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Explore South Mountain region for Labor Day weekend
A wide array of free events will take place Labor Day weekend at more than 30 participating sites in the South Mountain region of south central Pennsylvania, showcasing the area’s best outdoor recreational opportunities.

South Mountain Outdoors, now in its second year, will launch on Saturday, Sept. 1, marking the start of two days of biking, hiking, kayaking, fishing, history tours and cultural festivals across Cumberland, Adams and Franklin counties.

“South Mountain Outdoors is for anyone interested in getting outside, whether you hike, paddle, fish, or are interested in conservation,” Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Richard Allan said. “It gives adults and kids the opportunity to meet people who work in conservation and outdoor recreation and learn more about the amazing resources and recreational opportunities this region offers.”

The guide to the weekend’s events is the South Mountain Outdoors Passport that can be downloaded online or picked up at participating locations.

Participants can leave the passport at any of the noted locations to be eligible for a random drawing of prizes donated by participating South Mountain region sites.

Featured events on Sept. 1 and 2 include: Bigfoot Boot Camp at Kings Gap Environmental Education Center; guided bike rides by the Harrisburg Bicycle Club and along the Cumber Valley Rail Trail; a walking tour of the Dickinson College Farm; an Appalachian Trail hike followed by sticky buns at Allenberry Resort Inn; backyard beekeeping hike at Strawberry Hill Nature Preserve; specials along the Gettysburg Wine and Fruit Trail; and more.

Labor Day also marks one of two days out of the year on which anyone can fish in Pennsylvania without a fishing license. Those looking to try their hand at fishing, but don’t have gear, can visit Pine Grove Furnace State Park, located at the mid-point of the Appalachian Trail, for free loaner equipment on Monday, Sept. 3.

South Mountain Outdoors is sponsored by the South Mountain Partnership, made up of private citizens, businesses, nonprofit organizations and government representatives in Adams, Cumberland, Franklin and York counties, working to protect and enhance the region’s landscape.

The partnership was sparked by DCNR’s Conservation Landscape Initiative, an effort to engage communities, local partners, state agencies and funding opportunities to conserve the high-quality natural and cultural resources while enhancing the region’s economic viability.

For full details of South Mountain Outdoors, go to or call the Appalachian Trail Conservancy at 717-258-5771.

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August 29, 2012

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