Whether howling at the moon or sailing along moonlight bay, outdoor fun is taking a new twist on Full Moon Nights at Cass Scenic Railroad State Park. Full Moon Hikes are scheduled in February, March and April.
“Train rides on the Cass Scenic Railroad begin in May and run through October, but the company houses and Town of Cass are year-round destinations,” said Monica Fleming, activities coordinator. “Activities at Cass are town and nature-oriented. Full Moon Hikes take advantage of lunar observation and encourage folks to get outdoors.”
Three hikes led by Fleming are scheduled on full moon nights February 22, March 23 and April 22. Hikers will depart from the Visitors Center located near the company store at Cass. Each hike departs at 6 p.m. and will cover a portion of the Greenbrier River Trail to Mile Marker 79 and back, about three miles. There is a 20-person limit for each hike and preregistration is requested at www.cassrailroad.com/reg istrationn_hikes.html
There is no charge to participate.
The trail is crushed gravel with minimal grade change. Recommended dress includes boots or closed-toe footwear, socks and layered outerwear. Hats and gloves could be handy. Hikers should pack water and a snack. Because retaining night vision is important for seeing the night sky and wildlife, no flash photography, flashlights or headlights will be permitted. Children must be with a parent or guardian at all times. Well-behaved dogs are allowed but must be kept on a leash and under control.
Full Moon Hike miles are eligible to be counted toward the naturalist-guided hikes that are part of the 2016 Chief’s Challenge, which encourages people to hike 100 miles in state parks this year. See “Hikes and Walks” at wvstateparks.com for Chief’s Challenge information, or call 304-456-4300 Ext 111 and ask for Monica Fleming.
To learn more about the night sky, lunar phases, eclipses and other sky events, visit the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) website http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa. gov/eclipse.html. To learn more about Cass Scenic Railroad State Park visit www.cassrailroad.com