Virginia state parks will host the annual Opt Outside Event in conjunction a statewide campaign encouraging people to spend time outdoors .
The campaign encourages everyone to take a break from indoor activities and opt to spend time outdoors instead and runs from Nov. 24 through Nov. 26 at all Virginia state park locations.
Park guests of all ages can indulge in self-guided and ranger-led activities that often lead to lasting memories. Park officials are encouraging people to hike, bike or star watch and experience the beauty of nature while enjoying a wonderful experience at one of Virginia’s 42 state parks.
Among the upcoming activities is a nature journaling event at Twin Lakes; self-guided trail tours at Mason Neck; Jr. Ranger activities at Seven Bends, Kiptopeke, and Smith Mountain Lake; archery with park rangers at Pocahontas; an owl prowl at Machicomoco; and a fairy stone hunt and workshop at Fairy Stone State Park.
From 12-1 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, participants can learn the legend behind the naturally occurring stone cross formations, and travel to the special location at Fairy Stone Park to search for the elusive “fairy stone.”
After a short presentation on what you will be looking for, participants will be shown to the site. You’ll need to drive your own vehicle to the hunt site.
From 2-3 p.m. Friday and Saturday, participants can learn some of the trade secrets of what it takes to create the perfect “fairy stone.” By practicing a few tricks of the trade, you can turn your newly found stone into a work of art. This event takes place at Shelter #4 at the park.
From 4-5 p.m. Friday you can learn about nature’s invaders and what pretty flowers you might see competing with native plants for nutrients. You’ll also find out how you can help ensure that plants, bugs, birds and people benefit from native species. This event also takes place at Shelter #4.
From 4-5 p.m. Saturday, you can learn what happens next after a tree falls in the forest, what fungus has to do with trees, and why mushrooms are to be loved. The event will be held at Shelter #4.
On Sunday from 12-1 p.m. you can hit the trail with one of the rangers to see which birds of Fairy Stone State Park are hiding in plain sight along Oak Hickory Trail and identify birds by sight and the song that they sing.
Finally, from 3-4 p.m. Sunday, you can join an interpreter to learn about the legend of the “fairy stone” and about the fairies that used to live at Fairy Stone State Park. Also, you’ll see how to build a fairy house or gnome home from natural materials.
Fairy Stone State Park is located in Patrick County and is the largest of the original six state parks that opened on June 15, 1936, and is home to the mysterious “fairy stones,” or staurolite.
Source: Martins Ville Bulletin