Hike

Nelson Island Tour at Parker River

Tour and discover Nelson Island at Parker River Wildlife Refuge.

Join a ranger for a tour of a beautiful spot that few people visit: Nelson Island. If we’re lucky, we might catch a glimpse of a nesting osprey. Learn about the history of this little known refuge jewel. If weather and tide permits, we’ll take a very short walk along the marsh. (Muddy, wet areas are possible so rubber boots are recommended.) Consider bringing binoculars and/or a camera. *Please note: Those who call and leave messages after hours, your registration is not confirmed until you receive a confirmation call from a refuge staff member.

When: 
Monday, July 17, 2017 10am-Noon

Animal Tracking Program

Kids will learn about animal tracks and behaviors at Parker River Wildlife Refuge.

Many animals live on the refuge, but are hard to find.  They are either active at night, wary of people, or both.  Though you may not see them, their tracks can be just as interesting to find.  Go out on the refuge with intern Dominic Noce as he teaches you how to find and identify tracks of different types of animals.  Meet the program leader in the refuge visitor center auditorium for a brief slide show, after which he’ll lead you on a tracking exploration on the refuge.  Please wear long pants and boots (for tick prevention) and otherwise dress for the weather.  NO preregistration for th

When: 
Sunday, July 16, 2017 10am-Noon

Sense the Beauty, Share the Wonder Walk

Enjoy this sensory walk on the trails of Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary with your children!

To spark a sense of wonder, Rachel Carson said, every child needs an adult "who can share it, rediscovering with him [or her] the joy, excitement, and mystery of the world we live in." To this end, knowing facts about nature matters less than feeling a sense of beauty, admiration, excitement, and love, which can prompt a wish for knowledge later on and create an enduring legacy of meaning. Exploring nature, Carson reminds us, means being receptive to the surrounding world - "learning to use your eyes, ears, nostrils, and finger tips, opening up the disused channels of sensory impression."

When: 
Saturday, June 10, 2017 10AM-Noon

Kayak to Choate Island

Take a guided kayak paddle to Choate Island with the Trustees of Reservations!

Join The Trustees of Reservations for a paddle and a hike – what better way to spend a summer afternoon? Paddle across Essex Bay from the Trustees of Reservations boat dock to Choate Island. We’ll beach our boats for a tour of the island, stopping in at the Proctor Barn, the White Cottage and the Choate House, then continuing to the highest point on the island where Cornelius and Miné Crane are buried. After the hike, we’ll kayak around the island to get the views from the water (tides permitting).

When: 
Saturday, July 8, 2017 2-5PM
Saturday, August 12, 2017 2-5PM

Morning Kayak to Choate Island

Take a guided kayak paddle to Choate Island with the Trustees of Reservations!

Join The Trustees of Reservations for a paddle and a hike – what better way to spend a summer morning? Paddle across Essex Bay from the Trustees of Reservations boat dock to Choate Island. We’ll beach our boats for a tour of the island, stopping in at the Proctor Barn, the White Cottage and the Choate House, then continuing to the highest point on the island where Cornelius and Miné Crane are buried. After the hike, we’ll kayak around the island to get the views from the water (tides permitting).

When: 
Sunday, June 25, 2017 8:30-10:30am

Bradley Palmer Firefly Foray

Come learn about fireflies at Bradley Palmer State Park!

Join us for an evening park adventure for families.  Fireflies delight us with their nighttime dance and spectacular light show!  Learn about the life of a firefly, and take a walk led by the park interpreter.  The walk is moderately paced for 3/4 mile. There is a gentle uphill slope which may pose difficulty for those with limited mobility. 

When: 
Sundays, June 4, 11 & 25, 2017 8:30-9:30pm

Strawberry Moon Family Night Hike

Hike Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary with oyur family under June's Strawberry Moon!

Local Native American tribes call the June full moon the Strawberry Moon because it heralds the time of year to pick wild strawberries. Spend an evening walking in the warm air, listen to the dusk bird songs turn to choruses of spring peepers, and try to catch a glimpse of our resident wildlife as spring ripens into summer. We'll enjoy some strawberries and chocolate as a sweet treat to end the night.

When: 
Friday, June 9, 2017 7-8:30pm

Audubon Nature Festival 2017

This year's Audubon Nature Festival features live owl demonstrations with Eyes on Owls!

Enjoy ongoing activities throughout the day at Mass Audubon's 20th Annual Audubon Nature Festival. This year's special feature will be live owl presentations by Marcia and Mark Wilson of Eyes On Owls. Come see live owls up close, learn about their natural history, and join in a hooting lesson.

When: 
Sunday, June 4, 2017 10am-4pm

ECTA National Trails Day Walk

Celebrate National Trails Day with Essex Count Trail Association and the Ipswich River Watershed Association!

Celebrate National Trails Day on Saturday, June 3rd with a walk along some beautiful trails with ECTA and Ipswich River Watershed Association. Join ECTA Trail Steward Judi Milano and IRWA Executive Director Wayne Castonguay at 10am in the Bradley Palmer parking lot at 40 Asbury Street in Topsfield. 

The walk will gather at the mounting block and go up the trail toward Asbury Street, across the road, across the fence and down to the river and the bridge.  We turn left at the bridge and walk along the river for about a half mile to the Patton property where we go through the opening in their stone wall and walk back out to Asbury street along their fence.  The walk will return to the Bradley Palmer lot through the Bradley Palmer trails.

When: 
Saturday, June 3, 2017 at 10am

Backpack Babies

Backpack Babies is a program that encourages caregivers to explore the natural world with their babies and toddlers. Photo: Sharon Grimes

Backpack Babies is a program that encourages caregivers to explore the natural world with their babies and toddlers. Bring your backpack/frontpack or jogging stroller and explore the meadows, forests, and wetlands with your baby in this four-session series. Each class will begin indoors with a nature book and a few lap rhymes, songs, and games about the topic of the day. Then we'll go outside for a closer look at nature's gifts with our:

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