Outdoors notices: April 13
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• Laurel Ridge State Park manager Mike Mumau will give a presentation on the history of the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Calvin E. Pollins Library at 362 Sand Hill Road in Greensburg. The 70-mile trail stretches from Ohiopyle to Johnstown. The event is free to members of the Westmoreland County Historical Society; all others pay $6. Seating is limited and preregistration is requested by 724-532-1935, extension 210.
• Ohiopyle State Park in Fayette County will have a wildflower hike from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday. Meet at the Cucumber Falls parking lot for an easy 1.5-mile hike along Great Gorge Trail. Call 724-329-0986.
• Forbes State Forest in Westmoreland County will have a series of Rustic Runs, which are four- to five-mile trail runs through the forest, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 21, June 18, July 23, Aug. 27, Sept. 17 and Oct. 15. All skill levels are welcome. Meet at the warming hut on Laurel Summit Road.
• Forbes State Forest will have an eight-mile hike through Quebec Run area of the forest starting at 8 a.m. April 26. Meet at the parking area off Quebec Road and bring water, snacks and sturdy shoes.
• Raccoon Creek State Park in Beaver County will have a night paddle and campout from 7 p.m. April 25 to 9 a.m. April 26. You'll need your own canoe or kayak and camping equipment, but participants will paddle the lake after dark, then camp on the beach. Space is limited to 15 people and preregistration is required by April 21 by calling 724-899-3611.
• Yellow Creek State Park in Indiana County will lead a free Sailing 101 class from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 26. U.S. Sailing-certified instructors will go over the basics of wind awareness, sail trim and points of sail, then each student will get the chance to go sailing. Life jackets will be provided, but participants must be capable of swimming 50 yards in clothing and shoes. Space is limited, and preregistration is required by calling 724-357-7913.
• The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission will have a free boating safety and water awareness class from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 27 at the Sarah Heinz House in Pittsburgh. Participants need to bring lunch, water, pencil and paper and swim clothes. Preregistration is required by contacting Cathy Fodor at 412-231-2377 or firstname.lastname@example.org..
• Forbes State Forest in Westmoreland County is conducting a combination Goecaching event and Easter egg hunt from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Friday at the district office on Route 30 in Laughlintown. Clues will lead participants to discover some of the state's bird species. Call 724-259-2201.
• Staff from Jennings Environmental Education Center in Butler County will have a Nature Detectives program on salamanders at 2 p.m. May 4. It's designed for children ages 5 and up with an accompanying adult. Children will explore the forest and water in search of the salamanders that live there. The program is free but space it limited, and preregistration is required by calling 724-794-6011.
• Three Rivers Bird Club will lead a woodcock walk starting at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. Meet at the parking lot behind the Primanti Brothers in Harmar off Route 28 at exit 11. Bring a flashlight and be prepared for a muddy walk. Contact Tom Byrnes at 724-715-7184.
• Eric Chapman, director of aquatic science with the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, will give a free demonstration of electroshocking to survey trout populations from 2 to 4 p.m. April 26 at Yellow Creek State Park in Indiana County. Bring rubber boots if you have them. Call 724-357-7913.
• Organizers of the Laurel Highlands Trout Trail will have a Fly Fishing Forum for Females Only starting at 10 a.m. May 17 at the Lincoln Highway Experience, 3534 Route 30, Latrobe, Westmoreland County. For beginner and experienced fisherwomen, the event will begin with coffee, pastries and juice, a display of women's fishing fashions, and a program on “all you need to know about fly fishing.” Afterward, participants will drive to a nearby stream for some hands-on fishing and instruction. Cost is $30 and includes use of equipment. Space is limited and preregistration is required by calling 724-879-4241.
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