Message From The Director
The crisp air, the crunch of pine needles underfoot and the peaceful solitude of the forest at night can make a moonlight hike an unforgettable experience. Recently, I had the opportunity to take a moonlight hike at Sesquicentennial State Park with Ranger Stacey, and not only was it an enjoyable adventure, but I also learned a few interesting facts that made the experience even more memorable.
One of the highlights of the hike for me was learning that each full moon has a different name. Ranger Stacey explained that the full moon in February is called the "Snow Moon." My interest stirred, and I later discovered that other moons are referred to as wolf, sturgeon, flower and strawberry moons. I was fascinated to learn that these names come from different cultures and traditions, and they often reflect the natural world and the seasonal changes.
But the moon wasn't the only thing we learned about on the hike. Stacey also shared some interesting facts about ant lions, which are small insects that live in sandy areas. We learned that these creatures are sometimes called "doodlebugs" because of the meandering trails they leave in the sand. We also discovered that ant lions are ferocious predators that trap their prey by digging conical pits in the sand and waiting for an ant or other small insect to fall in. The ant lion then uses its sharp mandibles to capture and devour its prey, and during full moon nights the pits they dig are measurably larger!
Overall, the moonlight hike was a fun and educational experience that reminded me of the importance of getting out and exploring the natural world and inspired me to learn more. It was a great way to connect with nature, learn some interesting facts and enjoy the peaceful beauty of the park at night. If you're looking for a unique way to learn more and get inspired by others I encourage you to check out your local state park and see what programs may inspire you. You never know what you might discover!
Interested in experiencing a moonlit hike? Check out this upcoming Full Moon Hike at Sesquicentennial State Park on March 6, 2023. This program is designed for ages 10 and older and adults must accompany children. Pre-registration is required and space is limited. Check it out, here!