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Summer interpretive events on the Pagosa Ranger District

The Pagosa Ranger District of the San Juan National Forest has released the schedule of this summer’s interpretive events — free walks, talks and tours — highlighting aspects of Pagosa Country’s expansive backyard.

Following is a list of this summer’s events as of May 23.

For outdoor programs, be prepared for any kind of weather. Bring water, hat, sunscreen, rain gear and appropriate shoes. For outdoor evening programs, bring a chair, blanket and flashlight.

For information, call 264-2268, or go to the website at Click on “Education,” then scroll down to Pagosa Ranger District.

• Wednesday, June 1, 9 a.m.

“A Forest Tells a Story: with help from Susan Halabrin.”

Take a driving and walking tour of the changing forest in the Turkey Springs area with Susan Halabrin. Susan is intrigued by the way landscapes in Colorado change over time in response to disturbance. A student of plant ecology, biochemistry and physical geography, she is a former biology instructor for Front Range Community College in Boulder County with expertise in wildflower identification, fire ecology and ecosystems.

This program is limited to 15 participants. We will be meeting at the parking area near the Turkey Springs Road. Drive six miles north on Piedra Road (CR 600). After you cross the cattle guard and the road turns to dirt, park at the parking area on your left. Please leave your four-legged friends at home. For more information and to reserve a spot, call the Pagosa Ranger District at 264-2268.

• Wednesday, June 15, 10 a.m.

“A Kids Program: Let’s Hike! Rick and Lynne Stinchfield.”

Enjoy a fun review of “Leave No Trace” ethics and the 10 most essential items to bring on a hike, followed by a two-mile roundtrip Nature Hike on the Four Mile Trail. Families may bring a lunch and continue, on their own, to the falls — a six mile roundtrip hike. Please wear sturdy shoes, a hat, sunscreen and bring plenty of water.

To get there, turn north on Lewis Street (next to the downtown Subway), then make an immediate left on Fifth Street (which becomes Fourmile Road). Follow Fourmile Road (FR 645) for 13 miles to its end and meet at the trailhead. Please leave furry friends at home.

• Tuesday, June 21, 8:30 a.m.

“Birding ... A walk at Westfork with Jeff Schaupp.”

Be prepared for an early morning walk at the Westfork area. Jeff will take us for a hike to help us identify some of our local birds. Birds tend to be more prevalent in the morning and evening hours, so this walk will take place a bit earlier than most of our interpretive walks. Be sure to bring binoculars with you, if you have them, and birding books/guides are also welcome.

Travel northeast on U.S. 160 for 15 miles, then turn on West Fork Road (FR 648). Continue past West Fork Campground and across the bridge over the West Fork of the San Juan River. Continue northwest to the trailhead. Please leave furry friends at home.

• Wednesday, June 29, 9:30 a.m.-noon.

“The Early Forest Ranger with Phyllis Wheaton.”

On a walk through the Turkey Springs area, you will learn about the life of the Forest Ranger in the early 1900s.

For this moderate walk (about 2.5 miles round trip), we will meet at the parking area on the right at the end of the pavement on Piedra Road (CR 600/Forest Road 631), 5.5 miles from U.S. 160. You will then follow Phyllis in your vehicle about three miles out Turkey Springs Road (Forest Road 629) to a location just beyond the junction with Forest Road 919. Car pooling is encouraged. Please leave your four-legged friends at home. Wear walking shoes or boots, dress appropriately for the weather and bring drinking water. This free event is sponsored by Pagosa Ranger District of the San Juan Public Lands.

• Wednesday, July 6, 9 a.m.-noon.

“A Geology Tour of Ice Cave Ridge with Rick Stinchfield and Phyllis Wheaton.”

Take a pleasant walk and learn about the geology of Ice Cave Ridge.

Wear walking shoes/boots, dress appropriately for the weather and bring drinking water. Meet at the Piedra River Trailhead northwest of Pagosa Springs. From U.S. 160, go north on Piedra Road for about 14 miles. The trailhead is on the left a few hundred yards beyond the crossing of the Piedra River. Please leave four-legged friends at home.

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