OUTDOOR ADVENTURE DAY 2023
When: Saturday, August 19, 2023 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Where: Near Bldgs 2507 & 2509 off of Rte. 26 and Munns Corner Road between Wheeler-Sack Army Airfield and Great Bend
Outdoor Adventure Day is a family-friendly, free event with hands-on activities and demonstrations appropriate for all ages focused on outdoor recreation and the outdoors. The event is open to families on Fort Drum as well as the entire North Country community.
The event is coordinated by Fort Drum's Natural Resources Branch (Directorate of Public Works) and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County. Many other agencies, organizations, and individuals make this event a huge success! (See the list of stations below to see other participants.)
The event will take place rain-or-shine. As the name implies...it will be outdoors...so please dress appropriately and bring sun screen, water, etc.
Outdoor Adventure Day will take place in and around Building S-2507 and the Fort Drum Museum on Fort Drum. This is outside the fenceline, so there is no requirement to pass through the security gates. Parking will be behind Buildings S-2507/2509 off of Munn's Corner Road. Parking is free. There should be directional signs to follow.
Directions from Interstate 81: Take Exit 48A to Interstate I-781. Go 4.0 miles to Exit 4 (the only exit) before the Fort Drum Main Gate. At the stoplights at the bottom of the ramp, turn left onto US Hwy 11 North and go approximately 3.0 miles to NY Rte. 26 (at Evans Mills). Turn right on NY Rte. 26 and go approximately 5.0 miles and turn left at the stoplights on Munn's Corner Road (towards Wheeler-Sack Army Airfield. Parking is in the grassy field behind the buildings.
Directions from NYS Rte. 3: In Great Bend at the junction of NYS Rte. 3 and NYS Rte. 26, go west on NYS Rte. 26 approximately 0.4 miles over the Black River, past the area where the event is taking place, and follow the exit lane to the right at the stoplights on Munn's Corner Road (towards Wheeler-Sack Army Airfield). Parking is in the grassy field behind the buildings
Directions can be obtained from Google maps by searching for "Natural Resources Outreach Facility" or "Fort Drum Museum" but make sure the museum address is P2509 Col. Reade Rd.
The event is open to EVERYONE whether living on Fort Drum or not. Adults of all ages as well as children from 2 to 18 will find interesting things to see and do.
Because this is an all-day event, food will be available to purchase from the Warrior Wagon. However, families may also bring their own food and picnic on the the grounds.
Portable latrines and hand-washing stations are available.
This is a family-friendly event. No profanity, alcohol, or smoking. (If you must smoke, please smoke in the parking lot area.
In 2023, there will be 42 stations set up around the grounds. People can meander and spend as much (or as little) time as they desire. Some stations have scheduled demonstrations; some will have demonstrations or activities running throughout the day. Photos are from 2019, but below are previews of stations in 2023:
1. 10th Mountain Division & Fort Drum Museum. Come see the new 10th Mountain Division & Fort Drum Museum which opened in 2022.
2. Fort DrumTrees & Forest Management. Learn about trees and forest management activities. See equipment used by Fort Drum's Forest Management Program including a portable saw mill. Tree falling demonstrations at 10:15, 11:15, 12:15, 1:15, 2:15, and 3:15.
3. Living History. Learn about camping in the Adirondacks in the 19th century and pan for gold with the New York State Gold Prospectors.
4. Wildland Fire Management and Fire Prevention. The Fort Drum Fire Department will be on scene with their wildland fire equipment. Try on fire fighting gear or spray water from a fire hose!
5. Firearm Safety. Learn how to safely handle firearms under the guidance of a hunter safety instructor from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
6. Air Pistols. Learn to use an air pistol under the guidance of 4-H Shooting Sports certified instructors. Participants must be at least 12-years-old to shoot. A Hold Harmless Agreement must be signed before participating.
7. Air Rifle. Learn to use an air rifle under the guidance of 4-H Shooting Sports certified instructors. Participants must be at least 12-years-old to shoot. A Hold Harmless Agreement must be signed before participating.
8. Archery. Learn to use a bow and arrow under the guidance of 4-H Shooting Sports certified instructors. Participants must be at least 10-years-old to shoot. A Hold Harmless Agreement must be signed before participating.
9. Nerf Gun & Archery Range. Not to leave anyone out...anyone of any age can shoot Nerf guns or archery. Pick up a free cable gun lock compliments of Fort Drum's Family Advocacy Program.
10. Conservation Law Enforcement. Meet Fort Drum and NYSDEC Environmental Conservation Officers and see some of the equipment they use including snowmobiles, boats, and ATVs. Try to save a "drowning victem" by throwing a life ring.
11. Camping. Build a campfire and make smores with Fort Drum Girl Scout Service Unit 512.
12. Rockets & Space. Learn about space and build a rocket with STARBASE Academy on Fort Drum.
13. Nature Quest Adventure Zone. Experience several nature activities as well as on-going group activities compliments of the Children's Home of Jefferson County.
14. Trapping & Skinning. See animal skins and the different traps, lures, and scents used by trappers. There will be live demonstrations how to skin an animal at 10:45, 11:45, 1:45, and 2:45.
15. Wildlife Capture. USDA Wildlife Services will have various traps by biologists and wildlife managers to capture wildlife. Get trapped in a bear trap!
16. Invasive Species. Learn about the impacts and how to identify invasive species with the St. Lawrence-Eastern Lake Ontario Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management.
17. Edible Plants & Mushrooms. Botanists will have examples of edible flora and fungi to display and some wild sumac tea to sample.
18. Live Animals. Educators from Zoo New York at Thompson Park will have some insects and other live animals to see and learn about.
19. Search & Rescue/Wilderness Survival. Learn about search and rescue techniques and wilderness survival from the Civil Air Patrol.
20. Agriculture. Learn where milk comes from thanks to Porterdale Farm and Cabot Creamery. Watch border collies go through their paces to herd sheep.
21. Outdoor Health. Jefferson County Public Health Service and Army Public Health Nursing with MEDDAC will be providing education about vector-borne diseases, rabies, and other health-related matters to be aware of when outdoors.
22. Outdoor Cooking. Try your hand at camp fire designs, using other biofuels while camping, and outdoor cooking. Taste some dutch oven recipes including one for Lazy Cobbler.
23. Rock Art. Enjoy a craft and relax and have fun painting a rock to bring home.
24. Bubbles. Blowing bubbles is an outdoor activity, too! See what odd shapes of bubbles you can create with the Sci-Tech Center of Northern New York.
25. Mining. A reminder that everything we use is either grown or mined. Mine for your own Herkimer diamond from rock provided by Ace of Diamonds Mine & Campground--just 1.5 hours from Fort Drum in Herkimer County.
26. Obstacle Course. Run an obstacle course with Fort Drum Boy Scout Troop 26.
27. Geocaching. Learn about GPS (Global Positioning Systems) units and go on a modern-day treasure hunt. Use a GPS unit to find your way to a geocache and get a prize!
28. Recreational Opportunities. Learn about recreational opportunities in Oswego County.
29. Recreational Opportunities. Learn about recreational opportunities in Lewis County.
30. Hiking. Thousand Islands Land Trust (TILT) will help you make a walking stick and learn about hiking trails on Fort Drum and in the area.
31. Chainsaw Carving. See on-going demonstrations creating art with a chainsaw courtesy of Hartley Hartwoods.
32. Birds. Learn about migratory birds with Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust (THTLT).
33. Archaeology. Fort Drum's Cultural Resources Section will have displays about archaeology work conducted on Fort Drum.
34. Wildlife Tracks. Fort Drum's McEwen Library will have different activities related to wildlife tracks and wrap up their summer reading program.
35. Aquatic Critters. Go sampling for aquatic critters with Fort Drum biologists and see live fish compliments of SUNY-Potsdam.
36. Microbiology. Learn about the importance of microcrobes especially when it comes to sewage treatment with specialists from the Development Authority of the North Country (DANC).
37. Fisheries Management. See the equipment used by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation fisheries biologists and learned about fisheries management in Region 6 and New York State.
38. Boating & Water Safety. See examples of boats and experiement with an underwater rover with the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton. Learn about boating and water safety with the US Coast Guard stationed at Alexandria Bay.
39. Water Resources. Learn about water resources and how pollution can impact it from the Indian River Lakes Conservancy in Redwood, NY.
40. Fishing. Try your hand at casting different rods and test your casting accuracy. Play with live bait--nightcrawlers and minnows will be available. Learn to tie a fly and fly fishing techniques with Project Healing Waters.
41. Winter Activities. See the process of waxing skis and learn about winter recreational opportunities in the area.
42. Nature Center. Live animals will be on display in the Natural Resources Outreach Facillity. Get close up and personal with live frogs, fish, snakes, and turtles. Taxidermist mounts, skins, skulls, and other displays can be viewed. This building is also open during the week on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm.
Smokey Bear will be strolling the grounds throughout the event--how often he'll be seen will depend on how hot it is that day. (Bears get hot under all that fur!)