Texas State Parks To Celebrate National Get Outdoors Day

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Texas State Parks To Celebrate National Get Outdoors DayAUSTIN, Texas — Any time is a good time to head outside to hike, camp, backpack, picnic and enjoy other recreational pursuits, but Saturday, June 13, has been designated National Get Outdoors Day to encourage healthy, active outdoor fun.

As a part of the second annual GO Day, more than two dozen Texas state parks are joining federal agencies, nonprofit organizations and recreation industry leaders throughout the nation in hosting a variety of outdoor recreational activities and special events to mark the day.

On the outskirts of San Antonio, for example, Government Canyon State Natural Area is inviting the public to join volunteers for an 8 a.m. guided hike on one of the many canyonland trails. In addition, reservations are being accepted to attend a presentation by an expert in First Aid and CPR on how to hike safely in hot weather with your four-legged companion. “Hot Dogs-Tips on Summer Hiking With Your Pet” will be held from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Call (210) 688-9055, ext. 291 to reserve your spot.

Fishing takes center stage at Caddo Lake State Park in northeast Texas with an “Intro to Fishing” and the “4th Annual Kids Fishing Derby.” Youngsters ages 3 to 15 will learn basic fishing skills and compete in various age divisions for awards for the most fish caught, and overall largest and smallest fish netted. For more information, call (903) 679-3351.

The entire family can get involved in National Get Outdoors Day at Blanco State Park in the Hill Country. Activities kick off at 9 a.m. and will include fishing with a ranger, trail hikes, paddling classes and assorted games. Contact the park at (830) 833-4333 for details.

In far west Texas, visitors can celebrate National GO Day at Franklin Mountains State Park in El Paso by joining park rangers on a guided evening hike to Aztec Caves from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Reservations must be made one day prior to the event by calling (915) 566-6441.

Other Texas Parks and Wildlife Department sites hosting events on June 13 to encourage Texans to get outdoors are: Barrington Living History Farm (Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site), Bastrop State Park, Bonham State Park, Brazos Bend State Park, Caprock Canyons State Park, Daingerfield State Park, Dinosaur Valley State Park, Fanthorp Inn State Historic Site, Fort Richardson State Park & Historic Site, Goose Island State Park, Guadalupe River State Park, Huntsville State Park, Lake Arrowhead State Park, Lake Somerville State Park, Lake Texana State Park, Martin Dies Jr. State Park, McKinney Falls State Park, Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Purtis Creek State Park, Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center and Tyler State Park.

For more information about National GO Day happenings in Texas state parks, visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife Web site.

The USDA Forest Service and American Recreation Coalition launched National Get Outdoors Day on June 14, 2008 in an effort to connect Americans, especially children, with nature and active lifestyles. Last year, more than 50 official GO Day sites across the nation, from Anacostia Park in Washington, D. C. to San Bernadino National Forest, hosted events. The program goal is to create a healthy, fun day of outdoor adventure aimed at reaching first-time visitors to public lands and to reconnect children with nature.