BANDY CREEK — Want to see a snake up close and learn about how it survives in the rough terrain of the Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area? The National Park Service is offering points towards visitors’ “Go Big” patch on Saturday, with an interpretive program about the different types of snakes found in the BSF.
Visitors to the park are invited to enjoy an evening with park ranger Mary Grimm for an introduction to the identification of a few of the common snakes in the Big South Fork area and why they are important. The fun, fact-filled evening will begin at 7 p.m. at the Bandy Creek Campground campfire circle. In case of rain, the event will be held at the Interpretation and Education Building beside the Bandy Creek Visitor Center.
The snake program is one of several events being offered by the National Park Service over the next two weeks. On Sunday, rangers will lead a one-hour guided hike to one of Kentucky’s tallest waterfalls, Yahoo Falls. The hike will depart the Yahoo Falls parking area at 11 a.m. Sunday morning. The parking area is located on Yahoo Falls Road, off Highway 700 near Whitley City.
Yahoo Falls is 113 ft. tall and flows into the Big South Fork River. Starting from the parking area, the hiking trail descends a series of steps to pass behind the falls under one of the largest rock shelters in the area. The trail is 1.2 miles and is rated easy to moderate. It contains a long set of steps. Hikers should wear weather-appropriate clothing and footwear, and take plenty of water.
Hikers who miss this weekend’s hike to Yahoo Falls can catch another trip to the falls on Sunday, Aug. 6, at 11 a.m.
On Saturday, Aug. 5, Grimm will lead a strenuous, six-mile hike on No Business Trail from Terry Cemetery. The hike will explore the No Business Valley by visiting historical sites along the way, such as the Boyatt family farm and cemetery, the Nancy Smith Cemetery and the Dewey Slaven home place. Water shoes are necessary to cross No Business Creek. Hikers should have water, snacks, bug spray and a lunch.
Terry Cemetery is located at the end of Terry Cemetery Road off Divide Road.
Also on Aug. 5, a 30-minute “Hog Wild” campground program will be held at 7 p.m. A ranger will lead the interpretive program, which will inform visitors on how wild hogs are threatening the flora and fauna of the Big South Fork. In case of rain, the program will be moved to the Interpretation and Education Building.
Finally, a park ranger will lead a program about wildlife diversity at 7 p.m. on Aug. 5, at Blue Heron Campground. The program will teach visitors about how a wide variety of natural conditions have combined to provide a high diversity of habitats within the Big South Fork.