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Trail Mix: Hikes and other nature activities

Northfield hike Sunday

NORTHFIELD — The Sunday hike in Northfield will be a 3-mile loop in the Northfield State Forest between Coller Cemetery Road and Alexander Hill Road over moderately easy terrain on the New England Trail and adjacent hiking and ski trails. Hikers will meet behind the Northfield Town Hall at 1 p.m. for carpooling to the trailhead. School-age children are welcome but please leave the family dog at home. Trail leaders are Sam and Barbara Richardson. Contact information: 413-695-6764. Sponsored by the Northfield Trails Association and the Open Space Committee.

Watching the river flow

On Saturday, June 21, the Deerfield River Watershed Association and the Riversmart Communities program will host a Deerfield River Walk, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., that will focus on the different processes at work along a flowing river. Why does erosion occur at some times and places, accumulation of sediments at others? What happens during floods or droughts? And what does this mean for human uses and ecological value of rivers and riverlands? We will look at interesting features on both the Deerfield River and one of its main tributaries, the Cold River. Meet at Mohawk State Forest in Charlemont by the park headquarters (north side of Route 2, 4 miles west of Charlemont Center, 15.5 miles west of North Adams. If using a GPS, use “Cold River Road” as the address). There is a day-use fee of $5 per vehicle. Please carpool. Degree of difficulty: Easy to moderate. Please register by emailing brian.yellen@gmail.com

Northfield Mountain

99 Millers Falls Road (Route 63), Northfield. 413-659-3714 or 800-859-2960. Owned and operated by FirstLight Power Resources. www.firstlightpower.com/

∎ Canal Days Along the Bike Path: take a springtime stroll along a 1½-mile section of the paved bike path in Turners Falls on Saturday, June 14, from 10 a.m. to noon with local historian Ed Gregory, industrial history buff, Steve Winters and Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environmental Center’s Kim Noyes. Using historical maps, quotes and illustrations, participants will explore the scenic west end of the popular Canalside Trail. Organizers say participants will gain a new appreciation for this quiet end of the bike path as they imagine canal barges waiting their turn for the locks, a lively 19th century tavern, the birth of the iron whistle coming to town and much more. This program is co-sponsored with the Pioneer Valley Institute. Meet at the parking lot on the east side of Montague City Road across from the Farren Care Center in Turners Falls. Call 413-659-4462 after 8:30 a.m. Saturday morning if weather is questionable. Rain date: Saturday, June 21. The event is free, donations to institute are welcome. For ages 16 and older. Call 800-859-2960 to register.

∎ Saturday, June 14, from noon to 2 p.m., Free Fish Printing for Families at the Turners Falls Fishway, located on First Street in Turners Falls. Print your own T-shirt or tote bag and discover the intricate beauty and important function of fish fins and scales. Learn about resident fish as well as migratory fish that return to the Connecticut River to lay their eggs. Drop in anytime between noon and 2 p.m. at the Turners Falls Fishway to create your work of art using scientifically accurate replicas of Connecticut River fish. Remember to bring a T-shirt or other material to use for fish printing and wear clothes that can get stained. This event is part of the ninth annual Family Fish Day at the Great Falls Discovery Center. If raining, this event will take place at the Great Falls Discovery Center. Appropriate for ages 5 and older. No registration is required.

∎ Saturday, June 21, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., Summer Solstice Sunset Kayak at Barton Cove in Gill. At the summer solstice, poet Mary Oliver asks, “what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” Perhaps we can begin by celebrating the birth of summer on a paddle through the sunset? Awed by the great power of the sun, civilizations have for centuries celebrated the first day of summer, known as Midsummer or the Summer Solstice. During this evening paddle, participants will explore some of the celebrations from around the world as well as the rich history and natural history of Barton Cove. Ancient waterfalls, historic log drives, dinosaur footprints and nesting bald eagles are unique to this peninsula, cove and “narrows” on the Connecticut River. This program is appropriate for both beginning and experienced paddlers. For ages 16 and older. Free with own kayak, $25/boat with kayak rental. Tandem kayaks available. Pleaseregister by calling 800-859-2960.

∎ Saturday, June 28, at Barton Cove in Gill, Family Eagle Expedition from 9 to 11 a.m. Using a tandem kayak is a great way for an adult and child to give paddling a try, say organizers, who add that visiting the Barton Cove Eagle nest is a good mini expedition for new paddlers. Kids can paddle as they are able and parents can provide the power and direction for the boat as participants try to glimpse eaglets on the nest, exercising before their first flight. The group will begin learning paddling basics on land, how to turn and go straight and then set off across the Cove. Bring along a snack and drink for when the group takes a break from paddling before returning to its starting point. No prior kayaking experience is required. Suggested gear list will be emailed to registered participants prior to program. For ages 7 and older. Fee: $20 per adult child pair. Please register by calling Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environmental Center at 800-859-2960.

Great Falls Discovery Center

2 Avenue A, Turners Falls. Open 7 days a week,10 a.m. to 4 p.m. All programs are free to the public unless otherwise noted. 413-863-3221 On the web at: www.greatfallsdiscoverycenter.org

∎ In the Great Hall: Natural Images by Mary Hayes-Siegrist, through June 30

∎ Saturdays, June 15, 22, 29. Canal-side Nature Walk. Meet outside the main entrance at 8:30 am. We will leisurely explore level, paved bike trails and village sidewalks to learn about plants, animals and mill town history.

∎ Friday, June 13, 7 to 9 p.m. Great Falls Coffeehouse Presents: Neptune’s Car: Holly Hanson and Steve Hayes. An acoustic duo from Massachusetts and New Hampshire that plays original, contemporary folk music. The duo has become known for its intimate performance style, carefully crafted lyrics, generous harmony singingand exceptional guitar picking, say promoters.

∎ Saturday, June 14, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Ninth Annual Family Fishing Day. Adults and children of all ages can join refuge staff, staff from the commonwealth of Massachusetts, educators from Northfield Mountain and volunteers in a day of fishing fun. Activities include: fly fishing demonstrations, fly-tying lessons, fishing at Barton Cove, fish printing, aquatic insect investigations, raffles and more. Equipment is provided and no fishing licenses needed.

∎ Thursday, June 19, 6:45 to 8:30 p.m. Turners Falls Third Thursday: Barton Cove Eagles & Friends of the Great Falls Discovery Center Annual Meeting. What happened to the Barton Cove eagles? Join William Dean, avid eagle watcher to find out! He will present stunning photographs of the Barton Cove eagles from the last couple of years as they grew from egg to adult. He will also share stories and videos from his adventures. A short annual business meeting for the Friends of the Great Falls Discovery Center will occur immediately before the program.

∎ Sunday, June 22, 2 to 3 p.m. Watershed History: The Great Hall. Originally built as a machine shop during the early days of industrialization in Turners Falls, the Great Hall building of the Discovery Center has a great story. We will investigate tales of machines, fly fishing rods, historic preservation and more.

∎ Friday, June 27, 2 to 4 p.m. Watershed Wonders: Migration. A story hour with crafts and activities focusing on the Connecticut River watershed. For ages 6 to 8, with a parent or guardian. This month’s topic is migration. Birds, fish, and butterflies are on the move. Where are they going? Where have they been?

∎ Saturday, June 28, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Bike Path Bingo Canal-side Nature Walk for Kids. Kids, grab your parents, bug spray, and sunscreen and then we’ll go exploring. All ages are welcome as we practice examining the natural world with field guides, binoculars, and a fun game to see just how much you can see.

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