Outdoors notices: March 24, 2013
• Venture Outdoors will lead a hike along the southernmost portion of the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail in Fayette County on April 6. This will be the first leg of the “Hiking Trail Quest,” which will give participants to walk the 70-plus-mile trail in its entirety over seven weekends. This leg is rugged and for advanced hikers. Cost is $20 for members, $27 for nonmembers. Call 412-255-0564.
• Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania will lead a wildflower walk through Beechwood Farms Nature Reserve in Allegheny County from 2 to 4 p.m. April 14. Hikers will look for such species as bloodroot and hepatica. It's all free. Call 412-963-6100.
• Gander Mountain in Moon Township will hold a basic boating education course from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 13. There is no cost to attend, but space is limited and pre-registration is required by calling 412-494-9229. All who pass the course will be eligible to get a boating safety education certificate.
• Gander Mountain in West Mifflin will hold a basic boating education course from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 20. There is no cost to attend, but space is limited and pre-registration is required by calling 412-653-7300. All who pass the course will be eligible to get a boating safety education certificate.
• Venture Outdoors will host an introductory kayak program aimed at teaching people to paddle, all in the safety of a pool, from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. April 20 at the YMCA in Pittsburgh's Hill District. Participants, who must be at least 12 years of age, will learn paddle strokes, self-rescue techniques and more. Cost is $25 for members, $33 for nonmembers. Call 412-255-0564.
• Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission and Seventh Street Sportsmen's Club in New Kensington will hold a basic boating course from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 27 at the club, located at 604 Linden Ave. There is no cost to attend and lunch will be provided, but pre-registration is required by calling Sheldon Landis at 724-493-7224.
• Jennings Environmental Education Center in Butler County is seeking volunteers willing to help manage invasive plants. The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 20. Participants must be age 12 or older and must register for the program at 724-794-6011 by April 12. Lunch will be provided, and each participant will receive a native plant for their own garden or backyard.
• Todd Bird Club will lead an outing to Yellow Creek State Park in Indiana County to look for waterfowl and migrants at 8 a.m. April 2. The event is free; meet at the state park office. Visit www.toddbirdclub.org.
• Three Rivers Birding Club will lead outings to look for woodcock and a great blue heron nest at 7:15 p.m. April 10 and 17. Meet at the parking lot for The Meadows behind the Primanti Brothers restaurant off exit 11 of Route 28 in Harmar. Be prepared for a muddy walk and bring a flashlight.
• Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania will host a naturalist-led bird hike through Succop Nature Reserve in Butler County from 8 to 10 a.m. April 20. The event is free. Call 412-963-6100.
• Allison Park Sportsmen's Club will hold its annual cleanup of Pine Creek from 8:30 a.m. to noon April 6. Volunteers should meet at the ball field across from St. Ursula Church and sign in for assignments and directions. Lunch will be provided. For information, call Rich Simmen at 412-487-2873, Joe Landefeld at 412-487-3150, Sam Bacco at 412-372-6826 or Frank Zurawka at 412-782-2316.
• The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission will hold an open house at its Linesville fish hatchery in Crawford County from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. April 6. Visitors will get to see how walleyes are spawned, explore exhibits, learn to clean, fillet and cook fish, see reptiles and amphibians, learn fishing basics, and take part in casting events. There will be activities for children, too. All activities are free. The hatchery is a half mile outside of Linesville, next to the Spillway Inn.
• Venture Outdoors will hold introductory fly fishing courses from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 6 and May 4 at Ohiopyle State Park in Fayette County. Participants will learn about rods, reels, tippets, lines and flies, practice casting, then fish. No equipment is needed. Cost is $65 for members, $86 for nonmembers. Call 412-255-0564.
• Venture Outdoors will hold an intermediate to advanced class on dry fly fishing from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 20 at Ohiopyle State Park in Fayette County. Participants will learn about fly selection, leaders, reading the water, trout behavior and casting. Cost is $65 for members, $86 for nonmembers. Call 412-255-0564.
• Keystone State Park in Westmoreland County and the Western Pennsylvania Orienteering Club will host an orienteering workshop at the park from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. April 7. Participants will learn how to use a map and compass and will practice their skills on beginner, intermediate and advanced courses. Call 724-668-2939.