Here are the top state park news stories for July 2023. We are working to provide you with a summary of the most interesting state park news stories each month. If you have a state park news story we missed, let us know by leaving a comment.
New Missouri State Park
On June 30, 2023, Missouri announced the creation of its 93rd state park. This one will be called Rock Island Trail State Park and includes a portion of the Katy Trail. The announcement was made at the Katy Trail Trailhead in Windsor, MO. Check out the Rock Island State Park announcement on the Missouri DNR site.
State Park Accessibility Stories
It looks like there are some great trails at Lone Pine State Park. However, it can be challenging for some to enjoy the trails. To improve access, an all-terrain wheelchair will now be available free of charge at the park. Several organizations contributed to this addition including the Christopher and Dana Reeves Foundation. Check out the Lone Pine State Park web site for more details.
An accessibility improvement is also coming the Petoskey State Park in Michigan. They announced that they are adding a MobiChair which works on the beach and also floats, providing lake access to some who might not otherwise be able to enjoy the water.
New Dog Beach at South Higgins Lake State Park
Having a place where your dog can enjoy the water is a huge bonus for a park or campground. South Lake Higgins State Park has added a second dog beach located proximate the the park’s campground. We’re sure that all the campers with dogs will appreciate this nice new amenity. You can check out more details at MLIVE Popular Northern Michigan State Park Adds New Dog Beach
Volunteer projects add great improvements and amenities to many state parks. We often enjoy bridges, trail improvements, and benches on our visits to the parks. Here are two recent state park improvements you might be interested in.
The cadets at West Point recently constructed a new trail bridge at Schunnemunk State Park. The cadets got to practice their design and building skills while park visitors benefit by having a nice, new bridge.
According to West Point Association of Graduates, “This project marks the sixth year that OSI has worked with the USMA cadets to design and construct a trail bridge at a New York State Park. The bridge was constructed as part of a senior-year capstone project by cadets, who receive hands-on design and construction experience as they pursue degrees in Civil Engineering and train for their military careers.”
We often see great Boy Scout projects in the parks, too. One recent project was the installation of bat boxes at Double Trouble State Park in New Jersey. We can all appreciate the impacts bats can have on keeping the mosquito population in check. According to this story on Jersey Shore Online, “a single adult bat can eat close to its body weight in insects every night! A bat “roost” is the place bats use to rest and raise their young. In their natural habitat, bats roost in tree cavities, among leaves and under bark. But some species have adapted to roosting in man-made structures such as houses, barns, and bridges.” Thanks to the Boy Scouts from Troop 20 for this nice park addition.
Camp Host Opportunities
Camp Hosts contribute to the state park experience. You’ll find them checking in campers, cleaning out fire rings, and performing a variety of other work around the parks. In many cases, camp hosts are volunteers. They get a free campsite in exchange for their important work.
We’ve been seeing many posts asking for camp host volunteers this summer. It seems like there are last-minute opportunities at parks across the country such as North Carolina, South Carolina, Oregon, and Pennsylvania.
If you want to learn more, you might start at Campground Hosts are the Lesser Known Heros of State Park Campgrounds from NorthcentralPA.com. Or, check out the state park website for your area to find camp host volunteer opportunities.
Appalachian Outhouse Race
Every month we like to share at least one fun activity happening in a state park. We’re looking ahead to August this time as we just couldn’t wait to share this one. On Saturday, August 12, 2023, Vogel State Park will host its first ever outhouse race.
After an outhouse parade at 11:00 am, teams of outhouse crews will race their outhouses against each other starting at 11:30. Apparently, this is a popular event at places across the country. As we haven’t been to one of these, we don’t have a picture to share. But it sounds fun. If you attend, we’d love to hear all about it. We hope everyone has a fun time!
You can learn more at Appalachian Outhouse Race. If you go, consider sticking around for Saturday Night Music in the Park. Amy B will be performing on the same day as the race.
State Park News on YouTube
We share state park news on our YouTube channel. Check out our June 2023 state park news video.
Share Your Thoughts
If you have a state park news story to share, we’d love to hear it. Leave a comment to let us know.
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