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Are You Up for the Geochallenge?
The first ever Alabama State Parks Geocaching Challenge (ASPGC) is off to a great start. Since the kick-off event in April, several geocachers have completed the challenge and received their prize, a trackable geocoin designed just for this contest.
 
The challenge throws down the gauntlet for experienced geocachers but does not leave newcomers in the dust. Here is how it works: visit all 22 Alabama state parks and gather a valuable clue from each designated park geocache. Note that there is more than one cache at all the parks; the clue is only in the cache with ASPGC in its name. Cache locations are listed at: www.alapark.com/GeoChallenge/Locations.cfm or http://www.geocaching.com.
 
When you have all 22 codes, proceed to the ASPGC Final Puzzle Cache. Armed with the information, you will be able to open the treasure chest. Once you have signed the log, follow the instructions in the cache and claim your very own Alabama State Parks Geocaching Challenge trackable geocoin. The only way to get one of these coins is to complete the challenge.
 
If you are new to geocaching, find out how to get started by visiting www.geocaching.com. Enjoy your adventure!

Shop the Farmers Market at Gulf
Each Saturday from June 2 to July 14, 2012, a farmers’ market will be held in the picnic area at Gulf State Park. Local farmers will sell produce including blueberries, honey and craft items. The hours of operation will be from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. For more information contact gspnc@gulftel.com or call (251) 948-7275.

Oak Mountain Selected for Elite Races
Oak Mountain State Park continues to be a premier location for races of all kinds. Here are just a few coming up in the next month.
 
Thousands of visitors are expected when the park hosts the Second Annual International Triathlon Union (ITU) Cross Triathlon World Championships and the Seventh Annual XTERRA Southeast Championship races May 19-20, 2012.
 
Also that weekend, teams from the Dixie200 Relay will begin arriving in Oak Mountain State Park around noon on Saturday, May 19 to conclude their race experience. The Dixie200 is a unique, overnight relay adventure in which teams of four to 12 friends run 200 scenic miles in Georgia and Alabama. The relay begins on the Silver Comet Trail just west of Atlanta, and will cross into Alabama on the Chief Ladiga Trail. From there, runners will exit the trail system and take county roads to Oak Mountain. For more information, call the park at (205) 620-2520; email info@dixie200.com or oakmountain.naturalist@dcnr.alabama.gov.
 
On June 9, 2012, the park welcomes the Buster Britton Memorial Triathlon, which is celebrating its 26th year. The race honors the life of Britton, one of the Birmingham area’s original triathletes who lost his life in a fun run after completing the Hawaii Ironman only a short time earlier. Buster was a true inspiration for triathletes as the sport began to take shape in Alabama. This race is a great place for veterans of the sport to test their speed and for the beginner racer or weekend warrior to enjoy challenging, but not long, race distances. The swim is particularly inviting for those doing their first open-water swim or who may view the swim as intimidating--Double Oak Lake is very calm and the swim is a very reasonable 400 yards. For more information, email george@team-magic.com or call the park office naturalist at (205) 620-2520.

UPCOMING EVENTS
 
5/18/2012
Mentone Rhododendron Festival
Located in historic Mentone, just 10 minutes from DeSoto State Park. Plan your stay at DeSoto State Park and visit the festival, and then come back and relax in one of our cozy cabins or lodge rooms. Arts and crafts and live entertainment take place in Brow Park. The festival begins with a bonfire in the town square on Friday night complete with live entertainment, storytelling, marshmallow-roasting and a concession stand. For details call (256) 657-5998; reservation information call (800) 568-8840.
 
5/19/2012 to 5/20/2012
Feast of the South, hosted by Three Sisters Byrd, is a traditional gathering and drum feast honoring women’s drums. Opening ceremony is at 10 a.m. both days and closing ceremony at 5 p.m. For more information, email feastofthesouth2012@gmail.com or call (334) 790-5500.
 
5/19/2012, 5/26/2012, 6/2/2012,
6/9/2012, 6/16/2012 and 6/30/2012
For information on tournament contacts, times, etc., contact the Lakepoint Marina at (334) 687-6026. For overnight reservations, contact the park office (800) 544-5253.
 
5/19/2012, 5/26/2012, 6/2/2012,
6/9/2012, 6/23/2012 and 6/30/2012
Call Patti Donnellan (256) 571-5440 or email patti.donnellan@dcnr.alabama.gov for more information on locations and times for trail hikes at the park.

Junior Golf Clinics
All six Parks Path courses will hold Junior Golf Clinics this summer for youth ages 12 to 18. The cost is $50 for each three-day clinic.
 
The “General at 
June 5-6
 
The “Refuge” at 
June 12-13-14
 
The “Oaks” at 
June 19-20-21
 
“Deer Haven” at 
June 26-27-28
 
The “Eagle’s Nest” at 
July 10-11-12
 
The “Sanctuary” at 
July 17-18-19
 
Please contact your
nearest golf course or www.alapark.com for registration details.

Enjoy WiFi in 
Alabama Parks
In the last year, a new technology has been added to many of Alabama’s state parks--wireless Internet. Alabama has embarked on one of the largest Wi-Fi deployments of any United States park system.
 
At this time, Lakepoint, Gulf, Wind Creek and Cheaha State Parks have full-scale deployments. Lake Guntersville, Joe Wheeler and Oak Mountain are in the final stages.
 
Rather than create a few localized “hot spots,” these deployments have turned entire campgrounds “hot,” allowing for guests to stay connected in the comfort of their own RVs. Ongoing support and continuous improvements have been implemented to ensure any problem areas or outages are remedied in short order.
 
The next time you take a trip and need to stay connected, Alabama State Parks will be ready to meet your needs!

Give Us Your
Feedback
To make sure we are providing the best possible visitor experience, we’re asking for feedback on your park visit.
 
Online surveys are available for day-use visits, dining and overnight stays.
 
Whether you camped or stayed in one of the cabins or hotels, please tell us about your stay. Click here to fill out a survey.
Outdoor Alabama — Something for Everyone
Whether you enjoy birdwatching, bass fishing, camping, hiking, hunting, or just reading about our state’s natural resources, you’ll find it in Outdoor Alabama magazine. Each subscription also includes the beautiful calendar issue in December and the photo contest issue in February.
 
May 2012 Alabama State Parks eNewsletter

Official eNewsletter of Alabama State Parks 1-800-ALAPARK (1-800-252-7275)
Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
64 N. Union Street, Suite 538 - Montgomery, Alabama 36130

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