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Have fun by the light of the moon

Paddling, hiking events get out outdoors even when it's dark

POSTED: May 19, 2010 9:00 p.m.

A few events next week celebrate the great outdoors — by the light of the full moon.

A full moon-themed hike and two paddling events will give you a new way to look at the woods and our North Georgia lakes, starting with the Full Moon Paddle on May 27 on Unicoi Lake and the Full Moon suspension Bridge Hike on May 27 and 28 at Tallulah Gorge State Park.

The paddling event at Unicoi includes basic canoe instruction and will allow participants to explore the lake after dark. The event starts at 8 p.m., and preregistration is required.

If you prefer to stay on land, then the hike at Tallulah Falls may be up your alley. The moonlit hike into the gorge starts at 9 p.m., and preregistration is also required.

West Malenke, an interpretive ranger at Tallulah Falls State Park who regularly leads the nighttime hikes, said the event is held as many times a month as there are full moons. And while the winter hikes may only draw a dozen or so participants, the summer hikes down to the bottom of the gorge can attract about 50 people.

“We do this typically once or twice or three times a month, depending on when the full moon falls,” Malenke said. “If you’ve done (the hike) in the summertime, obviously it’s a little bit cooler.”

And along with finding your way through the dark, participants also will learn about “seeing” in the dark while on the hike.

“We’ll stop at different areas and do some sensory awareness activities,” he said. “Like, one of them you have to determine the color of a certain piece of paper.”

On May 28, another moonlight paddle — this time on Lake Lanier — will give participants a quiet, relaxing way to wind down from the work week.

The monthly Moonlight Paddle event at the Lake Lanier Canoe and Kayak Club starts at 7:30 p.m. May 28 at the Olympic venue on Clarks Bridge Road in Gainesville. Equipment is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

“I think it’s just kind of a laid-back way to relax on a Friday evening,” said Brenda Miller of the Lanier Canoe and Kayak Club. “...They get to see the tower all lit up at night. It’s just a relaxing evening.”



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