Rapid City, SD, May 1, 2017 – Join the Black Hills National Forest and South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks at 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 13 for a moonlit hike and to learn about the wildlife around Lakota Lake. Participants in the scheduled Moon Walk event will walk a total of 1 mile roundtrip over uneven terrain up to a scenic view point above Lakota Lake.
Featured discussion from Samantha Nichols, Resource Biologist with South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks will cover the Osprey nest located on the man-made platform at Lakota Lake and the diverse wildlife that could potentially be seen in this area. Black Hills National Forest employees will also discuss the recent dredging project at the lake and the Norbeck Wildlife Preserve management area.
Downloading a cell phone App is suggested to help visitors connect with the forest and understand the discussion topic. “It is not necessary to download these Apps to enjoy or interact with the program speaker,” says Amy Ballard, Moon Walk Coordinator. “But I’d like to share some electronic reference tools for visitors to use that they may not be aware of. First, we suggest you download the Black Hills National Forest Motor Vehicle Use Map through the free Avenza PDF Maps App to find your way around the forest. Download the free Merlin Bird ID by Cornell Lab (Cornell Lab of Ornithology) to help identify birds and their calls. The iNaturalist App helps budding biologist keep track of the flora and fauna they have identified in their area.” The Black Hills National Forest also recently launched a Free App that is available at: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/black-hills-national-forest/id1156230107?mt=8
The Moon Walk program will be held at Lakota Lake Picnic Area off the Iron Mountain Road. To reach the Moon Walk site from Hermosa, take Highway 36 west toward Custer State Park for 9 miles to Iron Mountain Road (just before the east entrance station to Custer State Park). Turn right or north on Iron Mountain Road and travel approximately 9 miles to Lakota Lake Picnic Area on your right.
The drive from Rapid City will take approximately 50 minutes. Deer, turkeys and other wildlife are commonly seen along this route so give yourself enough time to enjoy the forest.
The Forest Service suggests that visitors bring flashlights, water, and bug repellant and dress for cooler spring evening temperatures and hiking on uneven terrain. Long pants and sturdy footwear (hiking boots or athletic shoes) are recommended for comfort and safety.
The program may be cancelled unexpectedly for unforeseen reasons such as lightning, high fire danger forecasts and other reasons beyond control. The program will not be cancelled due to rain unless lightning is spotted. Please arrive early to aid in parking vehicles as over 100 visitors per walk have been attending the programs.
For more information about the program and summer schedule go to www.fs.usda.gov/blackhills or call the Black Hills National Forest at 605-343-1567.