Virginia State Parks host numerous events for Get Outdoors Day

Posted at 9:44 AM, May 26, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-26 09:44:10-04

RICHMOND — All 35 Virginia State Parks will host special programs and events Saturday, June 8, as part of the fifth annual National Get Outdoors Day (GO Day), to encourage healthy, active outdoor fun.

Scheduled programming will feature opportunities for families to experience traditional and non-traditional types of outdoor activities – from hiking to geocaching.

“In this time when many of us are less connected to the outdoors – our kids spend 6.5 hours a day watching screens – GO Day is intended to reach first-time visitors to our parks, as we help them reconnect with nature,” said State Parks Director Joe Elton. “For the first time, American children are predicted to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents. National events like GO Day help bring awareness to this crisis. Virginia State Parks are part of the prescription to make better choices toward healthier lifestyles.”

Programs across the state will feature guided nature hikes, geocaching, canoeing and kayaking.

Visitors wishing to explore on their own can rent GPS units or enjoy self-guided hikes. Many parks have available for checkout backpacks that contain binoculars, field guides and other tools.

A list of such programs can be found at The Virginia State Parks search tool makes it easy to search by program, date or specific park at

June 8 is also part of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries Free Fishing Weekend so it is a great opportunity to grab a fishing pole and head out to a Virginia State Park to fish without paying for a license.

Select state parks, including Bear Creek Lake in Cumberland County, Chippokes Plantation in Surry County, Hungry Mother in Smyth County, New River Trail in Foster Falls, and Smith Mountain Lake in Huddleston, will offer special GO Day fishing programs.

Last year more than 138 official GO Day sites across the nation welcomed more than 70,000 new faces to the joy and benefits of the great outdoors. GO Day is an outgrowth of the Get Outdoors USA! campaign, which encourages Americans, especially youngsters, to seek out healthy, active outdoor lives and embrace our parks, forests, refuges and other public lands and waters.

Click here for more information on National Get Outdoors Day.

From a news release from Virginia State Parks.