By the end of August schools will be back in session and the quintessential sounds of autumn — the pad-popping hits, band music and cheers of the crowd at a football game — will be back in the air. But the month also offers a last dose of summer, and that’s evident in Presque Isle State Park‘s organized events for the month. Here’s a look at a few of the outdoors-themed activities on the schedule:
Lagoons by pontoon: Every day of the month, at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2 p.m., the pontoon boat leaves its station at the livery for a free one-hour tour of the interior lagoons. Sign-ups start at 10 a.m. on a first-come, first-served basis. There is a limit of 16 guests per ride, and two wheelchair-accessible positions on the boat.
Evening lagoons by pontoon: See the interior lagoons in an entirely different light during free 90-minute tours Wednesdays and Fridays, Aug. 2-30, from 7-8:30 p.m. Registration for the boat’s 16 seats for each ride starts each Monday at 10 a.m. by calling (814) 833-7424.
Presque Isle paddle: Bring your own kayak and paddle with a naturalist from 8 a.m. to noon Aug. 3. A pfd is required. Meet at the marina launch. Registration ends July 30. No canoes. Free.
Presque Isle After Dark — Bats: Help conduct a bat count at a female roosting colony and learn more about about these creatures in a free program Aug. 9 from 8-9:30 p.m. Registration is not required. Meet at Saw Mill Beach.
Purple Martin Palooza: Join a DCNR naturalist and the field biologist from the Purple Martin Conservation Association on a free 2 1/2-hour pontoon tour to one of the largest Purple Martin roosts in Pennsylvania during the height of its pre-migration activity. Tours are Aug. 13, 15, 16, 17, 20 and 22 from 7-9:30 p.m. Call (814) 833-7424 starting Aug. 5 at 10 a.m. to register as many as four people for any tour; 18 passengers are permitted for each ride. Meet at the pontoon boat station.
Creek Stomp at Elk Creek: Step on the the area’s other state park, Erie Bluffs, for a free sampling trip to collect fish and macroinvertebrates from Elk Creek Aug. 17 from 10 a.m. to noon. Take your water shoes or waders and learn how to identify and collect creatures that exist in area waterways. Meet at Elk Creek Boat Launch parking lot.
Magical Lagoons by Moonlight Full Moon Kayak Tour: A limit of 20 experienced paddlers 18 and older are invited for a night paddle in the lagoons Aug. 21 from 730-9:30 p.m. A pfd, night illumination and whistle are required, and there is a safety compliance check. Limited loaner equipment is available. Cost is $6, payable at the event. Preregistration is required; call (814) 833-7424. Meet at the pontoon boat station.
Family Camping Event: Camp out at the Beach 11 pavilion with staff naturalists from 6 p.m. Aug. 23 to noon Aug. 24. You’ll have a campfire with marshmallows and storytelling as well as kayaking and fishing. Supper and breakfast are provided, along with a tent and gear. Campers only need to bring a pillow and sleeping bag. There’s a limit of 30 people, with payment due Aug. 16. For information, call (814) 833-7424.
See the full calendar of events here.