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."
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, Family Readiness Groups will have food available to purchase. If you are an FRG representative and want to sell food, contact NR Branch Chief, Jason Wagner at 315-772-5971.
Families may also bring their own food and picnic on the the grounds. Water stations will be available around the grounds, but please also bring water and stay hydrated.
Portable latrines and hand-washing stations are available.
This is a family-friendly event. No profanit, alcohol, or smoking. (If you must smoke, please smoke in the parking lot area.
In 2019, tthere were 38 stations set up around the grounds of Buildings S-2507/2509. 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. Some of the stations include:
Trees & 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 10:10, 11:10, 12:10, 1:10, 2:10, and 3:10.
SUNY-ESF Woodsmen's Team. See the Mighty Oaks Woodsmen Team from the State University of New York - College of Environmental Science & Forestry demonstrate some of their sport events with saws and axes during scheduled times: 10:30, 11:30, 12:30, 1:30, 2:30, and 3:30.
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!
Conservation Law Enforcement. Meet Fort Drum Game Wardens 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.
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.
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.
Air Pistols. Learn to use an air pistol 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.
Air Rifle. Learn to use an air rifle 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.
Nerf Gun & Archery Range. Not to leave anyone out...anyone 9-years-old or younger can shoot Nerf guns or archery.
Fishing. Meet local fishing experts Don Meissner and Justin Walts. Try your hand at casting different rods and test your casting accuracy. Test the action of different lures--or test whether they sink or float--in a large aquarium. Play with live bait--nightcrawlers and minnows will be available. Learn to tie a fly and fly fishing techniques with Project Healing Waters.
Rocks & Minerals / Mining. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Division of Mineral Resources will be on-hand to show rocks and minerals in the area. Learn about mineral resources in your everyday life. Remember--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.
Aquatic Critters. Go sampling for aquatic critters with Fort Drum biologists and learn what about lurks in the waters of Fort Drum. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation fish biologists will have live fish on display.
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 11:00, 12:30, 2:00, and 3:30.
Fish & Widllife Management. Check out various trapping and marking techniques used by biologists and wildlife managers to study fish and wildlife. Get trapped in a bear trap!
Deer Research. Talk to Martin Feehan, Cornell graduate student, about deer research being conducted in the Cantonment Area since 2015. See various ways he catches deer on Fort Drum.
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!
Outdoor Cooking & Fitness. 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. Make trail mix and learn about nutrition. Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson Co. will also have its "smoothie bike" to make a smoothie with pedal power!
Paleontology. Learn about fossils with Jefferson Community College and make a sedimentary rock or fossil print.
Water Resources. Learn about water resources and how pollution can impact it from the Indian River Lakes Conservancy in Redwood, NY.
Outdoor Health: Rabies & Lyme Disease. Jefferson County Public Health Service will be providing education about vector born diseases and rabies. Learn the life cycle of mosquitoes and ticks and how to avoid them. Get your free DEET wipe by stopping by this booth. Researchers from the Cary Institute of Ecoystem Studies in Millbrook, NY will also be on-hand to talk about ticks and tick research.
Native Arts. Fort Drum's Cultural Resources Program will be on-hand to show some of the artifacts found on Fort Drum as well as provide the opportunity to make jewelry from beads and natural materials; sculpt figures from clay; or, "dig" for an artifact.
Working Dog Demo: Barn Hunt. Watch dogs go through their paces searching for vermin in a "barn"--safe for dog and rat, this is an example of what some dogs did routinely to help humans protect their food and livestock.
Fish & Wildlife. Live animals will be on display in Bldg. S-2507. Get close up and personal with live frogs, fish, snakes, and turtles. Taxidermist mounts and other displays can be viewed.
Information about tourism and activities in the area will be provided by the Lewis County Chamber of Commerce, Oswego County Promotion & Tourism, and the 1000 Islands International Tourism Council.
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!)