Trips and Tips

Featured Events This Week


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14th Annual American Indian Festival

Discover the rich and diverse culture of Native American Indians at this year's in-person festival at Patuxent River Park. Enjoy live music, drumming, singing, dancing, storytelling, demonstrations, American Indian games, live birds of prey, traditional food and craft vendors and more. Free admission and parking. Oct. 15, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Patuxent River Park, Upper Marlboro, MD.  More information

Indigenous Peoples’ Day Community Event

Native American Indians have made, and continue to make, lasting contributions to our nation in every arena. Help celebrate their achievements and learn about just some of their history at this Irvine Nature Center event. Families can learn about pre-colonial American Indian culture in the eastern region with hands-on activities and demonstrations of traditional skills. Help with the harvest of the three sisters garden, grind corn, throw an atlatl, try your hand at starting a friction fire, make cordage and more. This program is intended for families with children 6+. $15 per participant; a portion of the program fee will be donated to the Baltimore American Indian Center. Oct. 8, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Irvine Nature Center, Owings Mills, MD. More information 

Fall Fest Catoctin Furnace

Enjoy the decades-long autumn tradition at Catoctin Furnace Village with apple butter boiling, blacksmithing, traditional food, tours, children’s activities. Free with park entrance fee of $3 per MD Vehicle and $5 per out of state vehicle. Oct. 7 and 8, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Catoctin Furnace Village, Thurmont, MD. More information

Rappahannock Pow Wow

The pow wow is being held at beautiful Belle Grove, located where the Rappahannock likely called their home. You are invited to come spend the day celebrating our American Indian Heritage with tribal dancing and singing, cuisine, handmade jewelry and artwork and more. Oct. 8 and 9, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., King George, VA. More information and tickets

Nanticoke River Jamboree

You’re invited to the mid-shore’s largest living history event – this year celebrating the 200th birthday of Harriet Tubman and Tilley’s Escape. “Tilley’s Escape” was when Harriet used the Nanticoke River to help a young woman named Tilley flee enslavement. The Jamboree features exhibits and demonstration by regional environmental and historic groups, a variety of living history performers and demonstrations by spinners, sheep-shearers, wood turners, open hearth cooks and more!  In addition you will find music, food and activities for the whole family. $5 for adults, children under 12 free. Oct. 8, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Handsell House, Vienna, MD.  More information 

Mushroom Hikes

Hike with a naturalist through Patapsco Valley State Park to find and learn about mushrooms and talk about their role in the ecosystem. A mushroom field guide will be given to each participant ($10 donation recommended for each book). $5 per person or $10 per family. Three different dates/location in the park: Oct. 6, McKeldin; Oct. 13, Hilton; Oct. 20, Avalon. All hikes will be from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. There will be a mushroom cooking demonstration and tasting on Oct. 27. More information and registration 

Harvest Festival and War of 1812 Remembrance

There is definitely something for everyone at this fall celebration! For history buffs there’s the War of 1812 period musket and cannon firing demonstrations and the chance to learn about African Americans during the War of 1812 and the contributions African Americans made at Hancock’s Resolution. Or participate in building a scarecrow, making a corn husk doll, shell and grind corn from right off the stalk, or make a lavender sachets to take home. Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary will be presenting Scales and Tales for animal lovers and master gardeners will be doing a beekeeping demonstration. Fiber crafters will demonstrating spinning tools and knitting, Viking knotted cord making, coiled rugs, and more. Food will be available for purchase, including homemade desserts and old time sea chanteys will provide the musical entertainment. $10 per family or $5 per person. Oct. 9, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Hancock’s Resolution, Pasadena, MD. More information 

EcoMadres Celebration at Sandy Point State Park

Come find the EcoMadres and Corazón Latino table at the Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration at Sandy Point State Park. Moms Clean Air Force will be sharing information about their current campaigns and ways you can get involved in programs focused on Latino communities. This family-friendly event will feature boat rides, Zumba classes, fishing demonstrations, food trucks, and more. Oct. 8, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Sandy Point State Park, Annapolis, MD. More information.

Ven a encontrar la mesa de EcoMadres y Corazón Latino en la Celebración del Mes de la Herencia Hispana en el Parque Estatal Sandy Point. Compartiremos información sobre nuestras campañas actuales y las formas en que puedes participar en nuestros programas centrados en las comunidades latinas.
Este evento familiar contará con paseos en barco, clases de Zumba, demostraciones de pesca, camiones de comida y mucho más.

Shoreline Show Kayak

Paddle beautiful Otter Creek and enjoy the show on the shoreline put on by trees changing their colors. Leight Estuary Center guides will be sure to help you spot all the birds and wildlife along the way. Ages 8+; $15 per person. For a good preview read Saki’s Paddling in Otter Point Creek Natural Area.    Oct. 8, 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.; Anita C. Leight Estuary Center, Abingdon, MD. More information and registration.

Albatwitch Day

Apple Snitch, Apple Witch, Alb Entweicken. From the time when the Susquehannocks lived on the Susquehanna River through the days of early settlers, up until and including the present, there have been reports of a humanoid hairy creature – much like bigfoot – being sighted in the area of Chiques Rock on the Susquehanna. Legend has it the creature would steal apples from local picnickers. You’re invited to join in the local celebration of the Albatwitch where you can listen to some great music, ride on the trolley and hear stories about the creature and throw commemorative apples, hear paranormal lectures, and more! Watch Legends of Lancaster to learn more.  Oct. 8, 11:00 am to 5:00 pm, with haunted tours at 7:00 pm; Columbia River Park, Columbia, PA. More information. Free! Drop-in Canoemobile Public Paddle at the Albatwitch Festival

Sierra Club Great Falls Hike and Picnic

This easy hike on the C&O Canal is a fun walk in celebration of the Sierra Club’s One Day hikes. You don’t need to be a member to join in all or part (you decide when to turn around) of the 9 mile walk from Carderock to Great Falls and optional hearty picnic. This is an incredibly beautiful stretch of the C&O Canal. Oct. 9, 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.; Carderock, Potomac, MD. More information.

Big Sit Birding

Baltimore Bird Club will participate for the first time in The Big Sit,  a national event to see or hear as many birds as possible from within a 17-foot diameter circle. Join in; it should be fun! Choose a 2-hour time slot and RSVP to a club member so that there will be coverage throughout the day. Drop-ins are also welcome. Oct. 8, 8 a.m. til sunset; North Point State Park, Edgemere, MD. More information and emails.

Steamtown Autumn Train Rides

Autumn is a prime time to join an excursion and catch the fall colors throughout the Poconos and NE Pennsylvania. Enjoy the cooler weather and fall foliage aboard a train at Steamtown National Historic Site! Choose between 30-minute Scranton Limited or Caboose Experience and full-day excursions through the Poconos. The fall excursion season kicks off with the Carbondale Autumn Marketplace on Sept. 24th, with the Gouldsboro Pumpkin Patch, Tobyanna Fall Foliage and more. Sept 24 to Oct. 29, Steamtown National Historic Site, Scranton, PA. More information and tickets.

Pumpkin Patch Limited Train Ride

Treat the family to a pumpkin patch experience they will never forget! Take a one hour train ride on the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad to the pumpkin patch, where you can pick out a pumpkin to take home and decorate. Costumes are strongly encouraged! Oct. 15, 16, 22, 23, 29, 30; Western Maryland Scenic Railroad, Cumberland, MD. More information and tickets. 

Of course Western Maryland Scenic Railroad has its usual robust fall foliage train schedule, both diesel and steam. The Frostburg Flyer travels from Cumberland to Frostburg with seating options such as The Overland Trail Lounge Car for guests 21+ years of age, The Pacific Trail Deluxe Coach Car, Dome Car, Open Air Car and Coach seating. More information and schedule.

Hawkwatch Kicks Off!

Kiptopeke Hawkwatch at the tip of the Eastern Shore of Virginia begins its 42nd season this week and Kiptopeke State Park is welcoming visitors to help the Coastal Virginia Wildlife Observatory find birds and to learn about the amazing hawk migration. The hawkwatch operates daily, weather permitting, through November. Anna Stunkel will be on the platform to lend her expertise and conduct the counting of hawks and other notable species (like the roseate spoonbill sighted last year) flying over the platform. Last year Anna counted 14,442 raptors of 14 species at the Kiptopeke platform between September 1 and November 30 for a total number of 783.25 hours. Sept. 1 to Nov. 30; Kiptopeke State Park, Cape Charles, VA. More information.

SERC Autumn Family Canoe Program

Join the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center on one of their 2.75-hour canoe trips for families and individuals. You'll paddle the Rhode River, learn about our Smithsonian research, and look for wildlife like eagles, otters, and turtles. SERC will provide canoes, paddles, lifejackets, and instruction. For ages 8 and older; $18-$20. Sept. 24, Oct. 8 and 22, 9 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.; Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Edgewater, MD. More information and registration.

Susquehanna Fall Paddle

Mark your calendars now for this Susquehanna Greenway popular fall paddle, or better, register now! Pop-Up Paddle Fall Edition will be a 6-mile guided excursion from Milton to Chillisquaque. It's a great opportunity to enjoy a leisurely exploration of the Susquehanna Greenway and the West Branch of the  Susquehanna River Water Trail. $20 BYOB and $35 for single, $45 for tandem kayaks. Oct. 8, 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.; Milton, PA. More information and registration  

Accokeek Farm Tours

Take a tour through 1770 led by one of Accokeek’s educators. Explore the grounds of a working tobacco farm and meet its two- and four-legged residents. Suitable for all ages. These tours through December, are are open to the public. $7 per person, registration required. The Sept. schedule for farm tours is Sept. 2 and 16, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Check out the calendar for additional dates.

Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center Kayak and SUP

Conveniently located not far from the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center is a great place to rent both kayaks and paddleboards. The Center property is amazingly biodiverse– from ospreys and eagles to river otters and sting rays – you’re sure to spot a variety of wildlife on your paddling excursion. Just don’t forget your binoculars and camera! Rental fees are $20/kayak per day and $30/paddleboard per day. Last rental time is 3 p.m. and you need to be back to the visitor center at 4:45 p.m.  to check out. Kayak rental season runs until Nov. 1. More information. Guided paddles are also available, as well as an introduction to the basic skills of kayaking for beginners. More information about guided and introductory tours.

Shenandoah Night Skies Tours

Shenandoah National Park is known for its very dark nights, which is great news for anybody who enjoys stargazing. The park will be hosting night sky tours throughout the summer, with astronomy experts on hand to teach you how to find constellations, observe planets, spot shooting stars, and more. The tours are free and included with regular park entrance fees and will be held at the Big Meadows Area. You’ll need your own binoculars and blankets, chairs and flashlights are recommended. The next tour will be July 1 at 9:00 p.m. and will feature an 8% Crescent Moon, M13, M57 (Ring Nebula) and Milky Way. Complete list of tour dates through Oct. 28.

Sultana Public Paddles

Join the Sultana Education Foundation staff for a unique kayak excursion on the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail. Choose from 16 great paddles, with themes that include a Blue Heron, Paddle, Bald Eagle, Oysters and Indians, Lotus, Mallows Bay Ghost Fleet, Full Moon, Turtle Paddle, and more. Paddling destinations include the Sassafras, Turner’s Creek, Tuckahoe State Park, Bohemia, Choptank, Blackwater NWR, and more. The first excursion is May 7, and the last is October 23. Paddles are 2.5 hours long and $30 per person.  Kayaks and gear are provided. Minimum age to participate is 12. These paddles are extremely popular and fill up fast. More information and registration.

September 25, 2022

Main image: Greeting of the Geese, Stephen Badger, Maryland DNR