— Cumberland Mountain State Park Naturalists Kelsey Whitefield and Justin Williams will be hosting several programs July 2-6. All programs are considered PG-13, which means parental guidance is recommended.
Tuesday, July 2
9 a.m. — Take a Hike!: Meet at the restaurant terrace for an easy hike on the Cumberland Plateau trail. Please bring water and wear sturdy shoes.
11 a.m. — Let’s Go Fishing!: Meet Whitefield and Williams at the restaurant terrace as they try and catch the big one. Poles and bait will be provided, but feel free to bring your own gear if you would like. Don’t forget to bring the sunscreen and water.
Wednesday, July 3
8 a.m. — Morning Canoe Float: Start the day off with a nice relaxing cruise around the lake and learn some of the history behind the creation of the lake. Please sign up at the boat dock.
10 a.m. — Homestead Tower Museum: Meet outside the park office to carpool over to the Historic Homestead Tower to learn some of the area's rich history. Get a bird’s eye view of the homesteads as you climb to the top of the tower. The cost is $2 for children ages 6-12 and $4 for adults. Don’t forget to bring money for old-timey souvenirs.
1 p.m. — Snakes Alive!: Love them or hate them, everyone is fascinated by those interesting reptiles known as snakes. Join them at the restaurant terrace and learn all about snakes up-close and personal. This program features live animals as well as educational props to highlight interesting adaptations, lifestyles and habits of snakes.
3 p.m. — Ultimate Frisbee: Join the naturalists at the softball field for a great afternoon game of Ultimate Frisbee. This is a wonderful time for the whole family.
Thursday, July 4
9 a.m. — Paint the Pet Rock: Join the naturalists at Shelter 3 to paint your very own pet rock. They will provide all materials. So all you have to bring is your imagination and creativity.
11 a.m. — WHOooo Knows: Meet at the restaurant terrace for a presentation with MacKenzie the Barred Owl to clear up those myths and facts about owls, learn why owls are good hunters and discover their amazing anatomy.
1 p.m. — Pool T-shirt Relay: This game starts out like any other relay race. So what makes this relay race different? The wet T-shirt. Join them at the pool for a relay race like no other that is fun for all ages.
3 p.m. — Bridge the Gap: Think you can build the strongest bridge? Come to Shelter 3 and see if you have what it takes to build a bridge that holds steady. Then they will test the bridges to see how many pennies they will hold before they start to buckle.
Friday, July 5
8 a.m. — Ozone Falls Hiking Trip: This 110-foot waterfall was chosen to be a film location for the movie The Jungle Book. Meet the naturalists at the front office and carpool to Ozone Falls (transportation will not be provided). Wear sturdy shoes and sunscreen and bring water. Swimming is optional. (strenuous hike)
1 p.m. — Watermelon Crawl: Meet the naturalists at the boat dock for an interesting competition to see who can retrieve the watermelon from the lake the fastest. Please dress accordingly for the strong possibility of getting wet and taking an unexpected swim in the lake. Please use the sign-up sheet at the boat dock for the two boat relay races.
5 p.m. — Decorating Party: Bring your bikes and vehicles to Shelter 3 to prepare for the parade in the park. Bring your own supplies/ decorations. Let’s see who will have the most patriotic ride in the parade.
7 p.m. — Campfire Cooking!: Join the naturalists at the campfire ring behind Cabin 6 to end the day with a tasty treat. Learn how to make a cobbler over the fire in a dutch oven. Don’t forget to bring chairs, blankets, a flashlight and a glass of milk or your favorite drink.
8 p.m. — Camp Fire: Come visit Whitefield and Williams for S’mores, and more. Meet behind Cabin 6 at the fire ring. Bring chairs, blankets, guitars and your scariest ghost story.
Saturday, July 6
9 a.m. — Parade in the Park!: Bring your decorated bikes or cars to the main office to start the celebration off right with a parade through the park. Awards will be given before the parade starts for the most patriotic ride.
10 a.m. — Festivities in the Field: Bring the whole family and join them at the ball field near Shelter 1 for a relay race including wheelbarrow race, three-legged race, egg toss, super soak race and more. Please wear clothes that you do not care to get messy.
1 p.m. — Watermelon Eating Contest: Bring your appetite and meet the naturalists at the restaurant terrace for a tasty competition. Watermelons will be provided, but please wear clothes that you don’t care to get messy.
2 p.m. — Big Splash: Join Whitefield and Williams at the pool entrance for the big splash competition. Make sure to wear sunscreen as well as appropriate clothing for the pool. Children should be accompanied by an adult. Prizes will be awarded.
3 p.m. — Water Fest: Make plans to bring the whole family to Water Fest and Family Fun Day at Meadow Park Lake (City Lake) just off South Lantana Rd. There will be activities for all ages including canoeing, kayaking, boat races, numerous booths and educational nature exhibits. Also MacKenzie the Barred Owl and Trillium the Screech Owl from the park will make an appearance. Events will start at 3 p.m. and end at 8 p.m. All events are free to the public.