National Park Service to Conduct Walks for Wildflower Discovery Weekend May 2 and 3

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News Release Date: April 23, 2014
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The Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area will be conducting a series of wildflower and birding guided walks as part of the McCreary County, Kentucky, Tourism Commission's Wildflower Discovery Weekend.  A number of state and federal agencies as well as volunteers will be working with the McCreary County Tourism Commission to provide a series of talks and walks around the county on Friday, May 2, and Saturday, May 3.  Pre-registration is required and group size is limited.

The Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area and the Daniel Boone National Forest will be conducting wildflower walks at Yahoo Falls on Friday, May 2, and Saturday, May 3.  Walks are scheduled from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) on both days.  The hikes will begin at the Yahoo Falls Picnic Area.  The Yahoo Falls area provides a stunning variety of spring flowers on a short, moderate hiking trail.  In addition to wildflowers, spectacular scenery is provided by 113 foot tall Yahoo Falls, towering sandstone cliffs, a huge rock shelter, and an outstanding overlook of the Big South Fork River.  These walks will be conducted by National Park Service Ranger Howard Duncan and U. S. Forest Service Ranger Laurie Smith.  The Yahoo Falls area is accessed from Highway 700, west of Whitley City, Kentucky.

National Park Service volunteer Chuck Nicholson will be conducting a birding walk on Friday, May 2, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in the Big South Fork at the Blue Heron Mining Community.  Dr. Nicholson is an environmental scientist with the Tennessee Valley Authority and past president of the Tennessee Ornithological Society.  Take this opportunity to share in his abundant knowledge of the rich and diverse bird population in the Big South Fork.  Blue Heron is accessed by following signs from U.S. 27 to Hwy. 92 west and then turning on 1651 south.  Watch for signs to Blue Heron.  Turn onto Hwy. 742 (Mine 18 Road) which ends at the Blue Heron Mining Community.

National Park Service Ranger Dave Carney will lead a hike at the Blue Heron Mining Community on Saturday, May 3, entitled "Myth, Magic and Medicine".  The walk will begin at 1:00 p.m. and continue until 4:00 p.m. and will meet at the Blue Heron Mining Community.  This easy walk will explore the diverse plant community along the banks of the Big South Fork River.  It is an excellent opportunity to learn about the folklore surrounding local plants and the many ways that people in earlier times utilized plants for food and medicine.  Blue Heron is accessed by following signs from U.S. 27 to Hwy. 92 west and then turning on 1651 south.  Watch for signs to Blue Heron. Turn onto Mine 18 Road (Hwy. 742) which ends at the Blue Heron Mining Community.

For further information about the Wildflower Discovery Weekend, contact Tara Chaney of the McCreary County Tourism Commission at (606) 376-3008 or visit the website at www.mccrearytourism.com.  To see the complete schedule of talks and hikes and to register for the events go to:

Did You Know?

Park interpreter presents program on Longhunters.

Longhunters were some of the first Europeans to traverse the Big South Fork region. It is said they were called longhunters either for the long rifles they carried or because the were typically gone on hunting trips for so long, sometimes up to a year.

News Source : National Park Service to Conduct Walks for Wildflower Discovery Weekend May 2 and 3
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