Welcome the New Year with a brisk hike through the Crane Wildlife Refuge! We’ll begin with a small fire on the beach – bring a slip of paper with regrets from the past year, and we’ll send them up in smoke. Then we’ll cleanse our psyches with a trek through the starkly beautiful landscape of the dunes; trails winding along the sandy hills, blood pumping, the smell of the sea in the air – what a perfect way to to enter into 2018! At hike’s end we’ll warm up with hot cider.
Join the The Trustees of Reservations as they light up the night with a Solstice Stroll at Ward Reservation! We will meet in the parking lot for a candlelit stroll through the woods that will include presented passages from the story "The Shortest Day". The Stroll ends with a gathering around the solstice stones at the heigh of Holt Hill. At an elevation of 420 feet above sea level, Holt Hill is the highest point in Essex County and offers views of the Boston skyline and even the Blue Hills.
Throughout time, people have come together to celebrate the shortest day of the year and welcome the lengthening days ahead. Sanctuary staff and volunteers invite you to join us for this beautiful candlelit event. Lantern making begins at 4:00 pm, followed by some solstice stories and folklore. With lanterns in hand, we will stroll the trails to light up the night. We will serve hot cider and cocoa at the bonfire on our return.
In every kind of weather, our favorite thing is to head outdoors to our spectacular local habitats to see what's new! We love to find things, think about colors, shapes and patterns, and wonder why this place is a special home to wildlife. Each nature exploration will focus on the importance of a sense of place. Local and migrating birds, other wildlife, collecting techniques, and environmental awareness will be presented in a fun, energetic format that adults and children alike will enjoy.
Squirrels are among the most engaging animals of the forest, dashing across logs and leaping from tree to tree. Except for the flying squirrel, they are active during the day, and one of the few wild animals you can actually observe up close. We’ll play some squirrely games and then take a walk to look for these charming bushy-tailed mammals. Bring binoculars if you have them.
You’ll feel better about that Thanksgiving indulgence if you come join us for a hike over the Blueberry and Moon Hills of Bradley Palmer State Park in Topsfield! Best for children ages 7 and up. We will be hiking for a couple of hours on moderate trails. Wear clothing for hiking; bring rain gear as appropriate. Only pouring rain cancels.
There's a walk in the woods... and then there's a walk in the woods with a naturalist. Bring your friends for a pre-Thanksgiving guided walk to discover the world of nature as plants and animals prepare for winter. Sanctuary naturalists will lead small groups as they venture out to Averill's Island, to find some of the sanctuary’s oldest trees. We will stop along the way to hear stories of those who lived on the land before us and learn more about the fascinating cultural history of the sanctuary. Look for animal signs as we hike through the woodlands and marshes, taking in the beauty of the muted colors of late autumn. Walks are approximately 2 hours and 3 miles in length.
Join The Trustees of Reservations at the Stevens-Coolidge Place for Illumintation Nights! Come one, come all and see the splendor of our illuminated winter gardens. Many holidays and festivals are based on lights, some even being called a Festival of Lights, like Diwali for Hinduism, Sikhism, and Jainism, and Hanukah for Judaism. Christianity also celebrates using lights, seen on a Christmas tree or in a snowcapped windowsill.
On this Friday before Thanksgiving, in the dark of the new moon, we’ll walk with tea lights (no open flames!) to illuminate our passage through the trails and along the rolling hills at the Crane Estate. While we walk, we’ll talk about the first Thanksgiving, and how giving thanks can make us appreciate all the good and wonder in our lives. You’ll be amazed at how fortunate you are when you stop taking things for granted! Come with an attitude of gratitude! Pre-registration is suggested.
Did you know that the wild turkey was Ben Franklin’s nominee for our national bird? Once driven nearly to extinction in much of the United States, the wild turkey has returned. Come learn about this large bird that represents our first American holiday, Thanksgiving. We’ll make a turkey craft and take a walk to catch, with luck, a glimpse of this elusive bird.