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Step Outdoors – Springfest Paddleboard!

Paddelboarding is the new hot sport in boating - try it at Springfest!


by Chloe Quimby - May 10, 2016

Free, family-friendly outdoor activities for all ages are being offered at the Step Outdoors 10th Annual Springfest, 10am-3pm on Saturday, May 21st, at Hills Creek State Park.

There will be lots to do, including stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, forestry displays, and crafts for youngsters at Hills Creek, all with volunteers assisting. (Youth participating in water activities must be accompanied by an adult or demonstrate a basic level of competency.) All equipment will be provided free.

Springfest will also provide youth with the opportunity to experience fishing on Hills Creek Lake. Jim Mucci, a retired Hills Creek State Park Complex naturalist, and volunteers from Tiadaghton Chapter #688 of Trout Unlimited will be available to help participants. Fishing poles, bait, and lures will be provided for those who want to learn basic fishing skills. Fishing licenses are required for anyone 16 or older. In addition to fishing, those interested in angling can try fly-casting techniques, or learn fly tying. Trout Unlimited Tiadaghton Chapter #688 volunteers will provide fly tying materials.

Barb Smith, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers water safety volunteer at Tioga-Hammond and Cowanesque Lakes, will lead water safety games and give free handouts on water safety for both children and adults.

With the theme “Earth – A New Wild,” the Tioga County Countryside Council will present to kids and adults on how people are a part of nature, rather than separate from it. The council, a citizens’ organization with a diversity of interests, is a work group of the Tioga County Partnership for Community Health. Activities from 10am to 1pm will focus on “rewilding” kids, agroforestry (the cultivation and conservation of trees), and learning about riparian buffers (vegetative zones surrounding water sources).

The Tioga County Visitors Bureau will be handing out free information about things to do and places to see in Tioga County. The 2016 Tioga County Visitors Guide, maps, and other informational brochures will be provided.

A three-mile trail hike, led by Bureau of Forestry personnel, will begin at 11am, and with another group setting off at 1pm. The walks starts and finishes on the hill overlooking the Hills Creek Lake beach area.

Gary Tyson, Tiadaghton Audubon Society field trip coordinator, will also lead a Birding Walk for the public on Saturday, May 21st. Birders with any level of experience are welcome to participate. Birders meet at the Hills Creek State Park office (111 Spillway Road) about five minutes before the 8am start time. Trails are easy and relatively level. It is recommended participants wear sturdy walking shoes. For additional information about birds native to Hills Creek State Park and the surrounding areas, visit or email

For more information about Springfest or directions, email or call 570-724-4246.



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