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Trail Mix: Ways to explore nature in our area

Catamount hike Saturday

COLRAIN — The Deerfield River Watershed is hosting a hike Saturday, April 27, in the Catamounts Hills of Colrain. This will start at the end of East Catamount Road at 10 a.m. There is a little climb to begin with, followed by a very gentle four-mile loop to MacLeod Pond, where we will have lunch and then explore the caves on the way back to the cars. Bring lunch and a flashlight for the caves. To reach the starting point, from Route 112 in Grizwoldville, Colrain, take the Adamsville Road a half mile to Lively Road on the left then a quick left on to East Catamount road (steep and dirt) to the end where there is parking. Please register with the leader, Polly Bartlett 413-626-6628. Rain will cancel. Hikers should be prepared to hike the whole distance since we will not be returning the way we go into the pond. These hikes are free and open to the public to help them know and appreciate the beauty of the watershed, its flora and fauna.

Mount Toby walk Sunday

The Pioneer Valley Institute is sponsoring a hike led by Hadley naturalist Nancy Goodman. On Sunday, April 28, she will meet participants at the old Ashram site now called Atticus Glass on Route 63 in Leverett for an early spring walk on Mount Toby. The hike begins at 10 a.m. and will last about five hours. $5; current Pioneer Valley Institute members and children under 12 are free. For more information email Nancy at wildeyes@rcn.com or PVI at pvi@gcc.mass.edu. Come enjoy an early spring walk up the eastern side of Mount Toby, which has interesting plants that are different from the surrounding area because of the geology of this particular range. Meet at the old Ashram site now called Atticus Glass on Route 63 in Leverett. The parking area — look for the orange cone — is on the west side of the road just north of a small cemetery and south of Montague Road There is limited parking so if possible try to carpool; contact Goodman at wildeyes@rcn.com and she will try and put people in touch with others.

Athol Bird and Nature Club

Millers River Environmental Center

100 Main St. Athol. 978-248-9491. Open to visitors Tuesday and Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

■ Expert birders Joan and Larry Duprey will on Saturday, April 27, lead an expedition to the historic Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, a famous spring hotspot for migrating songbirds. Participants should meet at the center for carpooling at 6 a.m. or at the main gate at 7:30 a.m. (Call the Dupreys at 978-249-4964 if you’ll be meeting them at the gate.) If time allows, the group will also visit the Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge. Participants should bring snacks or a lunch.

All of these trip leaders are self-taught enthusiasts who have become experts over time. After an accident left him in a wheelchair, Superchi also started using a camera to record his experiences.

The outings are sponsored by the Athol Bird and Nature Club, an active group of people sharing an appreciation of nature’s many forms. More information about the club is available on the web at www.atholbirdclub.org. New members are welcome.

Great Falls Discovery Center

2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, 413-863-3676, www.greatfallsdiscoverycenter.org. Open to the public Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. All programs are free to the public unless otherwise noted. Facilities are accessible.

■ In the Great Hall: Student Art Exhibit, “Exploring Quilting Traditions from North and South,” through May 31. Art, history and literature converge in this exhibit of student art inspired by traditional New England- style quilts, African American story and improvisational quilts and the quilters who made them. ■ Friday, April 26, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Discovery Hour: Frogs and Salamanders. Young children ages 3-6 and their parents are invited to join refuge staff as we discover different things about local wildlife and the places they live. Be ready to be crafty, have fun, and bring your imagination as we explore the natural world around us.

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/

■ Help Create a Natural Play Area. Was there a tree you loved to climb or a vacant lot that your friends turned into an imaginary world? Does your child have similar outdoor places? Come help build a place where young families can immerse themselves in nature on Saturday, April 27, from 9 a.m. to noon at Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environmental Center. This free event is for ages 4 and older. Register at 1-800-859-2960.

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