Saturday, October 31, 2009

Do We Have Mountain Lions in New Hampshire?

Squam Lakes Natural Science Center in Holderness, NH is the place to go to see New Hampshire’s wild animals “up close and personal”.

The Sunday Union Leader announced a lecture at Squam Lakes on New Hampshire’s large wildcats. Certainly, a topic of interest to all outdoor enthusiasts.

My wife Cathy and I arrived two hours before the 1 pm lecture so we could hike the ¾ mile Gephart Exhibit Trail. The Trail features live native New Hampshire wildlife in natural settings.

Yes, I had seen many of the animals and birds previously in their native habitat, but it was always for a fleeting moment. Now, Cathy and I are in awe seeing this same wildlife in their natural settings, and in an area where we can take pictures at our leisure, and read all about their traits.

All the animals are in captivity, but in ecology close to their natural habitat and space needs. The animals were orphaned or injured before they came to the Center. Essentially, the Center is now their home.

So, are there mountain lions in New Hampshire? Hmm, maybe, maybe not?

Absolutely, plan a day at the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center so you (adults and children) will never have to say, “I wish I had seen and learned more about wildlife of New Hampshire.”

ADVANCE NOTICE -A $pecial post next week will be a 28% discount for Outdoor Enthusiast: Never say, “I wish I had…” You can now give Outdoor Enthusiast as a special gift for the holidays. My book royalties are gone for this $pecial post so you can treat family and friends to a very personal gift. [Hint: use discount code SX7VP7Q9 at]

Friday, October 16, 2009

Paddle Florida - Get Down on the Suwannee River, and Go with the Flow!

Today, my sister Barb and her husband Larry, took my wife Cathy and I hiking at the Suwannee River State Park in Live Oak, Florida. Unexpectedly, we came upon a group known as Paddle Florida . Twenty kayakers were making a 123-mile eight-day trip from the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, Florida to beautiful Manatee Springs State Park. We greeted them as they pulled ashore to prepare for a night of tenting.

We met Bill Richards, leader of the group. Bill enthusiastically answered my many questions about Paddler Florida. Moreover, Larry had just seen a huge fish jump in the middle of the river, and Bill identified the fish as the prehistoric Gulf Sturgeon.

Paddle Florida is held in cooperation with the Florida Park Service and the Suwannee River Water Management District. These two organizations have created the 171-mile Suwannee River Wilderness Trail. The Trail makes the Suwannee River accessible to paddlers, hikers, bikers, equestrian enthusiasts and other outdoor groups.

The Suwannee River trek sounds similar to the NH/ME Androscoggin River Trek to the Sea where participants can join the moving river celebration as a day trip, do a series of days, or paddle the entire 170 miles.

You can contact Bill Richards at to learn more about the Suwannee paddle, as well as other great paddles of Paddle Florida.

Now, I never have to say, “I wish I had been to the Suwannee River, met a member of Paddle Florida, and learned about the ancient Gulf Sturgeon.”

Hmm, do you suppose a trek with Paddle Florida is in the future for Outdoor Steve?