Join Us in the New Year for Ranger Guided Hikes and Astronomy Programs
at Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument
Is getting more exercise and/or spending more time outdoors on your New Year’s Resolution list? Do you enjoy visiting national parks? If so, then Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument might help you reach your goals. Starting in January, the Monument will offer a “Hikes for Your Health” program as well as two evening astronomy programs.
Hikes for Your Health Programs: Wed. and Sat. at 10:00 AM January 14 thru March 21
The Hikes for Your Health community based health program will begin on Wednesday, January 14 and run every Wednesday and Saturday through March 21, 2015. These ranger-led hikes will vary in length from 2 – 5 miles. Depending on conditions, the hikes may either be on foot or by snowshoe. The Monument offers free loaner snowshoes if needed. Participants must provide all other equipment and safety gear such as layered clothing, appropriate footwear, water, and snacks. Trekking or ski poles are recommended. Participants must be 10 years or older.
Week One: Wednesday, January 14 & Saturday, January 17, 10:00 AM, Sawmill Trail
Ranger guided hike along the Sawmill Trail through gentle meadows – Easy (2.3 mile loop). Meet at the Visitor Center
Hikes for Your Health program is offered in partnership with Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, the Teller County Community Partnership Family Resource Center, and the Friends of the Florissant Fossil Beds. This hiking program is part of the National Park Service’s Healthy Parks, Healthy People US initiative working to reintegrate human, environmental, and ecological health into the mission of public parks and public lands.
These programs will begin with a 20-30 minute interpretive talk in the Visitor Center. Then we will step outside for 90 minutes of stargazing with telescopes, binoculars, and laser-guided tours of the stars and constellations. Also, please note that the outdoor viewing is weather-dependent, and takes place only if the sky is clear. Indoor presentations take place no matter the weather, although the roads may be hazardous and you should call ahead for more information.
Saturday, January 10, 2015 – 6:00 – 8:00 PM
The Winter Sky
Winter may be cold, but the best skies of the year make it all worthwhile! If it is a “cold but clear” night, our view of the stars may be clearer and sharper than at any other time of year. Plus, many of our favorite stars and constellations are in the winter sky! Join us as we explore constellation mythology, star names, and the stories we tell to help us understand the sky. Featured objects in the telescopes include the Pleiades Star Cluster, the Great Orion Nebula, and newly-discovered Comet Lovejoy. Meet at the Visitor Center.
Saturday, January 17, 2015 – 6:00 – 8:00 PM
The King of the Planets is back! Jupiter is rising in the east, returning to the early evening sky. And it’s not alone: the small but dynamic Comet Lovejoy is close by and changing day by day. Follow in the historic footsteps of Galileo, Halley, and Messier, as we discover Jupiter’s moons and the comet’s tail, explore the nightly movements of these objects, and compare them to some of the “comet impostors” that never move. Meet at the Visitor Center.
Please dress for winter weather in Colorado. Bring binoculars or a flashlight if you wish (red-filtered lights only please).
Admission for these programs is the regular park entrance fee which is $3 per adult (16 years and older) children and federal pass holders are free. For additional information, please call (719) 748-3253 or visit our website at www.nps.gov/flfo
Follow us on Facebook/FlorissantNPS or visit the park’s website at www.nps.gov/flfo