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Delta Heritage Trail State Park to offer interpretive programs this month; Scout Explorer Patch Day on May 21

“Boll is Opening to Reveal the Cotton” by Old Shoe Woman is marked with CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Delta Heritage Trail State Park will offer a workshop this Saturday, May 7, from 1 to 1:45 p.m. to show visitors how to transform cotton into yarn. Participants will meet at the state park’s visitor center, which is located at 5539 U.S. Highway 49 in Helena-West Helena. Ryan Smith, a park interpreter at Delta Heritage Trail State Park and at Louisiana Purchase State Park, said the activity is free.

“You will get to see the whole process. We will explore how cotton was harvested, how it was ginned, and then you will get a chance to make your own yarn to take home with you,” Smith said. “It is a good hands-on experience to see how cotton was transformed into yarn when Delta Heritage Trail was an active rail line.”

Children are encouraged to attend, but they must be accompanied by an adult.

Speckled kingsnake feeding

Visitors are invited to watch Delta Heritage Trail State Park staff members feed a speckled kingsnake. The program will be led Sunday, May 8, and Sunday, May 15, at 1 p.m.

“We have a speckled kingsnake on display in our visitor center. This is a chance for you to see how snakes are able to swallow their prey whole,” Smith said. “You will never think of a snake in the same way again.”

There is no charge for this program and preregistration is not required.

Kayak tour

The kayak tour will be $15 for adults and $10 for children ages 6 to 12.

Delta Heritage Trail State Park will offer a kayak tour of Old Town Lake on Saturday, May 14, from 5:45 to 8:15 p.m.

“This one is unique because it is going to be in the evening so we can view the sunset,” Smith said.

Old Town Lake is a landmark on the Delta Heritage Trail.

“The Mississippi River has changed course many times through its history. This is one of its old channels,” Smith said. “It is a neat flow because we will be going through bald cypress trees, and we will be discovering the secrets of the natural world that the lake provides.”

It costs $15 for adults and $10 for children ages 6 to 12 years old to take the tour.

“That includes all of your equipment rentals, including kayaks, paddles, and personal floatation devices,” Smith said.

Pre-registration is required by Wednesday, May 11. Participants can contact park staff by calling 870-572-2352.

Scout Explorer Patch Day

Scouts of all types and levels are invited to Delta Heritage Trail State Park on Saturday, May 21, from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. for the park’s Scout Explorer Patch Day.

“This day is an opportunity for scouts to come visit the park and earn a Scout Explorer Patch all in the same day. We will be exploring the natural resources that are found along the trail and digging into the history and the culture that has existed here,” Smith said.

Scouts will be able to try new activities during the event.

“We will get to try using a crosscut saw, which is what was used to harvest trees that were carried along the former rail line. We will also get a chance to use an American Indian hunting tool called an atlatl,” Smith said.

There is an $8 fee per scout.

“That includes the cost of the packs that they will be able to take home on that day with them,” Smith said.

Pre-registration is required by Wednesday, May 18. Participants can contact park staff by calling 870-572-2352.

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