Get Outdoors This Saturday!

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Want to burn off all those Thanksgiving calories? Head out to Lovers Key this weekend for their annual Great Outdoor Adventure Day and celebrate everything that’s wonderful about being outside! Every year the FOLKS at Lover’s Key celebrate our unique and fortunate lifestyle with this fun-filled afternoon, where people get a chance to enjoy everything offered by one of Florida’s most beautiful state parks.

This Saturday, December 5th, The Friends of Lovers Key (FOLKS) invite the public to come to the park between 10am and 3pm for a whole day of family fun.

The Great Outdoor Adventure Day will be set up at the Kayak Launch/Picnic Area of the park (follow the signs after entering the park). Food, touch tanks, children’s activities, as well as Ranger-led programs will highlight the fun-filled day geared towards encouraging participants to recreate responsibly while enjoying the park’s unique habitats and wide variety of wildlife. Rangers and volunteers will offer opportunities to see the park through programs such as guided kayak tours, walking nature tours, bike tours (bike and helmets provided by Billy’s Bikes of Sanibel), geo-caching, fishing clinics, and more! Exhibitors will include local environmental organizations, as well as outdoor equipment and healthy lifestyle vendors. Great Door Prizes will be given away throughout the event.

For the Black Island Bike Tour, adult and children’s bikes and helmets will be provided at no charge. There will also be a “Kids Zone” with activities, live music, rock climbing wall and delicious food.

Local kayak and paddleboard vendors will hold on-water demonstrations and provide a variety of gear for rental or purchase. Paddlers of all ages and abilities will be encouraged to take to the water for an up-close look at marine life in the Gulf and inland waters. Visitors can also try their hand at finding hidden objects throughout the park and event area, or touch live animals, explore solar observations, discover native species, and explore what local nonprofit organizations and outdoor recreational groups have to offer.

“We’ve got a couple more new things this year – the Florida Park Service is starting their Junior Ranger program so for those young people or young at heart, pick up a Junior Ranger Activity Kit and start the self-guided program to earn yourself a certificate, member card and earn a Junior Ranger patch, badge, or pin!” Katie said. “There will also be lots of children’s activities throughout the event as well as a Scavenger Hunt.”

This community-based event is free with regular park entrance of $8 per vehicle of up to eight people, $4 for a single occupant and $2 per pedestrian or bicyclist. Guided Kayak tours will be $10/per person, kayak rental included, with the money going to the Friends of Lover’s Key (FOLKS). Park patrons may also consider membership in 501 (c) 3, non-profit FOLKS, which starts at $40/family. FOLKS membership offers a variety of learning and volunteer opportunities, plus admission to the park 12 times per year.

For additional information on the Great Outdoor Adventure Day, please contact Lovers Key State Park Ranger Station at 239-463-4588. For more information on the Friends of Lovers Key, visit friendsofloverskey.org.

Bring your family to Lovers Key State Park on December 5th and discover why everyone is “Lovin’ it at Lovers Key!”

Keri Hendry Weeg