“Over 14,000 visitors have attended the 135 Moon Walk programs since 1996. Consistently an average of 100 people attends each program, although, we have seen as many as 385 people attend one program a couple years ago,” said Amy Ballard, Moon Walk Coordinator. “Over the past 20 years, I hope that these programs have fostered an understanding and appreciation for the cultural and natural resources of the Black Hills and inspired participants to be stewards of the land.”
Moon Walks are held on a Saturday night close to the official full moon and begin at 7:00 p.m. Most programs last for 1-2 hours and visitors walk an average of 1 mile round trip. As each Moon Walk nears, specific directions to individual programs will be posted on the Black Hills National Forest website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/blackhills or call (605) 343-1567.
2015 Moon Walk Schedule
May 2 – Celebrate Wildfire Awareness Week
This walk is located in the central Black Hills. Forest Service prescribed fire personnel will walk participants through the Prairie prescribed burn area while discussing the ecological need and benefits of fire in a ponderosa pine ecosystem.
June 6 – Partners Building Grassland Conservation Opportunities
This walk is located on a private ranch that borders Badlands National Park in Conata Basin, east of the Black Hills. Experience the vibrancy and history of the grasslands with The Nature Conservancy and learn about a proposed land exchange that would provide future generations of national forest users with grazing and wildlife conservation opportunities.
June 27 – Botany
This walk is located in the northern Black Hills. Join forest botanists as they discuss the lesser known tree species growing in the Black Hills and their important contributions in providing habitat diversity in this ponderosa pine dominated ecosystem. This program is in memory of Andrew Korth, USFS botanist, 2008-2010
July 25 – Custer’s Expedition in 1874
This walk is located in the western Black Hills. Hike with the Forest Service to one of the photo points used by Custer’s photographer W. H. Illingworth and learn about the Custer Expedition through the soldier’s diary entries and newspaper stories.
August 29 – Geologic Slides a Mile Wide
This walk is located in the northwest corner of the Black Hills National Forest in the Bearlodge Mountains of Wyoming. Join a Forest Service geologist to learn about interesting and unique geologic features of the area including the North Redwater drainage slide area.
September 26 – Fire Lookout Towers and Their Keepers
This walk is located in the southern Black Hills. Be inspired at one of the most beautiful scenic overlooks in the Black Hills as a Forest Ranger from the past describes a day in the life of a fire lookout at a Forest Service fire tower and cabin.