Outdoor notes: Chadron State Park Anniversary; Fort’s Market; and Wildcat Hills Wildflower Walk

Outdoor notes: Chadron State Park Anniversary; Fort’s Market; and Wildcat Hills Wildflower Walk
Photo Courtesy: visitnebraska.com

CHADRON, Neb. – Chadron State Park, which became Nebraska’s first state park in 1921, will celebrate its 97th anniversary with its annual celebration Saturday, June 9.

New to the event this year are trail running races of 1-mile, 5k and 10k and a 110-mile bicycle race, both part of the Pine Ridge Trails Race Series.

The Panhandle Pedal Grinder bicycle race, which leads participants through forest and county roads of the scenic Pine Ridge landscape, will begin at the junction of the Black Hills Overlook in the southwest area of the park at 6 a.m. The Run for the Hills foot races will follow from the same location at 8 a.m. Registration and course information for both events may be found at pineridgetrailsraceseries.com.

Also new this year is a classic car show at the park’s baseball field. Other activities include live music, free paddleboat rides, archery and pellet gun shooting, nature and blacksmithing displays, and a lunch of buffalo sloppy joe or hot dog lunch that costs just 97 cents – one penny more than it did last year.

The anniversary celebration is open to the public free of charge but a Nebraska Park Entry Permit is required for vehicles.

The schedule:

Panhandle Pedal Grinder bicycle race, 6 a.m., Black Hills Overlook junction; Run for the Hills 1-mile, 5k and 10k foot races, 8 a.m., Black Hills Overlook junction; Free paddleboat rides, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., pond; Turtle and amphibian display, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., pond; Classic car show, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., baseball field; Nebraska Game and Parks Commission Wildlife Research Display, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Trading Post; NGPC Illegally Harvested Wildlife Display, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Trading Post; Naturalist activities, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Trading Post; Pellet gun shooting, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., lower picnic-playground area; Archery card shoot for prizes, 1-3 p.m. Trading Post; 97-cent buffalo sloppy joe and hot dog lunches, noon-2 p.m. Group Event Facility; Live music by Cheap Date, noon-2 p.m., Group Event Facility; Blacksmithing demonstration, noon-2 p.m., Trading Post; Free watermelon, 2-4 p.m., swimming pool; Dive for money for children 14 and under, 5 p.m., swimming pool


Fort’s Market highlighting area crafts, arts, entertainment

CRAWFORD, Neb. – Arts, crafts and music are on tap for the fourth annual Fort’s Market at Fort Robinson State Park on Saturday, June 9.

The activities and vendor displays will be based at the park’s centrally located Buffalo Barrack’s from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. In addition to live musical entertainment, a bouncy house will be on-site for children.

More information about the event may be found on a Facebook page titled “Fort Robinson Vendor Blender.” The event is open to the public free of charge but a park entry permit is required for vehicles.


Guided wildflower hike this week at Wildcat Hills

GERING, Neb. – The Wildcat Hills Nature Center at Wildcat Hills State Recreation Area will celebrate National Wildflower Week with a guided hike through the park’s flora. The Wildflower Walk, an installment of the Wildcat Weekends series of events, will be Friday, June 8, at 7 p.m. at the nature center.

Participants will learn keys to identifying flowering plant species during the mile-long journey.

Amanda Filipi, the Commission outdoor education specialist who is leading the hike, said the unusually wet spring has brought many flowers that she has not seen at the park in past years.

“We have a bunch of flowers in bloom,” she said. “It’s beautiful out here.”

The event is open to the public free of charge, but a park entry permit is required for vehicles. Participants are asked to bring water and wear hiking shoes.

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