Longleaf Festival

Virtual Longleaf Celebration graphic

In lieu of an in-person Longleaf Festival in 2021, Harris Lake County Park is offering a Longleaf Celebration! Enjoy special programs and activities on all things longleaf throughout the month of May! View our Longleaf Celebration flyer for detailed descriptions, and check our Virtual Public Programs page for other opportunities. We also offer a Virtual Group Program entitled "Longleaf Legacy: In the Pines," for school classes, homeschool groups, scouts, clubs, retirement communities and other organizations.


May 1 | Virtual Storytime: Smokey Bear Storytime – American Sign Language

Read along with Smokey and Park Manager Christina Hester as they are joined by Sign Language Interpreter Erica Stucker to present “The Smokey Bear Story” in partnership with the NC Forest Service.


May 1 | Virtual Storytime: La Historia Del Oso Smokey

El Oso Smokey y la educadora del parque Harris Lake, Amelia Williams, acompañadas por la invitada especial Mariangelly Sierra, que lee la historia de Smokey en español.

Smokey Bear and Harris Lake County Park Educator Amelia Williams joined by special guest Mariangelly Sierra reading Smokey's story in Spanish.


May 8 | Virtual Wagon Ride

Join Harris Lake County Park staff on a virtual wagon tour of the Longleaf area with stops along the way to explain forest wildlife, stages of growth, and current management.


May 8 | Interview with NC Forest Service

Find out some of the cool information about forest management through prescribed burning in this interview with Jeff Ulrick and Chris Frey from the NC Forest Service conducted by Harris Lake’s own burn boss, Park Manager Christina Hester.


May 12 at 11 a.m. | Virtual Wild Wednesdays: Longleaf Forest Friends

Take a look at the animals that live in the Longleaf Forest. Deer, squirrels and birds of all kinds make their homes in the forest, and we will discover the ways they use this special habitat’s features for food and shelter.

Registration is required. Sign up here.

May 26 at 2 p.m. | Virtual Wild Wednesdays: Longleaf Learning with Smokey

Spend some time with Smokey Bear and learn all about forest fires and fire safety in this special program celebrating NC’s Longleaf Pine. Park staff will work with Smokey to answer your questions in this virtual interview session.

Registration is required. Sign up here.

Download the Schedule

If you want to get out and celebrate, our self-guided StoryWalk®, featuring “Wangari’s Trees of Peace,” will be available from May 15–31. This is the true story of Wangari Maathai, who led a community movement in her homeland of Kenya that started a tree planting across the continent of Africa, eventually succeeding in restoring the forest around her village. StoryWalk® panels will be placed near some of our special trees at the park, with information about what makes them unique. This StoryWalk®  will begin near the Cypress Shelter and follow the paved trails around the Educational Garden and Natural Play Area. 

Attention, Geocachers! There is also a special Longleaf-themed geocache hidden in the park for you to find!