York County Parks hosts Christmas hiking, bird-watching with side of hot chocolate

Lindsey O'Laughlin
York Dispatch
A male cardinal perches outside a viewing window during the Kids Christmas Bird Count at Nixon County Park Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017. Birding mentors from the York Audubon Society worked with children to help them participate in the annual bird count. Bill Kalina photo

The York County Department of Parks and Recreation is offering three family-friendly outdoor activities during the final days of Christmas vacation before the kids go back to school.

Kids Christmas Bird Count: From 9 to 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 27, at Richard M. Nixon County Park, a birding mentor from the York Audubon Society will lead groups on a hike and teach children how to identify birds and submit their finds to eBird, an online bird-sighting database developed by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Children age 8 and older are invited to attend. There is no fee to participate, and all children must be accompanied by an adult. Registration is required, and the deadline to sign up is Dec. 24.

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Marshmallow Hikes: On Friday, Dec. 28, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., and Saturday, Dec. 29, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., York County Parks will host Marshmallow Hikes through the woods at Rocky Ridge County Park. After the hikes conclude, participants will be invited to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows and a warm fire.

Attendees should meet at the Hidden Laurel Picnic Area at the pheasant pavilion. There is no fee, but registration is required.

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Last Hike of the Year: Also being held is the Last Hike of the Year, from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 30, at Richard M. Nixon County Park.

Naturalist Andrew Wolfgang will accompany hikers through woods and meadows, followed by hot chocolate inside the nature center. There is no fee, but registration is required.

To register for any of these events, call 717-428-1961. For more information, visit yorkcountyparks.org.