Outdoors notices: March 2
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• Venture Outdoors will lead a guided hike to seek out and explore vernal pools from 2 to 5 p.m. March 15 through Montour Run Valley in Moon Township, Allegheny County. Participants will do an easy two to three miles and look for pools that are home to Eastern wood frogs, spring peepers and Jefferson salamanders. Cost is $6 for kids, $8 for members and $12 for nonmembers. Call 412-255-0564.
• Friends of Raccoon Creek State Park will lead a six-mile hike over moderate terrain through the Beaver County state park from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 15. The event will begin at the Appaloosa Spur Trail parking lot on Route 168. Bring water, lunch, snacks and clothing appropriate for the weather. If there's snow, some snowshoes will be available. The hike is free. Call 724-899-3611.
• Venture Outdoors will lead a six- to nine-mile hike over moderate terrain through Ryerson Station State Park in Greene County from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 22. Hikers will hear tales of Native Americans and early settlers of the region while learning about the park's natural history. Cost is $8 for members, $12 for nonmembers. Call 412-255-0564.
• Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania will have a free volunteer naturalist training session from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. March 10 at Beechwood Farms Nature Reserve in Allegheny County. Volunteers will be taught how to lead nature walks for children. The walks take place weekdays during school hours. Call 412-963-6100.
• Kooser State Park in Somerset County will have a moonlight cross country skiing session from 8 to 10 p.m. March 15. A limited number of skis will be available. Call 814-352-8649.
• Westmoreland Bird and Nature Club will lead a waterfowl tour to a number of Westmoreland County lakes March 22. Meet at 9 a.m. at the Beaver Run Reservoir parking lot on Route 380 and plan to visit Loyalhanna and Derry lakes, Keystone State Park and, time permitting, Trout Run Reservoir.
• Cook Forest State Park in Clarion County will have an Eagle Watch program from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. March 22. Meet at the park office and bring binoculars to visit eagle hot spots along the designated wild and scenic Clarion River. Reaching some of the best spots may require long drives and some hard hiking. The program is free. Call 814-744-8407.
• Western Pennsylvania Orienteering Club will have Raccoongaine at 10 a.m. March 23 at Raccoon Creek State Park in Beaver County. The event is a wilderness land navigation orienteering challenge. Competition will be in up to nine classes based on age and gender. Unlike in a typical orienteering event, which requires contestants to go to checkpoints in a defined order, this event is more like a scavenger hunt. Competitors will be able to seek out 50 checkpoints in whatever order they prefer, within a time limit. Call Jim Wolfe at 814-255-6606.
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