Little River Canyon National Preserve – Alabama


Little River Canyon National Preserve

http://www.nps.gov/liri/ index.htm

Completed: September 30, 2017

Senior Friendly

Along the eastern edge of Alabama this is a little known unit of the National Park Service (NPS). As a preserve it can include a few recreational activities not usually allowed in NPS sites. Besides hiking and climbing, some of the activities allowed are fishing and hunting. This was my second visit and on both visits I was able to enjoy the natural beauty with very few other visitors. There are hiking trails, as well as scenic drives to explore. This park also honors those Native Americans which endured the Trail of Tears.

This program is Senior Friendly, no age limits are given. The booklet indicates to complete as many activities as possible to earn the badge. During this visit I was able to complete all of the activities.

Activities include; Where Are you From?, What Should You Bring?, People in the Preserve, Junior Ranger Safety Scrambler, What is a Cultural or Natural Resource?, Everything Needs a Home, Invader!, Woods Walk, Little River Footprints, Wildlife Around You, Pitcher Plant Maze, Where does the Water Go?, Mushroom Rock, Crossword Puzzle, Little River Fossils, Plants of Little River Canyon, Wildlife Scavenger Hunt, and National Park Service Emblem.

Identifying the difference between Cultural and Natural Resources involved looking at pictures of plants, a arrowhead and a house from 1910. Everything Needs Home was a drawing activity to show the same needs of a human’s habitat and that of an animal. I drew a picture of the van in which we travel – my home, away from home. The activities were interesting and provided good variety. The booklet had great photos and graphics which added to the experience.

I picked up the booklet late in the day, explored a bit before heading over to DeSoto State Park (alapark.com/desoto-state-park). This park is close by in a beautiful canyon and has camping, a lodge and restaurant. The campground with amenities; electric hook ups, showers and large sites are excellent. We have also eaten at the lodge restaurant, enjoyed the breakfast buffet. The following morning I returned to the visitor center and had my booklet reviewed. The volunteer on duty provided the oath,certificate and badge and a picture!

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Fort Laramie National Historic Site & Guernsey State Park – Wyoming

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Fort Laramie National Historic Site
Guernsey State Park
Wyoming

http://www.nps.gov/fola
http://wyoparks.state.wy.us/Site/SiteInfo.aspx?siteID=7

Completed: September 18, 2015

Senior Friendly

This is a very unique Junior Ranger program, a state park partnered with a National Park Site, in one booklet with a special award if both programs are completed. I have been to Fort Laramie NHS on several occasions, but had not visited the state park. It turned out to be a wonderful combination of places to visit.

One booklet contains both programs. Neither programs indicate an age, upper or lower, so it is considered Senior Friendly.

I started at Fort Laramie NHS with the activities; Visitor Center/Museum, Fort Buildings (10), Trash and Artifacts, People from the Past, Scavenger Hunt Bingo. In order to complete the booklet I walked the perimeter of the fort to visit the buildings and get the requested information. At first I thought counting the fireplaces and stoves in Old Bedlam was busy work until I learned that stoves were ordered for every room, even though there were fireplaces in all of the rooms. The first winter was so cold and the fireplaces did not heat well enough so the stoves were added. In order to complete People from the Past you had to ask a ranger, which provided additional information about the history of the fort.

A ranger reviewed my booklet and stamped the certificate with the Fort Laramie NHS passport stamp. This finished the part of the booklet for Fort Laramie NHS. I received the standard Junior Ranger badge and purchased the embroidered patch before leaving the fort.

Before heading over to Guernsey State Park there were two places away from the park that had information I needed for their program. I had visited the Oregon Trail Ruts site previously, but enjoyed walking the short interpretive trail again. From there I drove back to Register Cliff to view the many names engraved in the cliff. Unfortunately many other names have been carved, some very recently. With some effort the names from the 1800s could be identified.

Oregon Trail Ruts
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These sites are between Fort Laramie NHS and Guernsey State Park, south of the town of Guernsey. Both places are open to the public and free. We left Guernsey and headed west on US 26 to enter the state park where we camped for the night. The next morning we went to the Civilian Conservation Corp museum, built in 1936 by the CCC. It is an amazing building, frozen in time. The displays are original to the building, as is the lighting. Walking through the museum is like stepping back in time. The Junior Ranger booklet has you find information inside and outside of the museum.

Guernsey State Park – Civilian Conservation Corp Museum
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The staff member in the museum reviewed my booklet and stamped the certificate with the Guernsey State Park stamp. She presented me with an attractive metal Wyoming State Parks Junior Ranger badge. Because I had completed both programs she awarded me the special coin commemorating both sites.

Double booklet, pins, coin & patch
Fort Laramie NHS
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Guernsey State Park
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Kodachrome Basin State Park – Utah

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Kodachrome State Park
Utah

http://stateparks.utah.gov/parks/kodachrome-basin/

Completed: August 30, 2015

Senior Friendly

I normally complete the Junior Ranger programs within the National Park system, however I do complete ones within state parks. During a recent trip through Utah I camped at Kodachrome State Park. The rock formations are spectacular, and change throughout the day as the light changes.

When I entered the park an eight page map and guide in newspaper format. Besides providing maps of the park and valuable information it includes two full pages of activities for their Junior Ranger program. No age ranges are given, even though it is designed for the younger crowd, so it is considered Senior Friendly. The program is very basic and easy to complete, young and older. The activities included; Dot-To-Dot, Litter Pick-up, Wildlife Identification and Geology Word Search.

I enjoyed the Wildlife Identification, the pictures included were helpful for animals I had been seeing on our trip. I walked the camping area twice looking for litter, I found very little litter which was great.
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This was a quick and easy Junior Ranger program in a beautiful location, gave me more time to enjoy the park. As we left the park the next morning the ranger reviewed the completed activities, signed the certificate within the paper and presented me with a badge. This badge is unique to Kodachrome Basin State Park, lots of state parks provide one badge for the whole state.
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