Upcoming Canyon Center and Field School Events
International Vulture Awareness Day
Join us at the Little River Canyon Center for an exciting look at one of nature's most valuable clean up crews, the Vulture! Come and go anytime from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm. This program is FREE and open to the public.
When: Saturday, September 2, 2023
Time: 10:30 am - 3pm CDT
Where: JSU's Little River Canyon Center, Fort Payne, AL
Canyon Kids – Nature Journaling
Join JSU Field School Staff the first Thursday each month for Canyon Kids. Each month will explore a different theme. Bring your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and neighbors to creatively learn about animals, plants, bugs, and more with JSU Field Schools. Your children (ages 3 years-3rd graders) will want to attend ALL of these hands-on outdoor adventures!
Date: Thursday, September 7, 2023
Time: 10:30 am—11:30 am (CST)
Where: JSU’s Little River Canyon Center-Fort Payne, Alabama
Pre-registration required, for more details and for pre-registration call 256-845-3548 or email email@example.com Limit 15 students.
Sensory Hike for Kids
Join the JSU Field School for a guided 1-mile hike for kids. Meet at the Little River Canyon Center at 10:30 am on Saturday, September 9. We will be using our senses to make observations as we learn on the trail. This hike is designed for children 10 and under, but all ages are welcome!
Free event. No registration required. Please wear footwear suitable for hiking, bring water, sun protection.
Longleaf Pine Needle Basketry Class
Sunday, September 17, 10am -3pm
Learn the basics of pine needle basketry, an old craft with a long history at JSU's Little River Canyon Center in Fort Payne, Alabama. Join artist Brittney Hughes to learn the basic steps to making a coiled basket from longleaf pine needles. Each participant will take home their very own creation. The art of coiling baskets is universally common to indigenous peoples. Coiling is the technique of creating baskets and art from pine needles and was a part of pre-Columbian Native American crafts. Today, pine needle baskets and art are made primarily for decorative purposes. All materials (pine needles, thread, and small center for basket) will be furnished. Class is for ages 10 and up. Pre-registration is required, as participation is limited. The $45 supply fee- Supply is due day of class. Pre-registration required by emailing Brittney Hughes at Southernchick888@hotmail.com. Class number is limited in size. Call the Little River Canyon Center for more information, 256-845-3548.
Hike with a Naturalist – Canyon Mouth Park
Join JSU Field School staff on a 2-mile, beautiful outdoor adventure hike at Canyon Mouth Park on Fee Free Day.
Things to bring: Plenty of water and/or sports drink, snacks, hiking poles/staff (optional), sturdy shoes (open toe shoes are not recommended). Please be sure to dress appropriately according to seasonal temperatures/weather.
WEATHER: As with all outdoor events, if it's raining/stormy or very poor trail conditions, we may have to cancel. If the weather is questionable, please check with the park before leaving home. Please make every effort to arrive early or on time.
Date: Friday, September 22, 2023
Where: Meet at Canyon Mouth Park in the Little River National Preserve
Time: Meet at Canyon Mouth Park at 10:30 am (CST).
Fee: Free and open to everyone! For details, contact 256-845-3548 (Canyon Center)
Season of Wellness: Autumn Plants and
Saturday, September 30, 9am – 12pm
Join herbalist, Donna Smith, for our autumn class in the Seasonal Wellness Series at the Little River Canyon Center. Built for both new herbal enthusiasts as well as the more advanced apothecarist. This series will help you learn more about our native plants, their many uses, and how to grow and process them in the context of your own at-home medicinal herb garden. Learn what we need to be doing in our gardens and medicine cabinets based on the specific health needs of autumn. Learn through lectures, plant walks, hands-on herbal preparations, and community building. Be sure to save the date for winter Seasons of Wellness class, January 20, 2024! Registration required; $35 supply fee per participant. No refunds after September 15, 2023. Registration required. Limited availability. Ages 14 and up. Be sure to bring a journal, water, sun protection and a snack.
Canyon Kids Nature Art
Thursday, October 5, 2023 - 10:30-11:30am
Join us for a hands on adventure the 1st Thursday each month in 2023! Children (ages 3 years-3rd graders) will want to attend ALL of these hands-on outdoor adventures at the Little River Canyon Center! In October we will be making nature art. Bring your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and neighbors to creatively learn about animals, plants, bugs, and more with JSU Field School. Please wear footwear suitable for hiking, bring water, and sun protection. Free event. Registration strongly suggested. Limit 15 students. For more details and for pre-registration, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 256-845-3548.
10th Annual Canyon Half Marathon & Salamander Sprint
When: October 14, 2023
Jacksonville State University and the Little River Canyon Center are pleased to announce the 10th annual half marathon set to be held on Saturday, October 14th, 2023. This year's race will be chip timed and feature a long sleeve race day shirt. Possibly one of the most scenic half marathons in the country, the certified course loops 13.1 miles on paved roads, starting and ending at the Little River Canyon Center. Starting at 8:00 am, the first 5 miles of the run will follow the Little River Canyon National Preserve's scenic and sometimes challenging rim of the canyon, as the remainder winds through gently rolling farm country including Randy Owen Drive and his famous Tennessee River Music Hereford and Angus cattle ranch. Randy and Kelly Owen are often on hand at the 6 and 8 mile water station pitching Fig Newtons, energy GU and drinks. Awards ceremony to follow. Event details and schedule Registration is set at $75 or $85 day of race. Please come Friday October 13th for early registration and packet pickup - starting at 2:00pm until 5:00pm. Packet pick up and registration will also begin 7:00am on race day! Please park in the event parking lot.
Salamander Sprint 1K Fun Run for Kids
Lace up your shoes. The JSU Field School is excited for the Salamander Sprint - 1K Fun Run for kids in conjunction with the 10th annual half marathon set to be held on Saturday, October 14th, 2023. The Salamander Sprint is for kids 12 and under. This is the perfect event for a kid’s the first race! This is not a mile race, but one kilometer race; it is just a little more than half a mile. Youth runners may be accompanied by an adult; however, this run is only for children ages 12 and under. We encourage people of all ages to cheer on the runners as they run on paved surfaces from the Canyon Center to the main entrance gate and back. Runners will cross the same finish line as the Half Marathon runners. All runners who register before September 1 will be guaranteed at t-shirt. Registration: $20 before September 1st or $25 after September 1st. Race starts at 8:30 am at the Little River Canyon Center. All registered runners will receive a Finisher Medal and finish line snacks.
Please come Friday October 13th for early registration and packet pickup - starting at 2:00pm until 5:00pm. Packet pick up and registration will also be available from 7:00am – 8am on race day! Please arrive before 8:15 am and park in the event parking lot.
Boo Bash: Bats & More!
Join us for a day of fun as we learn about misunderstood animals of Halloween. All events are at the Little River Canyon Center.
- 10:30 – 10:45 – Not-So-Spooky Halloween Story Time
- 10:45 – 11:30 – Not So Haunted Herpetology - Snake Program
- 11:30 – 1:00 – Come and Go Crafts
- 1:00 – 2:00 – Batty About Bats - with LIVE bats!
- 2:00 – Bat House Give Away
Costumes welcome! All events are free and open to the public. Come and go as you please throughout the day. Please call the Little River Canyon Center for more information, 256-845-3548.
Guided Archaeology Tour of Dekalb and Cherokee Counties
Come along with JSU archaeologist Dr. Harry Holstein for a guided tour throughout Cherokee and DeKalb counties. Participants will be shuttled in a JSU van as we learn about the DeKalb and Cherokee Counties, visit the 19th century Cornwall Iron Furnace, a Spanish contact site at Coosa village, a rock shelter in use as early as 3000 B.C., and much more. This will be an unforgettable all-day event. Bring your own food and drinks. Transportation is provided. This tour is expected to be completely booked. No refunds after October 13th.
May's Gulf Music Fest
When: October 28, 2023
Time: Doors open at 5 pm; Music begins at 6 pm CDT
Where: Canyon Center Amphitheater
Cost: Advanced Tickets, $25; At the Door,
- Will Stewart + Janet Simpson and Their Band
- Midnight Special: CCR Tribute Band
Little River Canyon Center presents Eleventh Annual Canyon Fest
- Demonstrations - Live Animal Programs - Much More!