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Braennan Fields, 10, learns the proper technique of how to shoot a bow and arrow on Saturday at the 18th Annual Mohican Wildlife Weekend.

LOUDONVILLE -- The 18th annual Mohican Wildlife Weekend welcomes warm weather by bringing the community together for a plethora of outdoor activities.

Beginning on Friday, Mohican State Park kicked off a weekend full of different events -- all related to the great outdoors.

Gold panning was one of the main events highlighted during the weekend. Avid listeners were taught to sift through dirt and sand in water using pans lined with special slits utilized specifically to find that special glint of yellow every prospector seeks.

Gold is 19 times heavier than water, which causes it to sink to the bottom of the river floor; patiently awaiting the eager hand of a passerby.  Unfortunately, a lot of other man-made things are swept into the river and sink to the bottom as well, such as rusty fishing hooks and soda pop tabs.

Gold panning actually helps remove these harmful deposits of litter from the environment.

Fin Feather Fur Outfitters also set up a trailer and brought along archery gear for children and adults to use.

Children lined the outside of the trailer anxiously awaiting their turn to learn the proper techniques about how to aim and shoot a bow and arrow.

There are 10 to 12 different locations around Mohican State Park that are home to activities for the Wildlife Weekend.

“We have about 1,200 acres here,” said Louis Andres, Park Naturalist and one of the founders of Mohican Wildlife Weekend. “Each year we try to cater towards family and kids by picking a theme.

“This year’s theme is ‘Pick Your Path!’”

The theme “Pick Your Path” invites community members to literally choose their path of discovery and exploration at Mohican State Park, whether by foot, bike, horse or water.

There are plenty of trails to choose from, each bringing its own sense of adventure and wonderment for the entire family. 

“If you’ve got smaller kids, there’s archery and gold panning and activities like that,” Andres said. “If you’re an adult and want to get more in depth into something, we have backpacking or you can go to the bird sanctuary, where they give seminars on how to identify the birds and also close-photography opportunities with the birds.”

Overall, the weekend can attract more than 3,000 people looking to enjoy their time at Mohican State Park.

Events continue Sunday, April 28 at 10 a.m. A full list of activities can be found at mohicanwildlifeweekend.com.