Mancos State Park summer events

We usually think of Mancos State Park as a great place to do family picnics and a little fishing.

Think again. The state park has devised numerous programs and activities that will appeal to all ages.

Saturday evenings will be filled with music by local musicians. Music starts at 7:30 p.m. at the park amphitheater. Call the park at 970-533-7065 for details. This could be a fun evening with a barbecue and music later in the evening.

Nature programs are also scheduled for every weekend beginning Memorial Day through Labor Day. The programs are led by Carol Bylsma, an experienced and knowledgeable guide, who can help you learn about what's happening throughout the park. Nature programs are scheduled for Saturday mornings and afternoons. From 10 to 11:30 a.m., you can join park naturalist, Carol Bylsma for nature hike to explore wildflowers, birds, and insects. If you have an interest in butterflies and other insects, you might enjoy another Saturday hike with Bylsma that runs 2 to 3:30 p.m. She is one of only a handful of naturalists who knows butterflies and how to catch and release them without harm to the butterfly. She'll even provide you with the net.

Sunday mornings are set aside for birding. Be there early because the walk begins at 8:30 a.m. You will enjoy a quiet morning searching for, listening to and watching the birds that live in our lovely state park. Bring binoculars and your camera too. No experience is necessary and beginners are definitely welcome.

Mancos State Park is also planning monthly astronomy events: June 28, July 26 and Aug. 30.

Astronomers from the Four Corners Stargazers Astronomy Club will bring their telescopes and you find planets, nebula and stars. They set up their telescopes near the park amphitheater as soon as the sky is dark. You can stay as long as you like because the telescopes are set up until 11 p.m.

There is a $7 per car entrance fee to Mancos State Park. Our local State Park is supported only by user fees and not by any State tax dollars. Take advantage of these fun family activities and enjoy an entire day at Mancos State Park.

Marianne Griffin is the executive director of the Mancos Valley Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center. Contact her at 533-7434.