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    Cooler summer welcome relief for campers & hikers

    6:19 PM, Jul 18, 2013   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) --Without the usual blaze of July heat to sear them, hikers and campers are taking full advantage of this summer's milder temperatures.

    Joray Wright said he runs the trails at Pinnacle Mountain 2 to 3 times a week.

    "Maybe sweat a little, get a good cardio workout in," he said.

    The milder temperatures this summer compared to last is helping attendance at state parks like Pinnacle Mountain, and Wright said it is also aiding him in his outdoor workout.
    "I've been able to experience more outdoors and do things outdoors like. Come here to Pinnacle and hike the mountain. It's a tad bit cooler, and you can bear the heat this time around," he added.

    Pinnacle Mountain Park Superintendent Ron Salley said park programs and hiking trails are full. This is a rarity for mid-July.

    "The weather this year is helping out a great deal," Salley said. "Fourth of July was a really good holiday. We had lots of activities."

    Salley added that visitors passing through the park's visitor's center have also been commenting on the abnormally comfortable weather conditions.

    "Most people are commenting on, like now, the gentle breeze. Last year it was not only very, very hot, but it was very still," he added.

    Last July, we saw the second warmest July on record. This year, average highs are much cooler, which is a welcome relief to the park.

    "Last year this time it was pretty baron. We had very few people out," Salley explained.

    A couple of miles down the road at Maumelle Park, several RV campers and even tent campers can be found taking advantage of the milder summer.

    At Pinnacle, Salley said the break in the heat is allowing more day campers and hikers the opportunity to enjoy the park through the dog days of summer.

    "We've seen a lot of people even in the last couple of weeks. Even last couple of days still hiking those trails, even though the temperatures pretty hot, but not nearly as hot as last year."

    Park Superintendent Salley gave THViewers one reminder. He said even though temps have been cooler than normal, the park has seen several heat related incidents this summer and wants to stress hydration and frequent breaks to those visiting the park.

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