Madison-area folks looking for a chance to get some sunshine, hit the trails, and support local non-profits can mark their calendars for Summer Trails Festival on Saturday, June 6.
Madison Audubon Society and the Friends of Capital Springs Recreation Area are hosting a family-friendly event along the Capital City State Trail that will feature live raptor demonstrations, naturalist-guided hikes, education and nature art stations, local food and craft beer for purchase. “We wanted to host an event that will help people to kick-start their summer outdoor adventures,” says Madison Audubon education director Rebecca Ressl. “We hope Summer Trails Festival will be a premier summer celebration of nature, trails, and outdoor fun for people of all ages.”
Festival-goers can expect a wide array of fun, outdoor-themed activities, including live animal demonstrations and expert-guided hikes into the diverse natural surroundings of the Capital Springs Recreation Area. Hoo’s Woods, a local non-profit dedicated to environmental education and conservation of birds of prey, will be on hand with live birds including a peregrine falcon and a spectacled owl. For those who prefer the company of a different kind of bird, kids and adults alike can get a photo with their favorite local mascot, Maynard of the Madison Mallards baseball team.
Summer Trails Festival will take place across the road just east of the Lussier Family Heritage Center at Lake Farm County Park. Food and beverages will be available for purchase for any trail users, and people who wish to participate in festival activities such as hikes and animal demonstrations are asked to donate $5 per person or $15 per family. “Folks are welcome to stop by for as much time as they would like,” says Madison Audubon communications and outreach coordinator Emily Meier. “This is really an event for the whole community, with a family-friendly focus. We want to welcome anyone who is out and about on the trail to swing by for a cold beer and some food as they come through this beautiful part of the Cap City Trail.” Madison favorite The Great Dane will provide beer for the event, and local food carts Pots-n-Tots and Ich Lieb Dich Gourmet Mac-n-Cheese will provide made-to-order lunches and snacks.
The Festival brings together several non-profits and area businesses who work to actively promote outdoor and nature education and enjoyment. Beyond the event partners of Madison Audubon and Friends of Capital Springs Recreation Area, Summer Trails Festival is sponsored by Dane County Parks, Wheels for Winners, Just Coffee Cooperative, Fontana Sports Specialties, the Madison Mallards, the Madison Area Herpetological Society, The Great Dane Pub & Brewery, Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District, and Home Savings Bank.
“We are excited to co-host this event at Capital Springs, which includes 2400 acres of important natural resources, less than 15 minutes from downtown Madison.” says Judie Pfiefer, Board treasurer for the Friends of Capital Springs Recreation Area.”This is the place to be on June 6 - especially because all state trails are free for the day. Summer Trails Festival will provide an awesome opportunity to enjoy the outdoors.”
More information about Summer Trails Festival can be found on the Madison Audubon Society calendar, and event updates will be posted to the organization’s Facebook page.