BANDY CREEK — Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area will be conducting a healthy hike along the Burnt Mill Bridge Loop Trail on Saturday, Aug. 26, at 10 a.m.  Join a ranger at the Burnt Mill Bridge parking lot for a moderate 4.3 mile hike.  The Burnt Mill Loop is one of the more scenic shorter loops in the Big South Fork.

Dark Sky program: A dark sky program will be held on Saturday, Aug. 26, at 9:30 p.m. (ET), at Bandy Creek Visitor Center parking area.  Paul Lewis of University of Tennessee, along with amateur astronomy enthusiasts from across the region, will be here to find and describe the most fascinating stellar objects to explore in the night sky.  Telescopes will be set up for sky observations.

This program is kid friendly, and the Junior Ranger Night Explorer packet will be available. In the event of inclement weather, an alternative dark skies program will be presented in the Interpretation and Education building located next to the Bandy Creek Visitor Center.   Wear weather-appropriate clothing and you may want to take a blanket or chair for comfortable seating.

Blue Heron hike: Earn points towards your 2017 GO BIG patch by joining a ranger for an easy 1.5 mile walk on the Blue Heron Loop trail Aug. 26 at 7 p.m.  Learn how the Devil’s Jump rapid earned its name.  This easy, 1.5 mile out-and-back hike is free of charge and all are welcome. Meet at the Blue Heron Loop trailhead along the Blue Heron river gorge road off of Route 742 (Mine 18 Road).  The trailhead is nine miles west of Stearns, Kentucky, and is one mile from the Blue Heron campground.

Yahoo Falls hike: A one-hour guided hike will begin at 11 a.m., Aug. 27, at Yahoo Falls parking area located on Yahoo Falls Road off of Highway 700 near Whitley City, Kentucky. This ranger-led hike is free of charge. Wear weather-appropriate clothing and footwear and bring plenty of water.

Kentucky Trail hike: Join a park ranger on Wednesday, Aug. 30, for a healthy hike along the Kentucky trail.  We will travel through historic remains left by the area’s mining legacy, then summit at one of the best overlooks in the park, Catawba overlook. This is an easy to moderate hike, but there is a set of steep stairs. Meet at the Blue Heron Interpretive Center’s train depot at the end of Kentucky Route 742 for the 3.4 mile hike.  This three hour out-and-back hike will take visitors along an old tram railroad bed through coal mining sites and over interesting land formations.

Wear weather appropriate clothing and take water and snacks.  Hikers are encouraged to bring well-behaved dogs; however, leashes are required.