Mount Bleak House Tours
April 07 & 08 – 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Mount Bleak House, Historic Area
Walk through history by touring historic Mount Bleak House. Join a ranger or docent and hear the story of the many owners of this 1840’s house and how they shaped the history of Sky Meadows. Feel a part of their stories as you enjoy opportunities to sit in historic reproduction furniture. Tours are subject to ranger or docent availability.
Please inquire inside the Visitor Center for a tour.
April 07, 08, 14, 15, 21, 22, 28, & 29 – 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. – Boston Mill Road Trail near the Park Office
From woodlands to wetlands, fields and pastures, let’s investigate the plants, animals and history of farming at Sky Meadows State Park. Each day offers a different investigation. We’ll have a table full of discovery items for you to touch and explore, and Junior Ranger booklets and other self-guided activities for you to continue exploring on your own.
The Farmer’s Forge
April 07 – 12:00 p.m. – 3p.m. – Blacksmith Forge, Historic Area
The forge is fired up and the blacksmiths are hard at work in the Historic Area. Members of the Blacksmith Guild of the Potomac have set up shop and are ready to show off their skills. Stop by the Blacksmith Shop, located behind the Dairy Barn in the Historic Area, and see them fashion iron into helpful tools and kitchen items used on the farm.
The Settle’s Kettle
April 07 – 12:00 p.m. – 3 p.m. – Log House, Historic Area
Follow your nose to the Log House to see what tasty treats are cooking on the hearth. Watch as a Sky Meadows ranger or volunteer dons historic clothing and cooks delicious dishes using seasonal foods and 19th century cooking methods. Discover how foods differed between the Settles and their enslaved. Sample authentic dishes and take the historic recipe to try at home.
April 07 – 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. – Kitchen Garden in Historic Area
Have a gardening question, or just curious to see what’s ripe for the pickin’? Stop by the Kitchen Garden and visit with our volunteer gardeners as they tend the garden beds. Sky Meadows’ produce is authentically grown in this heirloom vegetable garden, utilized in hearth cooking demonstrations, and available during harvest season in the Visitor Center by donation to the Friends of Sky Meadows (FOSK), or at the FOSK Farmer’s Market. Be sure to stop by the Settle’s Kettle program at the Log Cabin to see how residents of Mount Bleak may have prepared these fresh foods.
Astronomy for Everyone
April 14 – 7:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. – Historic Area
Our evening of space exploration begins with a half-hour “Junior Astronomer” program, for children ages 5-12. Immediately following, hear about the importance of dark skies and light conservation, then join volunteer Ambassadors of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab for a half-hour multimedia presentation on the latest in the United States’ space research. After the presentation, get oriented to the celestial skies with a brief sky tour.
For the remainder of the program take advantage of Sky Meadows’ dark skies by looking at deep space objects through telescopes provided by our Dark Sky volunteers. Have your own telescope? Feel free to bring your scope or binoculars for your own sky exploration.
Note: Entrance gates close one hour after program start time. In the event of rain or clouds, only the “Junior Astronomer” and multimedia presentations will be provided. Parking for this program is $5.00 per vehicle.
Are you an astronomy enthusiast interested in volunteering for our monthly programs? Contact our park by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meet the Beekeepers
April 15 – 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. – Historic Area
What’s that buzzing? Meet with local apiarists Doug and Ramona Morris of the Beekeepers of Northern Shenandoah (BONS) and discover the art of Apiculture (a.k.a. Beekeeping). This monthly program series examines all aspects of beekeeping from hive construction to honey extraction. See the park’s apiary and learn how to set up and care for your own hives using historic and modern agricultural techniques.
April 22 – 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. – Various Locations
Good fences make good neighbors. Fencing keeps our cattle out of streams and ponds, keeping harmful bacteria from entering the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Celebrate Earth Day by stopping by our Explorer Outpost on the Boston Mill Road Trail, near the Park Office, to hear about Sky Meadows’ award winning water conservation practices and how you can practice quality water conservation at home.
Also, get your hands dirty in a volunteer conservation project. Moving pasture fence from waterways has left old fencing standing throughout the park. These fences can be a hazard to wildlife. Meet at the Valley Trailhead, located in the Picnic Area, at 10 a.m. to help us remove this fencing. Tools will be provided. Be sure to wear comfortable hiking shoes, use sunscreen, bug spray, and bring plenty of water. Will include hiking to project area.
Spring Fever 5k
April 29 – 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. – Parking at Turner Pond
Usher in spring with some rejuvenation at Sky Meadows. The Spring Fever 5k trail race, made possible by Roots and Rocks Adventures, is a beautiful and challenging event. The course starts and finishes near Turner Pond and traverses multi-use trails with grass, dirt, roots, rocks, bridges, and some beautiful views. This chip-timed race is great for the experienced trail runner, road runners curious about trying trails, and even new runners and walkers wanting to experience the camaraderie and joy that comes with trail running.
After the race join us for music, an awesome recovery tent provided by Pivot Physical Therapy, and an abundance of post-race food. Then stick around for awards for the top three finishers overall and for each 10-year age group. We will also have some great random prizes!
Pre-registration is $25. Register by April 13 for a guaranteed race t-shirt. To register, go to https://runsignup.com/Race/VA/Paris/SpringFeverTrail5k.
Contact info for all programs and events is: SkyMeadows@dcr.virginia.gov or (540) 592-3556