, Newport and Whitefish Dunes), seven picturesque lighthouses in as many charming towns, apple orchards to pick-a-peck, and a 20-minute ferry ride to Washington Island. The Door County peninsula is one of Wisconsin’s premier vacation destinations, so quality accommodations, restaurants, shopping and attractions are always close at hand.

For an online guide to Door County, visit doorcounty.com; or call 800-257-3529.

5. Fall colors frame the views along the Bayfield Peninsula tour. Start in Ashland at the Northern Great Lakes Visitors Center where a wonderful series of exhibits detail the area’s regional history and culture. 

Follow Hwy 13 and the Lake Superior shore north to Bayfield, a quaint harbor town with a great vacation vibe. Bayfield is also the gateway to the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore; 21 gem-like coastal islands and 12 miles of mainland that are home to six lighthouses, labyrinthine sea caves, terrific blue-water sailing, and some of the best sea kayaking in the world. You can take a ferry to Madeline Island where you can visit Big Bay State Park and a State Historical Society site.

North of Bayfield, Hwy 13 swings west paralleling Lake Superior’s southern shore for forty miles to the Brule River State Forest – 40,000 acres of whitewater canoeing, kayaking, camping and trout fishing.

For more online information visit bayfieldcounty.org; or call 800-472-6338.

6. The Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive is a 115-mile ramble through the riot of oak, maple and aspen fall color in the 50,000 acres of the southern and northern units of the Kettle Moraine State Forests.

The drive traverses six Wisconsin counties; from Whitewater Lake in Walworth County north to Elkhart Lake in Sheboygan County. The forests include much of the terminal moraine (where the last great glacier stopped 12,000 years ago) in south-central Wisconsin. There are many places to picnic, hike, camp, bike, swim and fish along the way.

Marked by distinctive green and white “Acorn” signs, the scenic drive ends near Greenbush and the Wade House – an 1844 stagecoach inn operated by the Wisconsin Historical Society. For online information about the Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive, visit www.wiparks.net; or call 262-594-6200.

7. Three of the state’s highest points can be found in central Wisconsin along the Hilltop Color Tour from Wausau to Ogema to Neillsville.

A 60-foot observation tower in Rib Mountain State Park near Wausau affords a breathtaking perspective of the Wisconsin River Valley below. The mountain, estimated at one billion years old, is one of the oldest geological features on the planet.

Timm’s Hill, near Ogema, is the highest point in Wisconsin – 1,939 feet above sea level. The peak is preserved in Timm’s Hill County Park. At its top, an observation tower rises an additional 60 feet for outstanding views of the surrounding forest.

The Highground near Neillsville occupies a ridge that overlooks colorful hillsides and glacial moraines. It is dedicated as a memorial park with many sculptural tributes to Wisconsin veterans.

For more online information, visit travelwisconsin.com; or call 800-372-2737.

8. For more than a century, vacationers have come to the Lake Geneva Area in every season. Autumn is particularly delightful here.

A trio of Wisconsin Rustic Roads (R-11, R-12 and R-36 totaling nearly 20 miles) accesses the Lyons State Wildlife Area just northeast of the city. They are easily accessed via Sheridan Springs Road and Spring Valley Road. These quiet country roads traverse glacial Kettle Moraine topography passing through large wooded areas of oak, maple and hickory, as well as old cranberry bogs and the tiny community of Lyons with its several quaint churches. Of course, the Lake Geneva area offers much more for the fall traveler. Enjoy fall color cruises on the lake, championship golf, spa retreats, boutique shopping, a full range of dining and lodging options – even a chance to see the giant telescope at the Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay.

For more online information, visit lakegenevawi.com; or call 800-345-1020.

9. The Black River State Forest lies just east of Black River Falls in west-central Wisconsin. Its 68,000 acres accesses some unique geology that makes it a great autumn outing. The forest lies in two lobes; the largest north of Interstate 94, and a smaller lobe to the south. The southern lobe includes Castle Mound. A hike to the top provides views of the former bed of glacial Lake Wisconsin, as well as the unglaciated buttes, sandstone hills and castellated bluffs that dot the fall forest landscape.

You can access the northern lobe of the forest via North Settlement Road (I-94 exit 128 at Millston). The road sweeps north ten miles to the Dike 7 Wildlife Area. Climb the observation tower there to see the autumn splendor, as well as sandhill cranes, geese, ducks, bobolinks, warblers, harriers, and bald eagles.

The forest also offers 98 family campsites, 27 miles of hiking trails, and 33 miles of mountain bike and ATV trails. As a bonus, the Black River Falls area is rich in cranberry bogs, turned red in autumn with the seasonal harvest.

For more online information, visit www.wiparks.net; or call 715-284-4103.


10. The Wisconsin River/Baraboo Hills Tour begins in Lodi and heads west on Hwy 113 for five miles to Cty V and Gibraltar Rock County Park (watch for the signs). The climb to the top is steep and not for the faint-of-heart, but the autumn views are truly spectacular. Two miles further on Hwy 113 and you’ll cross the Wisconsin River aboard the ColSac III carferry – it’s free. Hwy 113 then turns north and bisects Devil’s Lake State Park – one of Wisconsin most popular parks with terrific views of the fall color from the bluffs above the deep blue lake. Hwy 113 continues into Baraboo where the kids will love a stop at Circus World Museum.

For more fall foliage, follow Hwy 12 north seven miles to Fern Dell Road west to Mirror Lake State Park. From there the many amusements of Wisconsin Dells – including autumn boat tours through the carved sandstone bluffs of the Wisconsin River – are just minutes away.

For more online information, visit Baraboo.com; or call 800-227-2266.

11. The drive along Hwy 23 from Dodgeville to Spring Green is one of the most scenic in southwestern Wisconsin. This 18-mile stretch traverses the hardwood ridges and valleys of Wisconsin’s driftless area. Along the way you can visit of pair of Wisconsin state parks, as well as two of the state’s top tourism attractions. For additional autumn color adventure, take any of the intersecting roads that meander the coulees and echo their history – Norwegian Hollow Road, Hunter Hollow Road, or Percussion Rock Road.

Just outside Dodgeville, Governor Dodge State Park offers 5,000 acres of fun with 270 campsites, 28 miles of hiking trails and a scenic waterfall. Closer to Spring Green, The House on the Rock’s daring infinity Room features a 218-foot-long glass walkway that hangs over the autumn splendor of the Wyoming Valley, 156 feet below. Architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s Wisconsin home, Taliesin, is nearby as is Tower Hill State Park.

For more online information, visit springgreen.com; or call 800-588-2042

'Winnebago Man' documentary out on DVD

The outrageously funny, critically-acclaimed documentary "Winnebago Man" will be released on DVD by Kino International on Nov. 2. Following its much-publicized US theatrical release in over 100 markets, as well as Jack Rebney's national television debut as a guest on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Kino International is proud to announce the release on DVD of one of the most talked-about documentaries of the year. "Winnebago Man" will sell for  $29.95 (Suggested Retail Price).

Described by Michael Moore as "one of the funniest documentaries ever made," "Winnebago Man" has been praised by everyone from Roger Ebert ("Two Thumbs Up!") to People Magazine ("Bleeping Brilliant!"). The New Yorker describes "Winnebago Man" as "an intriguing meditation on character, celebrity and the filmmaking process itself," and the L.A. Times calls it "a full tank of irascible charm." Ben Steinbauer's directorial debut has been "certified fresh" by Rotten Tomatoes, with a ranking of 93 percent as of 9/15/10.

Exclusive DVD Special Features include:
— The Lost 1988 Winnebago Sales Video, featuring Jack Rebney
The completed 25-minute Winnebago industrial sales video, never seen before by the public, and included here in its entirety!

— NYC Theatrical Premiere - Featurette
Academy Award-Winning filmmaker Michael Moore and Emmy Award-Winner Jeff Garlin (Curb Your Enthusiasm) introduce the film, plus a Q&A with Jack Rebney & Filmmaker Ben Steinbauer. (16 minutes)

— Hidden Easter Eggs
Two deleted scenes, plus a special video message from Jack Rebney to the audience.

Street Date: November 2, 2010
SRP: $29.95
Run Time: 85 Minutes
Rating: Not Rated
Aspect Ratio: Widescreen 1.85:1
Sound: 5.1 Stereo Surround Sound Audio

"Winnebago Man" (2010)
Directed by Ben Steinbauer
Type "The Angriest Man in the World" into any search engine, and one name appears — Jack Rebney, a.k.a. "The Winnebago Man" — an '80s RV salesman, whose hilarious, profanity-strewn, on-the-job meltdown was captured on video and passed around on VHS tapes, before exploding into an Internet phenomenon seen by millions. When a young filmmaker sets out on the seemingly impossible task of tracking down Rebney, who disappeared 20 years before, he finds Rebney living alone on a mountain top, as sharp-tongued as ever, but more intelligent and lovable than anyone could have imagined. WINNEBAGO MAN is an outrageously funny look at viral culture and an unexpectedly redemptive tale of one man's response to unwanted celebrity.

Click here to see a trailer for the movie. WARNING: Extremely foul language.

About the original 1988 viral video that inspired the documentary
Following a two-week video shoot in August 1988, a 4-minute outtakes reel mysteriously surfaced, and came to be known as the "Winnebago Man." While the completed sales video was sent to Winnebago dealers to promote their 1989 Itasca Sunflyer motorhome, copies of outtakes began circulating amongst the crew and their friends on VHS tape and eventually spread amongst tape traders to become an underground phenomenon. In 2005, when the online video revolution took off, Jack Rebney became one of the first internet folk heroes. Today, the "Winnebago Man" clip has been seen by more than 20 million people, and has attracted a cult following in Hollywood. The "Winnebago Man" has been quoted in movies and on TV by everyone from Ben Affleck to Alec Baldwin to SpongeBob SquarePants, and earlier this year, Conan O'Brien named "Winnebago Man" as one of his all-time favorite videos on YouTube. There's even a painting of Jack Rebney — as Shrek — that hangs in offices of Dreamworks Animation.

Jack Rebney Today
After traveling to New York, LA and San Francisco for the theatrical openings of "Winnebago Man", the 80-year-old Rebney has returned to his mountaintop cabin, where he continues to live alone with his beloved pit bull, "Buddha." He would like audiences to know that he's very pleased with how the film turned out. "It's not War and Peace. It's not Doctor Zhivago," Rebney says, "But, it says something, that after seeing it, people come up to me and throw their arms around me and they're still laughing. People come up to me with tears in their eyes. It's not surprising, then, that I like the film. And I haven't liked anything in about 20 years." Rebney and the film's director, Ben Steinbauer, have become good friends and they speak on the phone almost every day.

Celebrate Public Lands Day by volunteering at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is celebrating National Public Lands Day (NPLD) on Saturday, Sept. 25, and inviting the public to help clean up the National Lakeshore’s beaches.

National Public Lands Day 2010 celebrates service and recreation on public lands and encourages volunteers to get outdoors to explore, enjoy and improve America's natural wonders.

Admission to all national parks, including the National Lakeshore, is free on National Public Lands Day. With that in mind, all are invited to join others in protecting the coastline by collecting and tallying all the trash found along the beach – plastic bags, balloons, cigarette butts, six-pack holders or any other refuse

National Public Lands Day is the largest volunteer hands-on activity of its kind in the country. Held in September each year, the event brings together thousands of individual and organizational volunteers to refurbish and restore the country’s public lands. These are the places Americans use for outdoor recreation, education, and just plain enjoyment. They encompass national parks, monuments, wildlife refuges, forests, grasslands, marine sanctuaries, lakes, and reservoirs managed by government agencies, but belonging to and enjoyed by all.

The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore beach cleanup coincides with the International Coastal Cleanup, which is sponsored by the Ocean Conservancy and takes place around the world every year.

Participants not only contribute to cleaner coastlines, but collect data from the debris they pick up. That data is then compiled and analyzed by the Ocean Conservancy, and locally by the Alliance for the Great Lakes, a nonprofit group concerned with the future of the Great Lakes.

The beach cleanup starts at noon and lasts until 3 p.m. Park Rangers will meet volunteers at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Visitor Center, located on M-72 in Empire.

Volunteers should bring water to drink, wear weather-appropriate clothes (held rain or shine), sunscreen or hat, and closed-toed shoes. Tools and other needed materials will be supplied.

Participating in NPLD activities again this year is a group of local paddlers who kayak and canoe the lower Platte River while collecting trash along the way. Lois Goldstein of Williamsburg has organized the spring and fall cleanups for the past four years because of her love of the National Lakeshore waterway. The paddlers start at the Platte River Picnic Area and take out at Platte Point.

As a token of the National Lakeshore’s appreciation, each volunteer will also receive a free, one-day pass good for entrance to any federal recreation land (national forest, national park site or wildlife refuge) before Sept. 24, 2011. Credit for three hours of community service will also be available, if interested.

For details, please call Susan Sanders at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore at 231- 326-5134, ext. 302. For more information about the park, visit www.nps.gov/slbe.

Fall colors beginning to show in Ohio

The relatively dry summer has created the opportunity for a great fall foliage season, which could peak during mid-October in northern Ohio and late October in southern parts of the state.

The drought and heat through part of July and all of August does seem to have some trees a little stressed out causing them to show hints of color in mid to late September. This will be noticed most in urban areas, where trees live a tougher life, and in lower lying areas where the trees are used to having access to more water. Otherwise, we will keep our fingers crossed that we get rain again in September and the temperatures continue cooling off in the evenings. If the weather in September cooperates, we should be on track for northern Ohio peaking in the first and second week of October, central Ohio peaking around second and third weeks, and then southern Ohio peaking through the fourth week. Sunny days with cool nights, minus an early frost, will make for a stunning fall foliage season. Consistent rainfall will also help October color to peak at its best.

Poison Ivy, Virginia Creeper, and Buckeyes are expected to start the color display at the end of September with bright reds and golds, respectively.

To help Ohioans plan seasonal outings and enjoy the fall color that will radiate through Ohio’s 100 plus tree species, ODNR will post weekly fall color updates at http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/tabid/9584/default.aspx. The reports will begin September 22 and run through the first week on November.

The ODNR web site will serve as a premier guide to Ohio’s fall color season. Its pages provide information for travelers who want to map a scenic road trip, adventurers who are refreshed and energized by the cool autumn weather, vacationers who seek places of solace to enjoy the changing seasons and even the students who need a resource for leaf collection projects.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR web site at www.ohiodnr.com.

Indulge your sense in the spices of autumn at The Henry Ford's Fall Flavor Weekends

Celebrate the sensations of fall with three weekends full of the sights, smells and flavors of the autumn harvest during The Henry Ford’s Fall Flavor Weekends, Sept. 18-19 and 24-26 and Oct. 2-3. Between seasonally-inspired cooking demonstrations, delectable dinners, farmer’s markets and wine and beer tastings, there will be something to delight food lovers of all stripes at this beloved institution in Dearborn, Michigan.

For more information, including event details and pricing, call (313) 982-6001 or visit thehenryford.org/food.

All over Greenfield Village, visitors will be treated to a bevy of special food-focused activities and experiences. Enjoy daily cooking demonstrations in our historic homes, featuring different seasonally-inspired recipes each weekend, all specific to each home’s region and time period.

Each day during Fall Flavor Weekends, from 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m., taste some of the best of Michigan’s autumnal offerings during product samplings at the Village Store. And every Sunday, join The Henry Ford’s executive Chef Nick in the Village Pavilion for a cooking demonstration of more modern gourmet autumn-inspired treats, using locally-sourced ingredients.

Take the richness of the local harvest home with you during our Fall Farmer’s Market, September 25 and October 2 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Meet dozens of Michigan growers and producers – including Greenfield Village’s Herb Society, with seasonal creations straight from the gardens and fields of The Henry Ford – who will be selling everything from vegetables and meat to bread and honey in the Village Pavilion.

Several special events are also in store during Fall Flavor Weekends, including:

— Ferment, a special beer, wine, cider and food sampling event September 18 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Meet some of Michigan’s best beverage crafters and taste a selection of delicious drinks specially paired with locally-produced hors d’oeuvres. Entry is free with admission to Greenfield Village or membership; to sample food and beverages, tickets are $1 each and can be purchased at the Village Pavilion entrance.

— Our first annual Fall Local Roots Oktoberfest Evening Dining event, September 24 at 6:30 p.m. From bratwurst and weisswurst to potato pancakes and apple kraut – all prepared using Michigan ingredients – indulge in these hearty and comforting flavors brought to America by German immigrants. Tickets are $65 per person and including dinner and entertainment by the Deutschmeister Band.

About The Henry Ford 
The Henry Ford, in Dearborn, Michigan, is the world’s premier history destination and a National Historic Landmark that celebrates American history and innovation. Its mission is to provide unique educational experiences based on authentic objects, stories and lives from America’s traditions of ingenuity, resourcefulness and innovation. Its purpose is to inspire people to learn from these traditions to help shape a better future.

Five distinct attractions at The Henry Ford captivate more than 1.6 million visitors annually: Henry Ford Museum, Greenfield Village, The Ford Rouge Factory Tour, The Benson Ford Research Center and The Henry Ford IMAX Theatre. The Henry Ford is also home to Henry Ford Academy, a public charter high school which educates 485 students a year on the institution’s campus and was founded in partnership with The Henry Ford, Ford Motor Company and Wayne County Public Schools.

For more information please visit our website thehenryford.org.

RV Sales Rebounding - CNBC.com

RV Sales Rebounding - CNBC.com

More good news from the Pennsylvania RV show about the comeback of the RV industry.

Pure Michigan cancels Fall advertising due to budget cuts

The following news out of Michigan is terrible for that state's tourism industry.

The Pure Michigan campaign, which has won dozens of awards, features Tim Allen's voice narrating spectacular Michigan scenes beckoning visitors to the Great Lakes State. It has been remarkably successful; the 2009 regional campaign alone attracted 1.3 million out-of-state visitors to Michigan last summer, visitors who spent $338 million at Michigan businesses.

But, for the first time since 2005, Pure Michigan will not be making this regional appeal due to the budget axe. Officials said the 2010 national marketing campaign was maintained, but at the expense of the 2010 fall regional campaign.

According to a press release, Travel Michigan has cancelled the 2010 Pure Michigan fall advertising campaign. The Pure Michigan promotion budget for 2010 is $17 million, down 37 percent from $28 million in 2009. To maintain a second year of national cable television advertising for spring/summer, regional advertising was dramatically reduced. This includes all fall advertising in markets like Chicago. This is the first time since 2005 that Michigan tourism will not have a presence with fall advertising. Travel Michigan spent $1.7 million on fall advertising in 2009.

Travel Michigan, a division of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, is the State of Michigan's official agency for the promotion of tourism. Travel Michigan markets the state's tourism industry and provides visitor information services.

"Cancelling the fall campaign was not something we wanted to do, but there was no other choice. It is a major blow to Michigan's tourism-related businesses and will result in the loss of revenue at tourism businesses as well as reduced state tax collections," said George Zimmermann, vice president of Travel Michigan, a business unit of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

"We had difficult decisions to make because (of) the reduced budget. On the advice of our advertising agency, McCann Erickson, we decided maintaining the momentum of the national campaign was the top priority for 2010," Zimmermann added.

Travel Michigan's 2009 Pure Michigan advertising campaign delivered a significant return on investment (ROI), according to a study conducted by Longwoods International, a research firm specializing in tourism advertising return on investment.

According to the study, the first-ever national Pure Michigan advertising campaign motivated 680,000 new trips to Michigan from outside the Great Lakes region. Those visitors spent $250 million at Michigan businesses last summer as a direct result of the Travel Michigan advertising program. In addition, these new out-of-state visitors paid $17.5 million in state taxes while in Michigan, yielding a $2.23 return on investment for the tourism advertising.

In addition, the study also determined the effectiveness of the campaign on the regional level. Longwoods International assessed the impact of the 2009 Pure Michigan summer advertising on the residents of the Chicago, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, St. Louis, Milwaukee, and Ontario, Canada markets. The regional campaign attracted 1.3 million out-of-state visitors to Michigan last summer, visitors who spent $338 million at Michigan businesses. The Pure Michigan campaign was able to improve its regional return on investment from $2.86 since 2004 to $5.34 in 2009.

Michigan's tourism industry is a vital component of the economy. Visitors to the state spend $15.1 billion annually traveling in Michigan, generating $850 million in state taxes and supporting 142,500 jobs for Michigan residents.

I understand the need to cut government spending. And I understand that, especially in the private sector, businesses usually cut their marketing budgets first. When you're bleeding money the way Michigan has been the last several years, every government program, department, agency and project is susceptible to cuts — as they should be.

But I do have a couple of beefs: Why eliminate the fall campaign completely? Why not cut it in half? Or even cut it by 75 percent. I'm sure the television and radio stations will not be happy with that lost revenue, so they would be willing to entertain reduced rates, reduced frequency — anything, just so long as they can get some of that revenue.

Another beef: Where are the other cuts? I sincerely doubt all government spending is reduced to the absolute minimum requirements in all areas. A few years ago Gov. Jennifer Granholm and the state Legislature were deadlocked over passing a balanced budget. Granholm, in a televised speech, insisted she had cut everything to the bare bones. Guess what, her "cuts" were merely to the INCREASES she had in her proposed budget. So, instead of a program receiving an 8-percent increase, she cut it so that it was "only" receiving a 3-percent increase. That's a fact.

I'm sorry to get political in this venue. This blog is meant to enlighten and entertain. But the momentum gained over the last few years with the Pure Michigan campaign will at the very least be slowed to a crawl with this hiatus. Worst case scenario is Pure Michigan will forever lose ground in the competition to attract tourists.

Pure Michigan is one of the few things in Lansing that works, but unfortunately it looks like the rest of Michigan's problems has finally ran it down.

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services now hiring!

When we're camping, we're typically outside most of the time, whether it's hiking, biking, swimming or simply taking a leisurely stroll around the campground. We go inside the camper only when necessary, because the whole idea of camping is being outdoors and enjoying nature.


One of other things we love about camping is the wildlife. Except for ground moles tearing up my yard back home, we're pretty much at peace with critters running around. Oh, and mosquitos. Don't care for them either. But other than those two things, we love animals!


As fellow RVers, I'm sure most of you agree with this.


Wouldn't it be nice to find a job that combines the outdoors with wildlife? 


Guess what, there is!


Guess what again, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is hiring!

Are you ready to join thousands of people just like you who have discovered the joy of working for wildlife? If so, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service offers you unparalleled experiences to conserve the nature of America on some of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring lands in our nation.  


From Alaska’s tundra to Maine’s rocky coastline, from the desert southwest to the prairies, our national wildlife refuges, fish hatcheries, wildlife management areas, ecological services field stations, and law enforcement offices offer opportunities for everyone to shape their future while working for conservation. 

And, of course, a job with the federal government also means a great benefits package! 

Click here to learn more about a job with the USFWS.

Click here to see a video on a day in the life of a U.S. Fish and Wildlife employee. 

Click here to see a video on meeting your new boss (hint: they have paws and/or scales) as a U.S. Fish and Wildlife employee.

Click here to apply for a job with the USFWS now.

40 Things to Do While Fall Camping in Michigan

Autumn in Michigan lasts about six weeks — just 40 or so days (and that’s if you’re actually moving with the colors, from north to south). One of the best ways to enjoy the fall season is to get out and enjoy one of Michigan’s purest activities — camping. Setting up the RV or camper or pitching the tent is just part of the fun of this quiet get-away.

There are dozens of things to do during the autumn season while camping such as:

1. Visit a farm market or u-pick orchard and discover Michigan’s harvest bounty.

2. Get out on the river for a paddling adventure. (www.michigancanoe.com)

3. Take in a round of golf, where the rates, crowds, temperatures and bugs are all lower.

4. Pedal along some of the miles and miles of linear bike trails that meander the countryside and
through small towns. Or, participate in one of the state’s biking events. (www.lmb.org)

5. Hike the backwoods trails and enjoy the quiet tranquility of the season.

6. Take a fall color tour along one of Michigan’s noted historic routes, like the M119 “Tunnel of Trees”
north of Harbor Springs to Cross Village, the US12 “Sauk Trail” which runs from New Buffalo to
Detroit or the US23 Heritage Route along the sunrise side. (Michigan Heritage Routes)

7. Bundle up for a brisk walk along the beach and watch the waves crash in along the shore.

8. Go for a horseback ride on one of the state’s equestrian trails or at a local stable.

9. Do some taste testing at one of Michigan’s 75+ wineries or 75+ craft breweries.
(www.michiganwines.com | www.michiganbrewersguild.org)

10. Take your kids to a corn maze or haunted house.

11. Set sail aboard one of the many tall ships that call the Great Lakes’ waters home.

12. See Michigan from a different perspective, with a ride in a hot air balloon, airplane or glider.

13. Visit one of the historic lighthouses that guard the Michigan shoreline. (www.gllka.com)

14. Take the family to a football game, or gather teams for a game of touch ball in the local park.

15. Seek out one of the dozen-plus covered bridges that can be found along Michigan’s backroads.
(Michigan Bridges)

16. Enjoy the fall beauty at a public garden or nature center where the autumn colors are in full view.

17. Make plans with your fellow campers to create a community garden in the spring — by prepping the space this fall.

18. Visit a local library or bookstore in search of titles by Michigan authors, in preparation for your
winter hibernation.

19. Take your adventures to the digital level – by geocaching for treasures, technologically. (www.migeocaching.org)

20. Practice your picture taking skills, then enter your photos in one of the many contests being offered
by chambers, visitor bureaus and even Travel Michigan. (http://puremichiganphotoclub.com)

21. Bake a pie or other tasty desert with fresh Michigan fruit. (Michigan Recipes)

22. Cast a line in a river or lake in search of the “big one.” (www.michigancharterboats.com |

23. Take in a sunrise on Lake Huron or a sunset on Lake Michigan.
(www.visitmichiganssunriseside.com | www.wmta.org)

24. Cast a line take a fall fishing excursion on one of the rivers, streams or lakes.

25. Seek out an area restaurant supporting the “farm to table” concept for a mouth-watering meal.

26. Try your hand at surfing – one of the hottest new activities on Lake Michigan.

27. Start a leaf collection – just like in school – and marvel at the colors.

28. Map a course through one of Michigan’s hundreds of “ghost towns” including Fayette, Fallasburg,
Singapore and Pere Cheney. (Ghost towns of Michigan)

29. Hop aboard your motorcycle and tour around the winding backroads around the state.

30. Look for “roadside attractions” such as Paul Bunyon, the Cross in the Woods or the giant Uniroyal
Tire near Detroit. (www.roadsideamerica.com/location/mi)

31. Enjoy the end of the season at a drive-in theater or restaurant, cuddled up under a blanket.

32. Research your family tree, by visiting area libraries and cemeteries.

33. Visit one of the 84 waterfalls in the Upper Peninsula, which are beautifully flanked by a
kaleidoscope of trees. (http://www.uptravel.com/waterfalls-of-the-u.p.-59/)

34. Create a family scrapbook of your Pure Michigan adventures from the summer of 2010.

35. Take a late-season ride along the Lake Michigan sand dunes – out of Saugatuck or Silver Lake.

36. Attend one of the many fall festivals and events being planned around the state – from art events to
harvest celebrations and car shows to historical reenactments, there’s something for everyone.

37. Scout out your fall hunting spot, and dream of bagging that big buck!

38. Make plans to try Michigan camping in the winter — where a whole new line-up of activities are
waiting to be explored.

39. Do a bit of pre-holiday shopping and enjoy post summer deals at hundreds of quaint shops and
galleries around Michigan.

40. Become a fan of Michigan Campgrounds on Facebook: www.facebook.com/michcampgrounds
No matter how you enjoy autumn, there’s a Michigan campground waiting for you to pitch a tent or pull in your camper or RV for a fall camping get-away. A list of more than 200+ campgrounds is available online at www.MichCampgrounds.com.

Kentucky State Parks celebrating National Public Lands Day with wide range of volunteer opportunities, activities

The Kentucky State Parks will be participating in National Public Lands Day on Sept. 25, a day set aside to recognize the importance of parks and encourage volunteer work.

National Public Lands Day began in 1994 with three federal agencies and 700 volunteers. Last year, some 150,000 volunteers worked in 2,000 locations in every state. The purpose of this day is to keep the promise of the Civilian Conservation Corps alive and to preserve and protect America’s natural heritage.

During last year’s celebration, volunteers across the country removed an estimated 900,000 pounds of trash, collected an estimated 20,000 pounds of invasive plants, built and maintained an estimated 1,320 miles of trails and planted an estimated 100,000 trees, shrubs and native plants.

Gov. Steve Beshear issued a proclamation for National Public Lands Day, noting that public lands such as state parks “provide locally accessible natural and cultural resources for environmental learning, wildlife appreciation and recreation.”

For more information about national Public Lands Day and events being held throughout Kentucky and other states, visit www.publiclandsday.org. For information about Kentucky State Parks, visit www.parks.ky.gov.

Here is a listing of Kentucky State Park events for Public Lands Day. All are on Saturday, Sept. 25, unless otherwise noted. Call the park for details. All times are local.

Barren River Lake State Resort Park, Lucas
Sept. 18 • 23rd Annual Trashmaster’s Classic Lakeshore Cleanup
Come celebrate, have fun and make a difference in your community by picking up trash along the Barren River Lake shoreline.  This annual event brings hundreds of volunteers to the area to remove trash and debris from the shoreline of the lake.  Volunteers are to meet at the following Barren River Lake ramp locations at 8 a.m. CDT:  Bailey’s Point, Walnut Creek, Narrows, State Park, Beaver Creek and Peninsula.  Trash pick up will continue until noon.  Litter bags are provided; however, it is recommended that you bring gloves.

Following the trash pickup, volunteers will meet at the beach at Barren River Lake State Resort Park and will be treated to a free lunch, live entertainment and the opportunity to win door prizes.  Shane Holinde with WBKO-Channel 13 will once again serve as the emcee of the activity. Exhibits by event sponsors the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Barren River Lake State Resort Park, WBKO-Channel 13, the Friends of Barren River Lake and the Sierra Club will be available.

For more information contact Lisa Deavers at 270-646-2151, ext 2415, or by e-mail at lisa.deavers@ky.gov.  For more information on volunteer opportunities or to register a group to volunteer, call 270-646-2055.

Barren River Lake State Resort Park
Sept. 25
Celebrate National Public Lands Day at Barren River on Sept. 25. The day will begin at 9 a.m. with a Leave No Trace (LNT) awareness workshop. Visitors can then choose how they would like to enjoy the park.  You can take to the water on our canoe outing beginning at 10 a.m. Paddle the shoreline around the park. Learn about the history of the area and enjoy a box lunch provided by the park.  The fee is $25 per person and pre-registration is required (space is limited).  If you are more of a land lover, there are two different options for you. Volunteers are needed to work on the new Peter's Creek nature trail beginning at 10 a.m. Water and snacks provided.  Please register to volunteer. The last activity will be a nature hike and cleanup at 5 p.m. — preregistration is not required.  Meet at the Louie B. Nunn Lodge at the start time of each activity.  For more information, contact Lisa Deavers at 270-646-2151 or lisa.deavers@ky.gov

Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park, Mount Olivet
Sept. 25
National Public Lands Day is the nation's largest hands-on volunteer effort to improve and enhance the public lands Americans enjoy. Volunteers have built trails and bridges, planted trees and plants, and removed trash and invasive plants. Volunteers will receive a free Blue Licks T-Shirt, free lunch at Hidden Waters Restaurant and gift shop discount. Register by Sept. 14 by calling Paul Tierney at 800-443-7008.

Buckhorn Lake State Resort Park, Buckhorn
Sept. 25
Although geared to scout groups, any child or adult is welcome to participate in National Public Lands Day at Buckhorn Lake State Resort Park. There will be a mini-lake cleanup, sessions on “Leave No Trace” and “Project Learning Tree” and tree plantings. Activities will take place from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. with registration at 8:30 a.m. Volunteers should dress appropriately for being outside. Garbage bags and gloves will be provided during the cleanup. Contact Sue Thomas at 606-398-7510 for information.

Columbus-Belmont State Park, Columbus
Sept. 25
Volunteers will work on trails and plant fall flowers. Contact Cindy Lynch, 270-677-2327.

Cumberland Falls State Resort Park, Corbin
Sept. 25
The park will host a cleanup day. Volunteers will pick up trash on the river bank around the falls area. Bags will be provided.  Please register at the visitor center at 9 a.m.  Clean-up will end at 12 noon.  For information, call 1-800-325-0063.

Dale Hollow Lake State Resort Park
Sept. 25 • Help a Trail Day 
Hikers, horseback riders, mountain bikers, scouts, students and any other members of the public who want to volunteer to help improve a trail system can help out Dale Hollow Lake State Resort Park. The park invites you to help on National Public Lands Day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you can’t stay the whole time, the park appreciates any time you could spare to help. Volunteers should wear comfortable clothing and bring bug spray, sunscreen, work gloves and friends. Contact Jamie Avery at (270) 433-7431 or jamie.avery@ky.gov for more information.

E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park, Louisville
Sept. 25
For National Public Lands Day, E. P. Tom Sawyer State Park plans to do something a little different. Children can explore the fantasy world of their imagination while learning the importance of caring for and utilizing their public lands. This program is for children ages 3 to 10. Park staff plan to open the gates to the magical world in the park in order to invigorate childhood in the outdoors. There will be fantasy land home building, face painting, fairytale story-time, a nature hike and other fantasy crafts. Through these programs, children will learn all that public lands can offer to the imagination. Children are encouraged to wear their favorite fantasy character costume, which can get a little dirty. Meet at Picnic Grove across from the archery range. This program is free to the public. Contact Jessica Evans at 502-429-7270.

General Butler State Resort Park, Carrollton
Sept. 25
Volunteers can help plant trees, clean up trails, remove weeds and construct stone wall for a water shed project. Contact Evelyn Welch at 502-732-4384.

Greenbo Lake State Resort Park, Greenup
Sept. 25
Volunteers can remove trash from along lake shore and hiking trails. Volunteers interested in helping will meet at the Greenbo Boat Dock at 9:30 a.m. Contact Paul Verespy at 606-473-7324.

Jenny Wiley State Resort Park, Prestonsburg
Sept. 25
Come join the staff at Jenny Wiley State Resort Park as we celebrate the nation’s largest hands-on volunteer effort to improve America’s public lands, National Public Lands Day.  Volunteers will focus on trail cleanup, playground maintenance and road side cleanup. National Public Lands Day work will run from 1-5 p.m. You will be able to sign up as a Kentucky State Park volunteer and join the hundreds of volunteers already making a difference.  Volunteers will need to wear comfortable clothing and shoes, and don’t forget to register early by contacting Park Naturalist Trinity Shepherd at (606) 889-1790 or tshepherd@suddenlinkmail.com.  There will be a free cookout for the volunteers.

John James Audubon State Park, Henderson
Sept. 25 • The Special Birds of Audubon Park
Sharon Sorenson, a columnist with the Evansville Courier and Press, will talk about the common permanent and migrant residents who live in Audubon State Park. She will crack the popular birds’ avian secrets and share her insights into their lives. Event is from 2-3 p.m. and is free. For information, contact Julie McDonald at (270) 826-2247 or juliea.mcdonald@ky.gov

Kenlake State Resort Park, Aurora
Sept. 25
Celebrate National Public Lands Day at Kenlake State Resort Park from 9-11 a.m. Volunteers will plant flowers for the fall. A cookout with hot dogs and hamburgers will be held for volunteers at 11 a.m. at the golf course pavilion.
Lake Cumberland State Resort Park, Jamestown
Burnside Island State Park, Burnside

Sept. 18 • 20th Annual Cumberland Cleanup
You are invited to roll up your sleeves, lace up your boots and put on your work gloves to take part in the 20th Annual Lake Cumberland Cleanup.  The cleanup is held 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at locations all over the lake in an effort to remove trash, tires, appliances and other items from the shoreline of Lake Cumberland.  Gloves and garbage bags will be furnished. Appreciation Picnic with free food and prizes at 3 p.m. EDT. at Burnside Island State Park; 3 p.m. CDT at Lake Cumberland State Park.  For more information, contact the Friends of Lake Cumberland President Steve Syphax at (606) 679-3680.

Natural Bridge State Resort Park, Slade
Sept. 25 • Pulling Together at Natural Bridge
One of the biggest threats to our public lands is the spread of non-native plants. These invasive plants drastically reduce native plant diversity, which in turn reduces animal diversity. Come out and give your public lands a hand by helping the naturalist staff pull and cut some of the worst invaders at the park. Starts at 9 a.m. and ends at 11:30 a.m. (or whenever you get tired). Meet in the Hemlock Lodge lobby. Please bring work gloves and wear long pants. There is no cost for participation, but pre-registration is required. Contact Brian Gasdorf at brian.gasdorf@ky.gov to pre-register or for more information.

Nolin Lake State Park, Bee Spring
Oct. 2 • Lakeshore Cleanup Campaign
This cleanup day offers an opportunity for the whole family to volunteer, make a difference on Nolin Lake and enjoy and promote environmental stewardship in the community. Participants can show up at Moutardier Ramp, Wax Ramp, Dog Creek Ramp or Nolin Lake State Park Ramp at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 2 and help keep Nolin River Lake beautiful.  Bring your pontoon to help transport volunteers along the lakeshore.  After the cleanup there will be a volunteer appreciation event at Wax that includes music, food and prizes. For information, call (270)286-4511.

Old Mulkey Meetinghouse State Historic Site, Tompkinsville
Sept. 25
Let’s Paint the Park! The new dumpster enclosures, as well as picnic tables and grills, will get a fresh coat of paint. For information, call Sheila Rush, 270-487-8481.

Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park, Dawson Springs
Sept. 24-25
Come show your support for public lands at Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park’s National Public Land’s Day! Volunteers of all ages and abilities will help park workers revitalize the park. All registered volunteers will receive a free continental breakfast in the campground, as well as free camping on Sept. 24 and 25, 2010. Volunteers must sign up with a team. Teams will be given varying tasks that may include picking up litter, beach cleanup and trail maintenance. A meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Sept. 24th that all team leaders must attend. Teams must register by Sept. 21. To register contact Becky Clark at (270) 797-3421 or rebeccae.clark@ky.gov.
Rough River Dam State Resort Park, Falls of Rough
Sept. 25 • Cache In; Trash Out Geocaching Event
Celebrate National Public Lands Day with us as we clean up the park with the fun sport of Geocaching! Not familiar with this? Don’t worry; we will teach the basics and you’ll be hooked! Think of it as a scavenger hunt with a hand held GPS system. Bring your own, and if you do not have one, we will have a limited number to loan out or you can tag along with others. Geocachers are always willing to share and spread the knowledge of this fast-growing outdoor sport! We will begin at 9 a.m. with a GPS-Geocaching learning session, for those who are new to the sport, and then begin caching at 10 a.m. Call Sheila Jones, recreation supervisor, for more information or to sign up. The park must have a minimum of 15 participants to make the event successful! 1-800-325-1713. Visit www.geocaching.com to learn more about the sport!

Taylorsville Lake State Park, Taylorsville
Sept. 25 • Taylorsville Lake Clean Sweep
Taylorsville Lake State Park, in conjunction with the Taylorsville Lake Conservation Association, is holding the 11th annual Taylorsville Lake Clean Sweep in observance of National Public Lands Day on Saturday, Sept. 25, from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.  The goal is to protect the natural beauty and quality of life in the Salt River Basin through environmental improvement efforts.  All volunteers are welcome!  To volunteer, call 502-477-8882 or the park at 502-477-8713.  Meet at the Taylorsville Lake State Park picnic shelter at Possum Ridge. Volunteers should wear old clothes, work gloves and sturdy shoes.  Volunteers will be provided a free lunch, prizes and a cleaner lake!
Wickliffe Mounds State Historic Site, Wickliffe
Sept. 25
Check-in begins at 9 a.m. (CDT). Service projects include: trails, buildings, picnic area, interpretive plant maintenance and highway frontage clean up.  In the afternoon, a special presentation will be offered on the archaeological significance and history of the park. Free museum admission for volunteers. For more information or to sign up for the cleanup event, please call the park office at (270)335-3681 or wickliffemounds@ky.gov