Hiawatha Forest lines up programs
RAPID RIVER – The Hiawatha National Forest will be offering a variety of programs for the public at an area campground this summer. All of the programs are free of charge and will be held in the picnic area of the Camp 7 Lake Campground.
All programs begin at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted and will be held rain or shine. Attendees are asked to bring a lawn chair or blanket to sit on. For more information on any of the programs, contact the Manistique District office at 341-5666 or the Rapid River District office at 474- 6442.
“We are excited to be able to offer these high quality programs this summer,” said Anne Okonek, recreation program manager for the West Zone of the Hiawatha National Forest. “We would not be able to provide these free programs to the public if it weren’t for the generous financial assistance of the Hiawatha Interpretive Association and Wildlife Unlimited of Delta County.”
On July 12 at 7 p.m., Camp 7 Lake Campground will feature Randy Bruntjens, from the U.P. Raptor Rehab Center. Bruntjens will bring a great horned owl, barred owl, and a broad-winged and red-tailed hawk.
Those interested in geocaching can join Amy Anderson from the Delta County Geocaching Club on July 20 at 7 p.m. Geocaching is a real-world outdoor treasure hunting game where players use GPS units or smart phones to locate “treasures” hidden in the woods.
Anderson and other members of the Club will have GPS units available and caches hidden in the campground so audience members can try to find them. Prizes will be hidden in the caches for those able to find them.
On July 26 at 9 p.m., visiting Leah Sexton, interpreter from Indian Lake State Park, will host a “Star Party” at the Camp 7 Lake Campground. This program will be held again on Aug. 10.
On July 27 at 7 p.m., Hiawatha Interpretive Association Intern Nick Moreno will present his program, “Wildlife Adaptations of the North Woods.” The animals of the north woods use different adaptations to help them survive. Check out the furs and skulls of some of the species that living in the area.
On Aug. 2 at 7 p.m., is a Native American Pinch Pot class. Create a traditional style of earthenware used by Eastern Woodland Native Americans called “pinch pots” – used for cooking and eating. Instruction and materials will be provided by Christine Groleau, retired art teacher, local artist, and owner of Christine’s Studio Gallery.
On Aug. 9 at 7 p.m., Moreno is back to present “Voyageurs – What a Life!”
On Aug. 16, a repeat performance of the interpretive program, “Wildly Inspiring and a Little Loony: A Field Guide to Creativity in the Hiawatha National Forest” will take place.
The summer’s final program at Camp 7 Lake Campground will take place on Aug. 17. The “Universe in the Park” program, from the Department of Astronomy at the University of Wisconsin- Madison, introduces the general public to the northern night sky. The program begins at dusk or approximately 9 p.m.
Due to the close proximity of Camp 7 Lake to Manistique, Rapid River, Gladstone, Escanaba and Munising, most drive to the campground for the evening programs, as they are not restricted to those camping.
“Many people bring a picnic dinner or go swimming as part of the evening,” said Okonek. “Some bring their bikes or boots to hike or bike the 1.8 mile Van Winkle Lake trail too. Camp 7 Lake is also a fine lake for canoeing or kayaking.”
The Camp 7 Lake Campground is located 4 miles west of County Road 437 (the Thunder Lake Road) on Delta County Road 442 for those traveling from the Manistique area.
For those wishing to camp for the weekend, approximately half of the campsites at Camp 7 can be reserved in advance by calling toll-free (877) 444-6777 or going to Recreation.gov.
Some campsites are available on a first come, first served basis.