THIS WEEK: June 14 to 20, 2013
Heritage Explorer Bike Tour & Festival, a family-friendly, non-competitive event to benefit the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail. Choose from out-and-back routes of 5, 11, 22 or 44 miles beginning at Mellow Park in Peckville and proceeding on local rail trails and streets. Saturday with the 44-mile departing at 8 a.m. with the other rides leaving throughout the morning. Also: A community festival with music, food, exhibits, raffles and children’s activities 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Mellow Park. 963-6730.
Birding at Frances Slocum State Park, a leisurely walk to seek out songbirds. Meet at the Environmental Education Center and Boat Rental, 565 Mount Olivet Road, Kingston Township. 8:30 a.m. Saturday. Free. 675-9900.
Earth Conservancy Half Marathon, the Xduro Challenge along cliffs, mountains and mineland overlooking the Susquehanna River. Mocanaqua Loop Trail System, off Route 239. Saturday with registration at 9 a.m. and race at 10 a.m. Info at wilkesbarreracing.com.
Common Waters, a free driving tour of privately owned forested properties within the Upper Delaware River Basin to learn how the Common Waters Fund helps conserve and manage them and how healthy forests provide clean drinking water. Also: how these forests are threatened by the pressures of development. Sponsored by Grey Towers Heritage Association in Milford. 9 a.m. Saturday. Information and reservations at 296-9625.
Family Scavenger Hunt. Search for a list of natural objects at the Kettle Creek Wildlife Sanctuary. Prizes awarded. Monroe County Environmental Education Center, 8050 Running Valley Road, Stroudsburg. 10 a.m. to noon Saturday. $5. Registration: 629-3061.
Wilkes-Barre Duathlon, two three-mile runs and a 16-mile bike race through Wilkes-Barre beginning on Public Square, continuing through Kirby and Nesbitt parks and South Wilkes-Barre. Sponsored by the Wilkes-Barre Family YMCA, 40 W. Northampton St. Sunday beginning at 7:30 a.m. $65. 970-5041 or wbduathlon.com.
Glen Onoko Falls Hike, nine difficult miles. Bring lunch, water and snacks. Meet at the Sears Automotive parking lot, Wyoming Valley Mall, Wilkes-Barre Township. 9:45 a.m. Sunday. Sponsored by the Susquehanna Trailers Hiking Club. 283-1312.
Build Your Own Bird Box or Feeder, a family activity with a take-home bird box. Salt Springs State Park, Silver Creek Road, Franklin Forks. 1 p.m. Sunday. Registration: 967-7275.
Poconos Naturally Hike, a moderately strenuous 2.5-hour trek with a spectacular view through the Mount Wismer Nature Preserve in Barrett Township. Meet at the Preserve gate, off Route 447, north of Canadensis. Sponsored by the Monroe County Environmental Education Center. 10 a.m. Monday. $5. Registration: 629-3061.
Safe Boating Class, a certification course offered by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla. American Legion, Route 415, Harveys Lake. 6 to 10 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday. Age 12 and older. $25. Reservations: 815-0471.
Hiking Series, 5.5 difficult miles along the Pine Hill loop at Hickory Run State Park in White Haven. 9 to 10:30 a.m. Wednesday. 403-2006.
Tannersville Cranberry Bog Walk, a 2.5-hour exploration of the northern boreal bog with novel plant and insect life. Meet at the Bog parking lot, Cherry Lane Road, off Route 611, Tannersville. 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Sept. 11; 1 to 3:30 p.m. June 23. $6. Registration: 629-3061.
Keystone Active Zone Passport, a free program that encourages people to get outside and active at more than 30 local parks, trails and outdoor events in Luzerne County. Earn awards and win prizes by exploring the county and logging your discoveries through Sept. 30. Join anytime by registering at KAZpassport.com or call 823-2191.
RiverFest, the annual event along the Susquehanna River with river paddles, live music, environmental displays, children’s activities and more. Begins June 21 along the River Common in Wilkes-Barre with free family fishing, mural painting, food vendors and music by Classic Rock Express and Don Shappelle & the Pickups from 6 to 9 p.m. Continues June 22 with a festival at Nesbitt Park from noon to 5 p.m. with live mammals, nature programs, pony rides, nature hikes kayaking demos and more. River trips include West Pittston to Harding 5 to 7 p.m. June 21; Harding to Wilkes-Barre 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 22; and Wilkes-Barre to Hunlock Creek 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 23 along with Dragon Boat Racing 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Schedule at riverfrontparks.org.
Lightning Bug Show, an introduction followed by a walk in the fields to observe these amazing insects at the peak of their display. Woodbourne Forest and Wildlife Sanctuary, Route 29, Dimock. 8 to 9:30 p.m. June 22. Registration: 278-3384.
Back Mountain Trail Bike Ride, a mostly downhill 10-mile ride to RiverFest in Wilkes-Barre. Meet at the Dallas High School, 2000 Conyngham Ave. 9:30 a.m. June 22. Helmets mandatory. 208-9622.
Turtles of the Poconos, an indoor session followed by an outdoor turtle search in the Kettle Creek Wildlife Sanctuary. Monroe County Environmental Education Center, 8050 Running Valley Road, Stroudsburg. 10 a.m. June 22. $5. Registration: 629-3061.
Silver Creek Trail Hike, a trek to identify wildflowers. Salt Springs State Park, Silver Creek Road, Franklin Forks. 12:30 p.m. June 22. 967-7275.
Living with Black Bears, the do’s and don’ts of handling bear encounters. Lackawanna State Park Amphitheater, Dalton. 6:30 p.m. June 22. 945-7011.
Breakneck Ridge Hike, eight difficult miles with rock scrambles and vistas. Meet at the Park and Ride, Route 315, Dupont. 7:45 a.m. June 23. Sponsored by the Susquehanna Trailers Hiking Club. 825-7200.
Xterra Race, the fifth in a series of races through local parks. Gouldsboro State Park, Route 507, Tobyhanna. June 29 with registration at 9 a.m. and race at 10 a.m. 894-8336.
Small Mammals, an in-depth look at mice, moles, voles and shrews using live specimens and taxidermy mounts. Also: an evening study of bats and their echolocation calls. Pocono Environmental Education Center, 538 Emery Road, Dingmans Ferry. 4 to 9 p.m. June 29. $30. 828-2319 or peec.org.
A Symphony of Cicadas, a program on the natural history of these loud little insects. Campground Amphitheater, Frances Slocum State Park, 565 Mount Olivet Road, Kingston Township. 7 p.m. June 29. 696-9105.
Leave No Trace Awareness Workshop, the outdoor skills and ethics program that teaches how to use the outdoors responsibly. Nescopeck State Park, 1137 Honey Hole Road, Drums. 2 to 4 p.m. June 30. Free but registration required: 403-2006.
Bernie’s Memorial Run and Walk, the 30th annual three-mile event beginning at West Market and South River streets, continuing through residential neighborhoods in South Wilkes-Barre and finishing at Public Square. In honor of the former YMCA executive director Bernie Hargadon. Wilkes-Barre Family YMCA, 40 W. Northampton St., Wilkes-Barre. July 4 with registration 7 a.m. at the YMCA, walk and Kids Fun Run at 8:30 a.m. and run at 9:10 a.m. $15 until June 27; $20 afterward. 208-9622.
Weather Tracking from Your Own Back Yard: Make a barometer and dew-point gauge. Materials provided. Salt Springs State Park, Silver Creek Road, Franklin Forks. 1 p.m. July 7. 967-7275.
Rooster Run, a 5K cross-country race and walk through the Quiet Valley Living Historical Farm past ponds, pastures, apple orchards and historical buildings on varying surfaces. Followed by the 7th annual Music in the Valley with old-fashioned traditional music. 347 Quiet Valley Road, Stroudsburg. July 13 with race at 9 a.m. and music 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 992-6161.
Kayak the Susquehanna River, a three-hour paddle from Harding to West Pittston to learn about stream ecology and wildlife along the river. Meet at the West Pittston Library, 200 Exeter Ave. July 14 at 8:30 a.m. with trip beginning at 10 a.m. $50 single kayak; $65 tandem; $15 with no rental. 654-9847.
Organic Gardening Workshop, discussions on organic gardening, seed saving and other creative gardening methods. West Pittston Library, 200 Exeter Ave. 6:30 p.m. July 15. Registration: 654-9847.
Wiffle Ball and Horseshoe Tournament, sponsored by the Backyard Wiffle Ball League, 345 Madison St., Wilkes-Barre. 9 a.m. July 20 with registration deadline July 13. $10. Proceeds benefit Fallen Officers Remembered. 704-8344.
Tamarack Trail Hike, a trek through the woods to learn about coniferous trees. Meet at the Wheaton House, Salt Springs State Park, Silver Creek Road, Franklin Forks. 10 a.m. July 20. 967-7275.
Hemlock Trail Hike, a walk through the old-growth forest to the deer exclosure fence. Salt Springs State Park, Silver Creek Road, Franklin Forks. 7 p.m. Aug. 3. 967-7275.
Perseids Meteor Shower, the annual light show of falling stars. Bring a blanket or chair, binoculars or telescopes. Salt Springs State Park, Silver Creek Road, Franklin Forks. 8:30 p.m. Aug. 11. 967-7275.
CCC Reunion and Festival, the annual celebration of the Civilian Conservation Corps with music, geocaching, crafting, art, dancing, food, interpretive talks, the Blacksmith Shop, Masker Museum, Smokey Bear and Woodsy Owl. Promised Land State Park, 100 Lower Lake Road, Greentown. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 17. 676-3428.
Cliff Trail Hike, a strenuous hike to learn about vernal pools. Bring a lunch. Meet at the Buckley Road parking lot, Salt Springs State Park, Silver Creek Road, Franklin Forks. 11 a.m. Aug. 17. 967-7275.
Full Moon Bike and Bonfire, around the roads bordering the park. Salt Springs State Park, Silver Creek Road, Franklin Forks. 6 p.m. Aug. 21. Free. 967-7275.
Mushrooms and Mycilia, a discussion, slide show and trail walk to learn about fungi. Salt Springs State Park, Silver Creek Road, Franklin Forks. 1 p.m. Aug. 25. 967-7275.
Salt Springs Celebration, with activities for all ages, music, exhibits, live animals and more. Salt Springs State Park, Silver Creek Road, Franklin Forks. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 31. 967-7275.