Some people trust meteorologist for their weather updates - others trust… groundhogs?! They’re more than just a furry friend you can find along the trails on the Circuit. With Groundhog Day around the corner this weekend, and with the recent swell of freezing temperatures, all eyes will be on Punxsutawney Phil to deliver the upcoming forecast.

 

Photo courtesy of Sean Simmers

In case you are unfamiliar with the long-standing Pennsylvania Dutch tradition, legend has it that if the groundhog sees his shadow on the morning February 2, we will have to deal with the bitter winter for six more weeks. On the other hand, if there is no shadow to be found, an early spring is on the way!

We’re celebrating the occasion this year #onthecircuit at the John Heinz Wildlife Refuge! The Friends of Heinz Refuge at Tinicum are hosting the 10th annual Groundhog Day Festival at the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge and you can join in on the fun. Head to the refuge for a morning full of family-friendly activities including live music, refreshments, games, crafts and more! Start your morning off right with a “Groundhog Hike” at 9 a.m. or let your kids explore a life-size groundhog burrow. If you are looking for a more educational experience, you’ll want to attend the three interactive presentations throughout the day that will feature beekeeping, live animals and a weather expert from the Franklin Institute. While you’re there, bundle up and enjoy some time on the trails, too! Even in winter there is great wildlife spotting to be had on the Circuit via this trail.

 

Photo courtesy of Friends of Heniz Refuge

In case you were curious, Punxsutawney Phil has seen his shadow for the past two years, so it might not be time to put away the winter wardrobe just yet! Be prepared for the potential of more chilly days ahead #onthecircuit, but we have our fingers crossed that Spring – and trail season – will bring warmth and sunshine our way very soon!