Archive for the ‘natural attractions’ Category

Winter – Moab, Utah’s Secret Season for Uncrowded Adventure

January 23, 2022
Moab Adventure Center offers many different experiences for enjoying winter getaways in this vast expanse of geologic history unique in the world.

MOAB, UT– Even in the winter, the rocks can feel warm to the touch as they absorb the sunshine that kisses the world-renowned, red rock playground of Moab, Utah. Here, precipitation of rain or snow visits fewer than 60 days a year. Come December, locals and visitors alike button up their overcoats against daytime temperatures that dip into the 40s.
While campsites are closed for the winter season, in and around Moab comfortable lodging remains open as do a variety of dining options. And everyone’s friend and go-to resource, Moab Adventure Center (, continues to welcome queries about what’s to see and do in the short off-season between now and early March. Come spring the region once again prepares itself to meet the demands of a world hungry for wholesome, outdoor recreation.
But for those who can’t wait until spring, Moab Adventure Center has these recommendations for enjoying winter getaways in this vast expanse of geologic history unique in the world: 
Two, three, and four-hour Hummer Safari tours are available beginning in February. Rates range from $98 to $215 per person depending on the off-road excursion. All safaris are conducted in comfortable 4×4 off-road vehicles. Your driver adds meaning to the spectacular canyon vistas and stops along the way.
Arches National Park tours are conducted year-round by land or air. Land tours are four hours long and air tours range from 30 minutes to one hour. On the land tours guests have an opportunity for short hikes to phenomenal vistas of famous arches.
Air tours give a birds-eye view of Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park; a new flight allows visitors to capture spectacular vistas of Capitol Reef National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park.
Local experts recommend first visiting the Moab Giants Dinosaur Park & Tracks (interactive) Museum. A Dinosaur Discovery Tour reveals Moab as the original Jurassic park. The surrounding expanse comprised of Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park invites the curious to ponder where those ancient creatures might have ambled and foraged. Note that the Dinosaur Park will reopen for the season on Feb. 18.
Hiking Arches National Park is a year-round, four-hour morning tour for hikers exploring this ancient plateau concealing more than 2,000 natural arches, representing the highest concentration of such wonders on the planet.
Throughout the year guests can rent four-door Jeep Wranglers so they can do their own exploring of the region. The jeeps hold up to five people and can be rented for 10.5 hours.
Moab Adventure Center has been exploring the rivers and canyons surrounding Moab since 1961 as Western River Expeditions, pioneers in the river rafting industry. Western River created the Moab Adventure Center to give this “Adventure Capital of the West” its full due with a focus on day tours and adventures in unparalleled red rock beauty, and to become a convenient one-stop adventure center in world famous Moab.
Through the late winter season, Moab Adventure Center recommends tapping into to see real-time road conditions across Utah.
Moab Adventure Center ( is a division of Western River Expeditions ( an adventure travel company headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah with operations and offices in Moab and Fredonia, AZ. The company is the largest single tour provider in Moab, Utah. The Moab Adventure Center is located at 225 South Main St., Moab, UT 84532. For information and reservations call (435) 259-7019 or (866) 904-1163. Moab Adventure Center also has a 2,000-square-foot retail space selling adventure-related gear, clothing, maps and souvenirs.

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Molly Branch Opens Gates to See Fireflies Spectacle in Knoxville, Tennessee, June 16-28

June 6, 2018

Molly Branch Fireflies_20180521_184620957

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The private preserve of Molly Branch is inviting the public to join what only a few friends and family have experienced over the years:  a spectacular light show created by thousands of fireflies filling the air and blinking in unison which takes place over a two-week period. This year, nature’s display takes place June 16-28.

“Over the years, we have enjoyed this beauty of nature with family and friends,” says property owner Kenneth Bennett. “As I have advanced in age, I have been wanting to share my find with the world. As you can imagine, there have been some reservations about this. My hope is the public will treat these resources with the dignity that they deserve. I am happy to announce that this year, 2018, I will be opening the gate to allow you and your friends to share in this natural delight.”

Spectators can observe a whole forest of fireflies’ blink in unison.

According to, there are over 1800 species of fireflies, also called lightning bugs.  Of all of these species, there are only three that are synchronous.  The most published is the Photinus carolinus found near Elkmont in the Great Smokey National Park.

A second specie of synchronous fireflies is Photinus frontailis also known as Snappy Syncs.  Documented locations for this species are in the Oakridge Wildlife Management Area which unfortunately is restricted from public viewing because of security reasons.

The best-known area for public viewing of Snappys has been Congaree National Park in Hopkins, SC.  No chairs are allowed as the viewing is on a boardwalk over a swamp.

A large population of Snappys has been found on private property in Knox County, TN.  This site has been documented by Lynn Foust the author of “Fireflies, Glow Worms, and Lightning Bugs.”

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Reopening of Yosemite National Park Means Tourists Can Travel Whole ‘Fossils to Falls’ Trail

October 17, 2013


Tourists can once again complete the entire Fossils to Falls Trail, now that Yosemite National Park in Oakhurst, California, is open once again, following a resolution to the government shutdown shuttered all the national parks for nearly three weeks, according to tourism officials.

The shutdown has hurt a lot of businesses dependent on the millions of people who travel to Yosemite every year. However, it’s given other attractions in the area a chance to shine.

“We promote what we call the ‘Fossils to Falls Trail,’” said Jarrod Lyman, Director of PR for the Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau.

“It’s an itinerary of attractions along the most popular entry in to Yosemite, the southern gateway, leading up to the park itself. During the shutdown, these attractions went from being part of a journey leading to Yosemite to being alternatives to the park while guests waited for it to open. Now that Yosemite is open, the trail is complete again,” he said.

The Fossils to Falls Trail includes attractions such as the Fossil Discovery Center in Chowchilla, the Madera Wine Trail, Bass Lake, the Sierra Vista Scenic Byway and many art galleries, museums and more, ending with the attractions inside Yosemite.

“Guests appreciated having some other great things to see while Yosemite was closed, but the park is the main attraction. People are ecstatic they can complete the Fossils to Falls Trail now,” said Lyman.

Officials also say that the reopening of Yosemite came at a perfect time.

“The leaves are changing and it’s absolutely beautiful. Fall is an amazing time in the park, as the changing seasons makes the park light up with color,” said Lyman.

“With fewer people in the park, there have been a lot more animal sightings. So slow down and bring a camera.”

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Indiana Caverns Joins Squire Boone Caverns, Marengo Cave to Create a Major Caving Destination

June 19, 2013

Indiana Caverns joins Squire Boone Caverns and Marengo Cave to create one of the nation’s most noteworthy caving destination.

In what is among the most significant archeological finds in the US in decades, an Indiana man just discovered a huge cache of Ice Age bones while digging out this portion of the Binkley Cave System. In order to develop Indiana Caverns for visitors, life-long spelunker Gary Robson uncovered Pleistocene-era remains of dozens of animals. The find includes prehistoric black bear, bison, peccary (flat-headed boar), fisher (cat-like animal), snakes, owls and other birds in such large numbers that the cave could keep several paleontologists excavating for years. In fact, the area is now known as Big Bone Mountain. Robson and his team of cave developers have now transformed the phenomenon into a spectacular visitor experience.

Complete details on Indiana Caverns, the nation’s newest show cave, are available are available at

Visitors who enter Indiana Cavern’s vast-high domed entryway are met with an awesome view. Spiraling down, guests traverse a 25-foot bridge to the balcony overlooking the now famous Big Bone Mountain, where the ancient animal remains were discovered and remain for visitors to see. The tour includes grand panoramas of flowstone formations, stalactites, stalagmites, as guests learn the history behind this fascinating natural and historic wonder. The cave collapsed some 25,000 years ago, trapping hundreds of animals within, and making the Binkley Cave System one of the most diverse species caves in the world. After traveling down Blowing Hole Boulevard, travelers enjoy a relaxing boat ride along the underground river while passing majestic waterfalls.

Because the caves remain temperate all year long, Indiana Caverns are open to the public year round and are enjoyable in any season. Tours are offered a.m.-6 p.m. daily except Thanksgiving and Christmas are last about an hour and 15 minutes. The Indiana Caverns gift shop is stocked with unique souvenirs and an onsite gem mining experience is popular with junior spelunkers.

Beyond its rich caving and natural offerings, Harrison County offers everything from wineries to the nostalgia of a trio of old-time ice cream parlors. The State Historic Site marks Corydon’s place as Indiana’s first capitol, while travelers are fascinated by the Constitution Elm, a Civil War battlefield and tours of the Leora Brown School, one of the nation’s oldest standing early African American schoolhouses. Diverse dining and accommodations include a historic B&B, affordable modern hotels, country cafes and even a luxurious riverboat casino. Complete traveler information and a free visitor’s guide are available at or 888-738-2137.

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Prehistoric Squire Boone Caverns, Indiana, Now Offers Nighttime Lantern Tours; Zipline Canopy Tours

May 11, 2013

Squire Boone Caverns has just launched two new outdoor adventures for visitors to southern Indiana’s Harrison County. A brand new high-flying zipline canopy tour takes visitors soaring above the caverns on six nonstop tree-to-tree ziplines and a swinging suspension bridge. Squire Boone Caverns Zipline Adventure is open daily April 1 through November 15, with various tours offered each day. Tours are $59 for visitors age seven and up, with discounts for groups of 10 or more. Reservations and complete information are available at or (812) 732-1200.

Just 20 minutes outside of Corydon, Indiana’s Squire Boone Caverns has also just added a unique new nighttime tour for travelers, with the first being offered June 8 at 7:00 p.m. The Squire’s Lantern Tour leads groups through complete darkness, guided only by the soft light of lanterns. As gifted cavern guides tell the history-filled tales of Squire and Daniel Boone’s cavern discovery, visitors are led to through this dramatic underground marvel. At the cavern’s shadowy dead-end, the cave lights ignite, illuminating the interior and giving visitors a completely different experience as they make the return trek out of the cavern. These nocturnal tours are $16 for ages 6-11 and $25 for guests age 12 and up. The tours are limited to just 12 guests at a time and are offered by reservation only, once a week throughout June and July. Explorers can book reservations by at (812) 732-4381 or

Squire Boone Caverns welcomes thousands of guests each year as they’re wowed by dazzling cave formations, picturesque underground waterfalls, rushing rivers, vast ceilings and the unique history of this ancient wonder. Beyond a variety of cave tours, visitors to Squire Boon Caverns experience a variety of activities, including a gift shop, picnic areas, a playground, nature trail, gemstone mining a working grist mill and a historic village offering everything from candle-dipping and soap making to a candy shop.

Beyond the region’s stunning caves and caverns, Corydon visitors are provided with a variety of ways to enjoy Hoosier Hospitality, from nostalgic old-time ice cream parlors to the State Historic Site marking Corydon’s place as Indiana’s first state capital. Downtown Corydon, Constitution Elm, a Civil War battlefield and reenactment and tours of one of the nation’s oldest standing early African American schoolhouses attracts history buffs nationwide. Guests can also enjoy diverse dining ranging from fresh seafood to spicy Mexican restaurants and warm country cooking, and accommodations include a historic B&B, affordable modern hotels, country cafes and a riverboat casino. From live bluegrass music to experiencing a roll of the dice at Horseshoe Southern Indiana or savoring the home of the Paula Deen Buffet, Harrison County offers intriguing nightlife activities as well. Information on reservations for all hotels and activities can be found inside the Corydon Visitors Guide.

For more information or to order the Visitors Guide, visit or call 888-738-2137.

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