(Whitehall, MT) – August 7 to the 11 is Bat Week at Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park. It is the United Nations Education Council’s Year of the Bat and we have 5 days of great bat events and programs lined up.
Starting Tuesday there will be free bat programs offered during the afternoon at the Park’s two visitor centers each day to Saturday. Call the park for details (406) 287-3541.
On Wednesday August 8 at 6:30pm Park Ranger Tom Forwood will lead a special Bat Tour. The Bat Tours are special tours that only visit the upper part of the cave where bats live and give visitors a better chance to see the bats than is provided on a regular cave tour. These Bat Tours have very limited space and fill quickly so call ahead for a reservation, (406) 287-3541. Bat tours are $10 for adults and $5 for children 11 and under. These tours meet at the LOWER Main Visitor Center, NOT the Cave Visitor Center.
The Thursday Night Ranger Program will be “The Misunderstood Bat” at the Main Visitor Center at 8pm. This popular program breaks down many of the myths and misconceptions of bats while sharing what makes all of the different bats unique and amazing animals.
Friday night August 10 our Campfire Program presenter is Montana Natural Heritage Program senior zoologist Bryce Maxell. He will be presenting on the bats of Montana at 8pm. Bryce will share much of the research the state is performing to find out more about some of our least understood wildlife. After the Campfire Program, Ranger Tom Forwood will lead an After Dark Bat Walk to check out bats in action. The walk will meet in the Campground parking area at 9:15pm. From there the tour will drive over to the area near the old Morrison Limestone Quarry to see what species are out and about by the river at night. Please dress appropriately and have access to transportation.
Bat Week ends Saturday, a bat house building workshop will be offered on Saturday afternoon. The first 10 people to sign up in advance get to bring home their very own bat house. The bat house building workshop will be held at the Main Visitor Center at 4pm. Saturday night at 9:15pm there will be another After Dark Bat Walk. This Bat Walk comes with an added bonus from nature as Saturday August 11 is the peak night of the summer’s best meteor shower, the Perseid shower. The night walk will meet at the Campground parking are and then walk to a darker part of the lower park to look and listen for bats and watch shooting stars cross the night sky.
Bat Tours do require a fee all other bat week programs are free to Montana residents and those registered to camp that evening in the park’s campground. In the event of poor weather night time bat walks will be postponed to a later date. There is a $5 per vehicle entrance fee for any non-residents who would like to attend. For more information and Bat Tour reservations, contact Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park at (406) 287-3541.
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