Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Catskills Recreation Destination Plan

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recently issued findings statements and other documents for the Belleayre Mountain Ski Center Unit Management Plan (UMP) and Belleayre Resort at Catskill Park. The issuance of the findings statements and permits allow the development plan to move forward.

Highlights of the final UMP include the installation of three new ski lifts and 16 new trails, construction of a new lodge, upgrades to snowmaking operations, expanded lodges, and additional parking.

The project site is located in the town of Shandaken (Ulster County) within the boundaries of the New York State Catskill Park and adjacent to the State-owned Forest Preserve Lands comprising the Shandaken Wild Forest and Big Indian Wilderness Area.

The Modified Belleayre Resort at Catskill Park, which includes the Wildacres Resort and Highmount Spa Resort, is located generally west of the Belleayre Mountain Ski Center in the towns of Shandaken (Ulster County) and Middletown (Delaware County).

The Wildacres Resort will include a hotel building with 250 units and ancillary hotel uses (dining, spa and hotel related commercial), 163 detached lodging units in multi-unit buildings, and an 18-hole golf course.

The Highmount Spa Resort includes a 120 unit hotel with spa facilities, 96 additional lodging units, a ski lift and two ski-trails.

For more information, visit www.dec.ny.gov.

source: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)

Saturday, December 5, 2015

2015-2016 Canaan Valley Resort State Park Ski Season

In West Virginia, Canaan Valley Resort Ski Area will launch its 2015/2016 ski season Dec. 18, 2015. Canaan Valley is the highest mountain valley east of the Rocky Mountains.

Average annual snowfall in the Canaan Valley region is more than 180 inches. The summit elevation of 4,280 feet above sea level features 91 skiable acres, three lifts, lighted night skiing on weekends and holidays, a terrain park, and ski school.

Canaan's ski area has 47 trails and slopes with areas suitable for beginner, intermediate, for advanced skiers. Live ski conditions at Canaan Valley Resort Ski Area are available via webcam.

For more information, visit www.wvstateparks.com or call 1-800-622-4121.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Christmas Bird Counts

Wildlife refuges throughout the Mid Atlantic take part the annual Christmas bird census, coordinated by the National Audubon Society.

2015 Mid Atlantic Region Christmas bird counts:

Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge (NJ)
December 19, 2015
Spend a day counting birds. Novices welcome. For more information, call 973-425-9510.

Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge (VA)
December 16, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Help count birds on the refuge. For more information, call 757-986-3705

source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Scotton Landing Fishing Pier (Delaware - St. Jones River)

In Delaware, Scotton Landing Fishing Pier is now open to the public, according to DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife. The recently renovated pier has a new wooden deck and handrails.

Located on the tidal St. Jones River in Delaware, the pier is a popular location for fishing, crabbing, birdwatching, and other activities.

Scotton Landing Fishing Pier is owned and maintained by the Division of Fish & Wildlife. For more information, please call the Fisheries Section at 302-739-9914.

source: DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife

Friday, October 23, 2015

Philadelphia Named Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership City

Officials from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), William Penn Foundation, National Audubon Society, and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation recently dedicated Philadelphia as an Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership city.

The special designation is part of the USFWS Urban Wildlife Conservation Program, which has provided more than $1.1 million since 2013 to partnerships across the nation to connect city residents with nature.

With this designation, Audubon Pennsylvania will receive $49,000 this year to support the partnership through the Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Grant Program, which is administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and supported by the Service, Environmental Protection Agency, Fed Ex and Bank of America. This builds upon a $30,000 grant to support the partnership in 2014, which was from the same program.

The funding will support efforts in Southwest Philadelphia to create neighborhood green spaces and parks, provide environmental education programs in schools, improve access and transportation to the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum, connect the refuge to the Circuit trail network and provide jobs to young people throughout the year.

Other partners are contributing technical and financial support, including the school district of Philadelphia, Eastwick Friends and Neighbors Coalition, Friends of Heinz Refuge, City Lights, Student Conservation Association, TreePhilly, City of Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, and many others.

The William Penn Foundation also awarded a $146,000 grant to the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge to support their environmental education efforts, further bolstering the partnership. This funding will support low-cost and free kayak tours to residents living adjacent to the refuge in Eastwick and Kingsessing. The tours, which will be operating in cooperation with L.L. Bean, will educate residents about the Tinicum Marsh, one of the largest fresh-water tidal marshes in the Delaware River watershed.

Philadelphia is one of 17 urban wildlife refuge partnerships across the country.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Hurricane Joaquin Damage - Mid Atlantic States

A variety of agencies in the USA have been involved in predicting and accessing damage from Hurricane Joaquin.

Coastal change experts from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) recently warned that although the path of Hurricane Joaquin continues to move farther offshore, a high probability of dune erosion existed along parts of the Atlantic coast, from the North Carolina Outer Banks to Cape Cod.

Area which could be affected include the Outer banks, Virginia, and Maryland, New England, the New Jersey and New York coast.

USGS issues coastal-change forecasts, which integrate information produced by both the USGS and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and its National Hurricane Center. The forecasts are posted daily to the agency's Coastal Change Hazards Portal.

source: U.S. Geological Survey

Friday, September 25, 2015

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area Things To Do - October

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is hosting a series of special programs and events for the month of October. All programs are open to the public.

Fossil Trail Hike
October 11, 2015 10am – 12pm
Pocono Environmental Education Center
Celebrate National Fossil Day* with a 1.3 mile hike.

Archaeology Day
October 17, 2015, 10am – 3pm
Smithfield Beach
This Archaeology Day** celebration includes presentations and hands-on activities throughout the day.

Lecture Series
October 17, 2015, 7pm – 8pm
Bushkill Meeting Center
A subject-matter expert will discuss the park’s rich cultural history.

EcoZone! Discovery Room
October 18 and 31, 2015, 1 pm – 4pm
Pocono Environmental Education Center
Participants can explore the indoor discovery room, and enjoy hands-on exhibits on natural history, sustainability and the local environment. Fee is $2.00 per person. Call PEEC at (570) 828-2319 for more information.

Van Campen Day
October 18, 2015, Begins at noon
Van Campen Inn
The event includes tours of the eighteenth-century Van Campen Inn presented by costumed guides, music provided by the Colonial Musketeers Fife and Drum Corps, colonial crafts, re-enacted encampment, and hikes to Fort Shapanack, the slave cemetery, and Shapanack cemetery. For more information call the Walpack Historical Society at (973) 948-4903.

Octivities at Millbrook Village
October 24, 2015, 3pm – 8pm
Millbrook Village
Learn about nineteenth-century traditions during Octivities at Millbrook Village. After sunset, there will be lantern strolls of the village and spooky storytelling around the campfire.

* National Fossil Day is a celebration organized by the National Park Service to promote public awareness and stewardship of fossils, as well as to foster a greater appreciation of their scientific and educational values.

** International Archaeology Day is a celebration of archaeology and the thrill of discovery. Every October the AIA and archaeological organizations across the United States, Canada, and abroad present archaeological programs and activities for people of all ages and interests.

source: NPS

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Arts in the Estuary - Dover Delaware

The Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve (DNERR) is holding Arts in the Estuary from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015 at the St. Jones Reserve, 818 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover and at the John Dickinson Plantation, located next to the Reserve at 340 Kitts Hummock Road.

Arts in the Estuary will feature artists, photographers, jewelers, wood carvers, and exhibitors showcasing their work for sale at the St. Jones Reserve.

Visitors can view painting and carving demonstrations, speak to local artists, paint an estuary landscape, and get tips on how to create their own artwork.

Children of all ages can demonstrate their talents by painting with soils, making fish prints, and doing other children’s activities.

Live musical performances will include Bethany Krumrine at 11 a.m. and by Rick Schuman at 12:30 p.m.

At the John Dickinson Plantation, period artists will demonstrate their heirloom crafts and costumed interpreters will guide visitors through the mansion and demonstrate the colonial art of preserving, smoking and pickling foods.

The event also includes the Delaware Native Plant Society’s Annual Native Plant Sale.

Arts in the Estuary will be held in celebration of National Estuary Day. Admission is free to the event, which will be held rain-or-shine. 

For more information about Arts in the Estuary, visit: http://de.gov/dnerrarts

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Cape Henlopen Fishing Pier 2015

In September, DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation announced that the historic Cape Henlopen Fishing Pier in Cape Henlopen State Park will reopen just in time for the fall fishing season.

The pier and surrounding surf-fishing opportunities make Cape Henlopen State Park the most popular fishing destination in Delaware, and after a spring and summer closure for repairs, DNREC worked to get the pier reopened ahead of its projected construction schedule.

The pier was closed late last year due to engineering concerns about the structural integrity of the pilings that it sits on. In April, the piling repair project was awarded through competitive bid to Commerce Construction of Bridgeport, N.J.

Recently, the contractor completed $400,000 of repairs to approximately 108 pilings, wrapping up the first phase of the pier’s latest renovation project. The second phase entails decking replacement and various repairs to the pier’s superstructure and fencing. It will again be competitively bid, with work done over the winter to minimize impact on recreational fishing.

The Cape Henlopen Fishing pier was originally built by the Army to serve Fort Miles during World War II. The pier is now over 70 years old and, according to DNREC’s consulting engineers, has long outlived it useful life expectancy. The pier has had repairs made in 2006, 2008, 2009, and 2012.

The latest renovation project is expected to extend the life span of the pier for two to five years and is the largest repair to date undertaken by Delaware State Parks.

Anglers using the pier from the Labor Day weekend forward are reminded that the privately-operated park concession Lighthouse View Bait & Tackle Shop will be closed in the spring of 2016.

 source: DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation

Monday, September 7, 2015

2015 International Folk Festival - Fayetteville, NC

37th Fayetteville - Cumberland County International Folk Festival (North Carolina)
September 25-27, 2015
Downtown Fayetteville
335 Ray Avenue
Fayetteville, NC 28301

Celebrate cultural diversity at the Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County’s 37th International Folk Festival September 25-27 in downtown Fayetteville.

The Folk Festival includes a Parade of Nations, live performances, authentic cuisine, arts and crafts vendors, children’s area, Native American Cultural Showcase. 

For more information, visit www.theartscouncil.com.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

2015 Virginia Beach American Music Festival

The American Music Festival will be held September 4, 5, 6, 2015 in Virginia Beach.

The festival includes concerts by more than 30 bands. A number of national and international artists are scheduled to perform on the Main Stage at 5th Street.

Additional free performances will be held at 17th Street Park, 24th Street Park, and 31st Street Park.

Headliners (5th Street main stage):


Steve Miller Band

The gates open at 6 p.m. , show begins at 6:30 p.m.

Rebelution, The Wailers, G. Love & Special Sauce

The gates open at 5:30 p.m., show begins at 6:30 p.m.


Sheryl Crow

The gates open at 6 p.m., show begins at 7 p.m.

source: City of Virginia Beach

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Things To Do in Harpers Ferry West Virginia

Harpers Ferry West Virginia is one of the best kept secrets in the Mid Atlantic region. Steeped in history, this small town offers an incredible array of outdoor recreation.

This friendly town's appeal is due mostly to its geographic location. Harpers Ferry is located at the junction of two of America's most famous rivers; the Potomac and Shenandoah.

Things to do outdoors in Harpers Ferry West Virginia include hiking, biking, rafting, tubing, kayaking, fishing, birdwatching, camping, tours of the town, and many other activities.

Not to be overlooked are things to do indoors, including shopping, dining, and museum tours. History buffs can tour the John Brown Wax Museum, Brunswick Heritage Museum, Jefferson County Museum, and Civil War Living History Museum.

Harpers Ferry and other nearby towns host a number of festivals and other events throughout the year, including the Harpers Ferry Outdoor Festival, American Conservation Film Festival, African American Heritage Festival, Mountain Heritage Festival, and others.

Visitors to Harpers Ferry generally find local services to be good. The town has bed and breakfasts, restaurants, cafe's, specialty shops, river outfitters, fishing guides, hiking and biking shops, gift shops, bookstores, and more.

Related Information

Harpers Ferry West Virginia

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Labor Day Weekend Things To Do - Mid Atlantic

The list of things to do during Labor Day Weekend 2015 is a long one. This list includes a few of the many festivals, shows, and other events that will be held in the Mid Atlantic region.

New Jersey

West Cape May Tomato Festival
Wilbraham Park
Perry Street
West Cape May, NJ 08204

The West Cape May Tomato Festival celebrates the Jersey fresh tomato and the end of the summer season.


Season Finale Fireworks Celebration with Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra
Saturday, Sep. 5, 2015
Time: 7:00 P.M.
The Freeman Stage at Bayside
31750 Lake View Drive
The Freeman Stage at Bayside
Selbyville, DE
Price: Free

Celebrate Labor Day and America with the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra, in an evening of the great American Classics of Jazz, Swing and Orchestral Favorites. The event includes a post-concert fireworks display.


At Baltimore MD, visitors can enjoy landmarks, historic sites, parks, boat tours and other attractions. Places to see include the Inner Harbor, Fells Point, North Point, Fort McHenry, tall ships, and many others.

Annapolis First Sunday Arts Festival
September 6, 2015
Calvert and West Streets
Annapolis, Maryland

The Annapolis First Sunday Arts Festival is a free arts and craft show featuring around 100 local and regional artists, crafts vendors, live music, dance, street performers, food, and more. The arts festival is held the first Sunday of each month May to October on Calvert and West Streets in Historic Annapolis, Maryland.

National Hard Crab Derby
September 3, 4, 5, 6, 2015
Somers Cove Marina
Crisfield, MD

The National Hard Crab Derby in Crisfield features exhibits, food, games, contests, and other attractions.

Crisfield Maryland Boat Docking Contest
September 6, 2015
Somers Cove Marina
Crisfield, MD

The Crisfield Maryland Boat Docking Contest features watermen from around the Chesapeake Bay competing for cash prizes.

Deal Island Skipjack Races and Festival
September 5-7, 2015
Deal Island Harbor
10319 Richard Webster Road
Deal Island, MD 21821

The Deal Island skipjack sailboat races are a local tradition.

Washington, D.C.

DC Blues Festival
September 5, 2015
12:00 pm - 7:00 pm   
Washington, D.C.

The 27th annual, free D.C. Blues festival will be held Sept. 5 at the Carter Barron Amphitheater. Performers at the Blues Festival will include Jackson and Oziel, The Mojo Priests, Full Power Blues, James Armstrong, and Sharrie Williams.

National Book Festival
September 5, 2015
10:00 am - 10:00 pm
Washington Convention Center   
Washington, D.C.

The 15th Anniversary National Book Festival will be held Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015, at the Washington Convention Center. Approximately 175 authors, illustrators, and poets will be attending the national book festival.


2015 American Music Festival
September 4-6, 2015
Virginia Beach Boardwalk

The 2015 American Music Festival will showcase more than 30 bands. The festival will be held September 4-6, along the Virginia Beach Boardwalk.

West Virginia

River and Trail Outfitters Kayaking Tour
Saturday, September 6th, 2015
Harpers Ferry, WV

On Saturday evening, River and Trail Outfitters will hold a guided kayaking tour on the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers near Harpers Ferry. Enjoy paddling by the light of the setting sun and experience the serenity and wildlife of the river.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Best Areas for Catching Croaker and Spot

The Mid Atlantic region is known for its outstanding fishing for two similar species; croaker and spot.

One of the reasons that croaker and spot fishing is popular is that these species can be caught from the shore.

Croaker and spot can be caught using basic tackle and inexpensive baits, such as squid, bloodworms, clams, and crabs. Croaker tend to prefer medium-sized baits, while spot often go for tiny morsels of bloodworms or other baits.

Both croaker and spot make good table fare, especially fresh. In addition to croakers and spot, anglers may encounter kingfish, pigfish, perch, blue crabs, or other tasty seafood.

The following list includes popular fishing piers and other areas where anglers can target croaker and spot in the Mid Atlantic:

Fishing piers near Baltimore MD

Choptank River - Bill Burton Fishing Pier

Crisfield MD fishing pier

OC Fishing Pier (Ocean City MD)

Hampton Roads VA Fishing Piers

Related Information

Baits for Croaker

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Popular Car and Truck Stickers - Mid Atlantic Region

In recent years, the popularity of vehicle stickers has skyrocketed throughout the USA. A closer look at this trend reveals some interesting clues as to the renewed popularity of vinyl auto stickers.

No doubt, vinyl auto stickers have been popular for decades. Some of the earlier bumper stickers featured a plain white background and simple text art. In many cases, these stickers were sold as souvenirs at local resorts.

This old school bumper sticker features a classic style of text.

In the Mid Atlantic region, Euro style oval vehicle stickers have become common. These designs are smaller, which allow vehicle owners to display them on windows, bumpers, or other parts of vehicles.

The popularity of Euro style oval stickers in the Mid Atlantic region began with stickers that displayed the acronym "OBX" to designate North Carolina's Outer Banks. As more and more travelers began adding OBX stickers to their autos, the trend spread along the Atlantic Coast.
OBX - Outer Banks NC Euro Style Oval Logo Oval Sticker
OBX - Outer Banks NC Euro Style Oval Logo Oval Sticker

As the popularity of Euro style stickers increased, so did the variety of choices. Another popular three-letter oval sticker is "OKI", which designates Ocracoke Island, North Carolina.

Two letter versions are also popular, such as this "HI" Hatteras Island sticker.

Eventually, the popularity of Euro style oval stickers spread throughout the Mid Atlantic. This "CM" acronym logo is available for fans of Cape May New Jersey.

Some auto owners find the Euro style two, three, and four letter acronym stickers to be too cryptic. An alternative to the oval sticker is the rectangular vinyl sticker, which is well suited for SUVs, crossovers, and other small vehicles.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Portuguese Man O’ War Reported on Long Island Beaches

In July, Fire Island National Seashore (FINS) received reports of Portuguese Man O’ War at various locations on Long Island’s South Shore beaches.

On July 8 a visitor to Jones Beach, the barrier beach west of Fire Island, encountered and reported three Portuguese Man O’ War.

On July 1 there was a sighting at Fire Island Pines and, since that time, National Park Service (NPS) lifeguards found and buried four of the animals near Sailors Haven.

Notices and safety warning flags will be posted at visitor centers and on NPS lifeguarded beaches on Fire Island. If a public safety risk is identified, NPS lifeguarded beaches will be closed to swimming. Beaches within the towns of Brookhaven and Islip on Fire Island are taking similar precautions, according to NPS.

The Portuguese Man O’ War (Physalia physalis) has long tentacles with stinging cells used to capture its small fish prey. These stinging cells can cause a painful sting to humans, even after the animal has died.

source: National Park Service