Oracle State Park’s Environmental Programs July through September includes Bat Night on July 29

July 6, 2017

PHOENIX – Oracle State Park will feature a Moonlight Hike, Bat Night, Star Party and other events from July through September 2017.

Oracle State Park is a 4,000-acre wildlife refuge with over 15 miles of trails. Oracle State Park is an International Dark Sky Park, designated in 2014 by the International Dark Sky Association. The park is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. The park also offers school programs and facility rental for events including weddings by reservation.

Except where noted, programs are free with the park admission of $7 per vehicle at the main gate on Mt. Lemmon Rd. in Oracle. Call the park office at (520) 896-2425 to make reservations, if needed. For more information, call the park or visit azstateparks.com/oracle.

Saturday, July 8 - Full Moon Night Hike at 7:30 p.m.: Join a ranger-led evening nature walk in the park, ending by 9 p.m. Reservation is required by calling the park. More details will be announced at azstateparks.com/oracle.

Saturday, July 29 - Bat Night at 7:30 p.m.: Bat Night begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Kannally Ranch House for a 30-minute power point introduction to the bats of Arizona. The talk will be followed by an optional netting event excursion. The remote netting site will require an easy one-mile roundtrip trail hike. However, participants should be prepared for walking on non-level park trail, in the dark with the help of flashlights and ranger guide. Research Ecologist and Regional Manager for Arizona Game and Fish, Joel Diamond, Ph.D., is back by popular demand for this evening program to learn more about bats and get up close and personal to some of the flying mammal species living in our neighborhood. Please call for a reservation at (520) 896-2425. Bring your own flashlight if you have one!

Friday, August 25 - Foraging Walkabout at 9 a.m.: Identify and discuss a variety of plants along the trail, plus a treat at the end prepared from foraged foods. The fee for the two-hour ethnobotany program is $10 in addition to park admission. Sonoran Herbalist and Presenter, John Slattery, will also bring a display of Desert Tortoise Botanicals products for sale, and copies of his new book, Southwest Foraging. Program is sponsored by Friends of Oracle State Park. Reservation is required and limited to 25. Call the park to make a reservation.

Saturday, September 16 - Prickly Pear Fruit Processing Workshop from 8 a.m. – 11 a.m.: Join Sonoran Herbalist, John Slattery, for a trail walk and talk to learn about the wonders of the prickly pear cactus, with some discussion about prickly pear medicine. With blender and straining equipment, John will demonstrate a relatively quick and simple method to process prickly pear at home. Enjoy a freshly made juice drink at the end. Botanical products and books for sale as well. Workshop is $15 in addition to the park entrance fee. Reservation is required by calling the park. The program is limit to 15. Program is sponsored by Friends of Oracle State Park.

Saturday, September 23 - Star Party from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.: The Tucson Amateur Astronomers Association will bring telescopes and give night sky interpretation. More details will be announced at later date.

Guided and self-guided tours of the historic Kannally Ranch House: Guided tours are scheduled every Saturday and Sunday at 11 a.m. for 45-minutes. The multi-level Mediterranean-Revival style house, built in 1929-1933 by one of the earliest cattle ranching families in Oracle, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. You can also take a self-guided tour. Visit the park office/gift shop to take the tour.  
 
Lee Kannally paintings exhibit continues. An exhibit of impressionist-style paintings by self-taught cowboy artist, Lee Kannally, is on display at the Kannally Ranch House. Nearly 30 oils are included in the exhibit, thanks to the Oracle Historical Society and Friends of Oracle State Park.
 
Wildlife Slide Show -  See what's showing up at waterhole cameras in the park.
 
The American Avenue trailhead parking lot is open every day to access the National Scenic Arizona Trail and to accommodate use by night-time stargazers.

WHAT:  Hikes and Walks at Oracle State Park

WHERE:  Oracle State Park - Located in the northern foothills of the Catalina Mountains, northeast of Tucson.

WHEN:  July through September 2017

For information about all 35 Arizona State Parks and Natural Areas, the Trails and Off-Highway Vehicle Program and State Historic Preservation Office call 1-877-MY-PARKS or visit azstateparks.com.

Find out More about Oracle State Park