SOUTH COLTON -- The new Higley Trails Lodge will be open for a preview as part of the statewide I Love My Park Day beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 4, at Higley Flow State Park. There is no charge and no entrance fee
Visitors to the open house will receive a free I Love My Parks Day t-shirt while supplies last.
The lodge, an all-season, multi-purpose facility with rest rooms, heat, shelter, classroom and display areas, is near completion and is expected to be ready for the summer season. It will serve as the new Nature Center, home to many summer programs and a seasonal naturalist.
The lodge will also provide a warm resting place for winter visitors attracted by 12 miles of groomed cross country trails as well as three miles of backcountry trails. The lodge is accessible to people with disabilities.
Funding for the project came through donations to the Friends of Higley Flow State Park and a $60,000 Environmental Protection Fund grant, along with help from the North Country Regional Council, state park staff, and volunteers from local elementary and high schools, Clarkson University, SUNY Potsdam, and St. Lawrence University.
Participants in the event will also be encouraged to use the park’s extensive trail network for a mid-spring hike. Organizers would like hikers to use the opportunity to clear the trails of any small debris, and to notify park staff of any larger trail work that needs to be done before to the summer season.
The Friends of Higley Flow State Park, Inc., is a registered non-profit organization dedicated to providing awareness, understanding, appreciation, and respect for Higley Flow State Park’s natural resources and activities.
The group sponsors many events at the Park during the year, including a Century Bike Event in September and the Higley Hustle, a cross-country ski event. The friends have also subsidized the production of tree and bird guides.
People interested in joining can send tax-deductible donations to The Friends of Higley Flow State Park, Inc., P.O. Box 249, Colton, NY 13625, or visit the Friends’ website, higleyfriends.org.
More info: Tom French, 265-1351; www.higleyfriends.org; or call the park office at 262-2880.