2017 EVENTS, EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS & OPPORTUNITIES
♦ Heart of Ohio Trail Bridge Party
Sunday, September 24 -2:00-4:00 pm at the Pedestrian Bridge over US 36/SR 3, southwest of Centerburg near Lytle Rd. Look for event parking signs.
The Heart of Ohio Trail Board with the Knox County Park District invites the community to join in celebrating the year anniversary of the beautiful pedestrian bridge. Light refreshments will be served. There will also be drawings for Heart of Ohio Trail gear such as hats, and a single grand-prize drawing for a new set of USA-made walking poles with a storage bag. Other community organizations plan to share their information, and a commemorative post card will be available.
♦ Hike the Devil’s Backbone
Sunday, October 22 2:00-4:00 pm, 19940 Nashville Rd. Greer 44628, just off of SR 514, 6 miles north of Danville. Look for event parking signs.
The public is invited to view and hike the 400 feet high “Devil’s Backbone” near Greer. This jointly-sponsored program by the Knox County Park District and the Danville Branch of the Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County, will be hosted by property owner Philip Chase. David Greer, owner of an adjacent property and a retired science teacher and local historian, will lead the hike.
The “Devil’s Backbone” is a narrow ridge rising nearly 400 feet above the Mohican State Scenic River as it flows south and east of the village of Greer. Hikers will have the opportunity to walk along the now abandoned “Wally” Railroad that ran from Loudonville to Coshocton for nearly 50 years, ending in 1940. Attendees can also view evidence of earth-moving preparations for the never-built 1850’s “Calico Railroad”.
Hikers will view some of the resulting ravines at roadbed level, then hike up the steep ridge and view the breathtaking valley and surrounding hills. With appropriate weather conditions, the hills and valley may be adorned by spectacular, colorful autumn foliage.
The hike may be strenuous at times. Mobility-challenged persons can be transported by ATV to the railroad sites and base of the ridge. Here, landowner Phil Chase will show his experimental American chestnut tree plantings which are hoped to be resistant to the chestnut blight that decimated Ohio’s native chestnut population 100 years ago.
The hike traverses through a hemlock forest and near a wetland and the guide will address how glaciers affected the area geology and the tree species found here and then participants will have an opportunity to view a recent sustainable timber harvest performed in a manner that conserved the water quality and soils.
A book about the Wally Railroad – Wally: The Story of the Walhonding Valley Railroad—its history and its lore, published in 2002 by Loudonville author Jim Sharp is available for purchase the day of the hike. The book, featured by the Danville Library in 2015 may be borrowed from the library beforehand or purchased in advance at the Knox County Historical Society.
♦ Fire and Ice
Saturday, December 9 5:30-7:30 pm at Honey Run Waterfall located at 10855 Hazel Dell Rd. Howard 43028
Make plans to join Knox County Park District for this spectacular, magical event! Over 600 luminaries will light your paths to Honey Run Waterfall and the Kokosing State Scenic River. Honey Run Waterfall is one of Knox County’s most spectacular natural gems and is absolutely mesmerizing with the hundreds of candle-lit snowflake-punched bags. Please stay for holiday treats and enjoy a roaring bonfire! Be sure to bring a canned food item(s) for the Food For The Hungry drive. Deposit your food gift in the bin provided. The Knox County Park District thanks you for your generosity to our neighbors and friends!
Planned Partnered Events/Educational Programs
♦ Veterans & Senior Citizens Fishing Day
Saturday, September 30 9:00 am-5:00 pm at City of Mount Vernon’s Ariel Foundation Park, Pittsburgh Ave. Mount Vernon
Presented by Knox County Fish & Game Association in cooperation with the City of Mount Vernon, Knox County Park District and ODNR Division of Wildlife, Veterans and Senior Citizens may take part in this free event. Fishing equipment and bait will be supplied to participants and for those who are registered, a free lunch and drink will be provided. Pre-Registration is strongly encouraged. To pre-register, go to the Events section: www.facebook.com/knoxfishandgame or www.enjoytheoutdoors.org
♦ Knox County Heart of Ohio Tour
Saturday, October 7 and Sunday, October 8 1:00-6:00 pm, Bat Nest Park 30500 Walhonding Road, Danville 43014
The Heart of Ohio Tour is a free drive-yourself scenic tour of agriculture related operations in Knox County. Each year the tour explores Knox County to showcase agriculture and the area’s strong farming heritage. The tour includes stops at working farms and demonstrates how working farms operate, and educates visitors about the hard work, dedication, and love that goes into farm life. Other unique stops are included in the Heart of Ohio Tour and this year Knox County Park District’s Bat Nest Park is a featured stop. The Knox County Park District acquired Bat Nest parkland in June of 2007.
In 2015-2016 a large-style bat house was constructed with funds from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. The construction of the 10’ x 10’ structure was accomplished by Zane State College Students. Assistance with bat house construction was also provided by Knox County Career Center ROTC students and Knox County’s Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalists. When occupied by bats (it can take up to 3-5 years for bats to inhabit the structure) the large-style bat house can house thousands of bats.
Please be sure to stop at Bat Nest Park during the Heart of Ohio Tours and learn the importance of bats to our environment and the history of the area surrounded by this Park.
For a detailed map of the tour stops go to www.knoxswcd.org
♦ Brown Family Environmental Center’s Fall Harvest Festival
Saturday, October 14 2:00-5:00 pm at the BFEC, 9781 Laymon Road Gambier 43028
The BFEC offers this FREE family event which includes: hayrides, live music, children’s activities, farm animals, campfire, cider press, pumpkin decorating and the Knox County Nature Photography Contest show. A food cart will be on-site, as well as, many community service organizations, including the Knox County Park District!
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