Outdoors notices: May 12, 2014
• Forbes State Forest in Westmoreland County is holding a series of “rustic runs,” which are four- to five-mile trail runs through the forest, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on May 21, June 18, July 23, Aug. 27, Sept. 17 and Oct. 15. For the May 21 event, meet at the Laurel Summit State Park parking lot. All skill levels are welcome.
• Yellow Creek State Park in Indiana County will host a somewhat challenging hike along the Ridgetop Trail from 9 to 11 a.m. May 26. Meet at the trailhead in the day use area. Call 724-357-7913.
• Venture Outdoors will lead a hike to look for rattlesnakes from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on May 31 in Gallitzin State Forest in Cambria County. Hikers will walk six miles, with a side trip to a snake den. Cost is $8 for members, $12 for nonmembers. Call 412-255-0564.
• McConnells Mill State Park in Lawrence County will lead a hike to see the hemlocks in the Hell's Hollow area from 1 to 3 p.m. on May 31. The walk will follow the relatively easy waterfall trail. Dress for the weather and bring water. Call 724-368-3612.
• Venture Outdoors will hold a “heron happy hour” paddle from 6:30 to 9 p.m. on May 27 on North Park Lake in Allegheny County. Participants will kayak about two miles around the lake, looking for herons out feeding, then gather outside Kayak Pittsburgh for appetizers and drink specials. Cost is $15 for members and $20 for nonmembers. Call 412-255-0564.
• Venture Outdoors will hold a beginner's paddle for people 12 and older interested in learning to kayak from 9 to 11 a.m. on June 7 at Moraine State Park in Butler County. Participants will get some instruction on techniques, then go on the water to paddle. Cost is $22 for members, $30 for nonmembers. Equipment will be provided, but preregistration is required by calling 412-255-0564.
• Forbes State Forest in Westmoreland County will host a free exploration of Spruce Flats Bog, and in particular its spring peeper frogs, at 7 p.m. on May 30. Meet in the parking area at Laurel Summit State Park and bring a flashlight or headlamp. Contact email@example.com or 724-259-2201.
• Forbes State Forest will host a bluebird program at 10 a.m. on May 31 at the Mt. Davis picnic area in Somerset County. Participants can take home own bluebird box. Preregistration is required by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 724-259-2201.
• Organizers of the Laurel Highlands Trout Trail will hold a “Fly fishing forum for females only” starting at 10 a.m. on 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.
• Yellow Creek State Park in Indiana County will hold a special fishing program during the first of Pennsylvania's two “Fish for Free” days from 1 to 4 p.m. on May 26. On those days, people can try fishing without first having to buy a license. Meet at the boat rental in the main day-use area. Equipment will be provided to those who need it. Call 724-357-7913.