Warriors Path State Park gears up for spring events

Holly Viers • Apr 10, 2019 at 9:30 PM

KINGSPORT — Spring is now in full swing, and Warriors Path State Park is ready to celebrate.

Earlier this year, the park announced that two of its most popular springtime events — the Spring Nature Festival and Dragonfly Day — will return for another year. Below is the complete schedule of activities.

Spring Nature Festival

Held April 12-14, the 40th annual Spring Nature Festival will feature “mini seminars” and guided hikes on a wide range of nature discovery topics, led by expert naturalists from across the region. The event is free, and no preregistration is needed.

Friday, April 12

6:30 p.m. — Animal Tracking and Signs: Our fellow creatures leave a variety of living stories. Learn to read tracks and other signs of wildlife activity. Meet Ranger Marty Silver at the recreation building.

7 p.m. — iNaturalist: Learn to use this app to participate in citizen science. Meet with naturalists Larry McDaniel and Cade Campbell at the recreation building.

8 p.m. — Night Habitats Walk: Rangers Marty Silver and Brian Glover of Warriors Path will guide participants on a night discovery walk. Meet at the recreation building parking lot.

Saturday, April 13

7:30 a.m. — Birdlife Seminar: Gain new insights into the lives and habits of common birds. Bill Grigsby and other members of Birding Kingsport will share their deep understanding of spring birds. Meet at the recreation building.

8 a.m. — Bird Walk: Bill Grigsby and other members of Birding Kingsport will help participants understand and identify spring birds and bird behavior. Meet at the recreation building porch.

9 a.m. — Nature Photography Seminar: Richard Siggins and Jeff Sturgill, expert nature photographers, will give tips for better photography outdoors. This lecture will be held at the recreation building.

10 a.m. — Photography Walk: Try the skills you learned at the photo seminar, or just enjoy the spring scenery. Richard Siggins will be the guide on this ridgeline hike. Meet at the recreation building parking lot.

11:30 a.m. — Plants and Pollinators Workshop: Don Holt and Larry McDaniel, naturalists from Steele Creek Park, will acquaint participants with spring plants and the butterflies and other creatures that pollinate them. Meet at the recreation building.

12:30 p.m. — Plants and Pollinators Walk: Guides Larry McDaniel and Don Holt will bring participants to a bright display of spring wildflowers and their amazing insect pollinators on this ramble through the overlook. Meet at the recreation building parking lot.

1 p.m. — Stream Ecology Seminar: Gary Barrigar and Cathy Landy of Boone Watershed Partnership will help participants discover the incredible life of flowing waters. This lecture will be held at the recreation building.

1:30 p.m. — Creek Walk: Walk through the clear, cool waters of Fall Creek to experience a living community. Wear old clothes and sneakers and meet Cathy Landy and Gary Barrigar at the recreation building parking lot.

3 p.m. — Geology Seminar: Jeremy Stout of Steele Creek Park and Will Miller of TDEC (Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation) will offer special insights into the importance of those rocks beneath the spring landscape. This lecture will be held at the recreation building.

4 p.m. — Geology Walk: Take a walk along a stony riverbank and learn the dynamic stories of a changing land. Start the hike with Jeremy Stout and Will Miller at the pool parking lot.

5 p.m. — Plants of the Dolomite Cliffs: Come learn the spring trees and plants of this unique habitat. Enjoy a botanical expedition through the world of springtime green life. The guest leader is Dr. Frosty Levy, an ETSU botanist. Meet at the recreation building parking lot.

7 p.m. — Sunset Walk: There’s no better place to observe the land than in these old fields and forested ridges. Come watch the evening darken the spring landscape in one of the richest wildlife habitats in the park. Leaders will be Kevin Hamed of Virginia Highlands Community College and Connie Deegan of Johnson City Parks. Meet at the pool parking lot.

9 p.m. — Spring Night Skies: Gather beneath the dark sky and learn the lore of the spring stars. Jason Dorfman of Bays Mountain Park will share his knowledge and his astronomical tools. Meet at the pool parking lot. (In case of rain or thick clouds, meet under the shelter at the pool entrance.)

Sunday, April 14

9:30 a.m. –—Worship Service and Concert: Share uplifting music and an inspiring message with Eric Fields and the worship team from Grace Bible Church. Meet at the recreation building.

10:30 a.m. — Spring Landscapes Walk: Reflect on the land’s rich gifts as you hike the high places. Enjoy Sunday morning in the woods with Ranger Marty Silver. Meet at the recreation building parking lot.

Dragonfly Day

Back for its 10th year, Dragonfly Day will be held June 8 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will focus on the rich variety of dragonflies in this region. Participants will observe these fascinating insects in their natural habitats and learn how to record their observations with photographs.

Larry Everett and Richard Connors will serve as guest leaders. Everett is an aquatic biologist with TDEC and is an expert on the “baby stage” of dragonflies, while Connors is a state biologist emeritus and an expert on observing, identifying and photographing adult dragonflies.

Participants should meet at the park’s recreation building for a short indoor talk on dragonfly observation and identification. Most of the day, though, will be spent “in the field” in the park’s wetland habitats.

The cost is $4, and preregistration is required. Participants should bring a bag lunch, dress for wet field conditions and bring close-focusing binoculars and a camera, if possible.

For more information, visit tnstateparks.com/parks/warriors-path and click “Upcoming Events.”

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