In the early morning hours of June 20 Old Stone Fort State park held the annual summer solstice hike. The event focuses on the significance of the summer solstice for the Native Americans that gathered at the site hundreds of years ago.
“The event gives us the chance to gather and celebrate in the way that the Native Americans would have,” Park Ranger Leigh Gardner said. “It is a unique opportunity to be able to experience the solstice in a similar way to the way that the native peoples did, and to share that common interest.”
Gardner has served as a park ranger for years.
“I’ve done the event for four years now and it always attracts quite a few people,” Gardner said. “This year we had to limit the full amount due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I believe I counted 32 people this year, where in years prior we had about 70 or so. We did have more people ask to go this year, but again we needed to limit the amount.”
Local resident Jeff Haley was one of the attendees.
“This is my first time participating in the solstice event, but I’ve fished and hiked more times than I can count around here,” Haley said. “I decided to go this year because I had recently read about the Native Americans connections with the solstice and wanted to appreciate it for myself. It was definitely a unique experience.”