This year join the thousands of folks who will opt to feast their eyes on Mother Nature’s cornucopia a day after feasting on Thanksgiving turkey instead of battling the madness at the malls. Green Friday is an antidote to Black Friday: the shop-til-you-drop onslaught that kicks off the holiday shopping season.
Green Friday programs will be offered at many Arkansas State Parks on November 24, 2017. Visitors can participate in a guided tour or strike out on their own in order to swap the commercial buzz for the tranquility of nature. AAA Southern Traveler recognized Arkansas State Parks Green Friday as on official Southern Travel Treasure.
The idea of Green Friday began several years ago, when outdoor co-op REI shut their doors on Black Friday in order to encourage people to choose the outdoors over fighting it out in the aisles. “Being outside makes us our best selves – healthier and happier, physically and mentally. We are doing this again to unite people and to find common ground in the outdoors,” said REI CEO Jerry Stritzke. “Right now, I think people are looking for a moment to take a breath, reground themselves and come together.”
Specific Green Friday Arkansas State Park events include:
- Participate in family-friendly, nature-oriented programming at Cossatot River State Park-Natural Area. Enjoy outdoor cast iron cooking, animal track soap demos, and hikes throughout the park.
- Experience a primitive camp, as well as some of the survival skills used by Arkansas pioneers at Petit Jean State Park. Watch a variety of demonstrations including muzzleloading rifles, tomahawk throwing, and more! Co-presented by the Early Arkansaw Reenactors Association.
- Go green at Lake Chicot State Park! Hike the Delta Woodlands Nature Trail, enjoy the scenery of birds and other wildlife, or bring a lunch and enjoy a lakeside picnic alongside Arkansas’s largest natural lake.
- At DeGray Lake Resort State Park, visitors can learn primitive fire-starting skills, go on a golf cart safari or hike one of their many trails.
- Lake Dardanelle State Park is offering several hands-on activities for all ages. Take the Great American Camper Quiz, get involved in pioneer games or make animal track soaps.
- The most famous of the raptors in North America are bald eagles. Join a Lake Fort Smith State Park interpreter to discover these phenomenal birds of prey and how, with the help of the nation, they will continue to soar.
- At Mount Nebo State Park go an easy 4-mile hike around the Bench Trail to enjoy some nature and discover future plans for this well-known path.
- Woolly Hollow State Park will have a relatively easy 1/2-mile guided hike on the Cabin Trail, through the oak and hickory woods. Please remember to bring water and wear sturdy footwear.
- A sunset beach hike will take place at Jacksonport State Park. Meet back at the campground for spiced cider to finish the evening.
- Moro Bay State Park is the perfect place to avoid the stress of the holiday season. Come out and rent bicycles, maybe a motorboat, or borrow a volleyball from the store and enjoy the day outside.
- Start your day right with a walk in the woods. Join the park interpreter to discover the unique habitats found at Village Creek State Park on this .5-mile walk. Tennis shoes or hiking boots are recommended.
- Lake Catherine State Park’s Horseshoe Mountain Trail is three miles long and ascends a rocky ridge where the trees are dwarfed and nestled in thick grasses. This is a three hour hike, so wear comfortable shoes and bring along a bottle water.
- Join Queen Wilhelmina State Park Interpreter Melissa for an invigorating afternoon hike down Lovers Leap Trail. Hikers will be able to learn about the trees on the way and possibly see some wildlife.
Find even more fun ways to enjoy Green Friday by clicking on our “Events” tab at the top of the ArkansasStateParks.com. Also, let us know how you spent Green Friday on social media – tag us and use the hashtags #arstateparks, #greenfriday and #optoutside.
Author: Meg Matthews
Meg Matthews is the Public Information Coordinator for Arkansas State Parks. She enjoys hiking, biking and swimming at state parks with her friends and family. Meg has recently joined the state parks team after spending years as a broadcast journalist. She is excited to tell all of the wonderful stories about state parks!