Trail Mix: nature activities
A more complete listing of nature activities in our area can be found in the Outdoors section of our website: www.recorder.com. Click on the Life and Times section.
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.
∎ Great Hall Art Display: landscape and nature photography by Tom Stratford. Through Jan. 31.
∎ Saturday, Jan. 25, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Winter Preschool Series: Who’s Been Here? Let’s find out. Join Janel Nockleby for stories, crafts, and a tracking adventure to find out who has been outside in the snow at the Discovery Center. For ages 3 to 6 with a parent or guardian. Siblings and friends welcome. If you enjoy our summer Kidleidoscope series, then this is a program that you will not want to miss/
99 Millers Falls Road (Route 63), Northfield. 413-659-3714 or 800-859-2960. Owned and operated by FirstLight Power Resources. www.firstlightpower.com/
∎ Baker + Farmer = Local Whole Wheat Bread Baking Workshop. This workshop is full.
∎ Lower Mountain Snowshoe Ramble; On the Edge with Wildlife. Saturday, Feb. 1, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Perfect for people who are just learning to snowshoe or establishing fitness routines; participants who are on the edge of learning new skills will investigate the edges of habitats. These places where fields meet wetlands and stream corridors wind through woodlands, are often wildlife hotspots and the group will attempt to discover which local animals use them and why. This shorter distance, lower-elevation ramble will be the perfect introduction to both snowshoeing and animal tracking. Bring water and snacks, wear wind pants or gaiters and dress in warm layers that can be shed as we get moving. Warm footwear is essential. All levels of experience are welcome. This event is free, $18 with snowshoe rentals and is appropriate for ages 9 and older. Please register by calling 1-800-859-2960.
∎ Upper Mountain Snowshoe Ramble; Porcupines and Stone Quarries. Saturday, Feb. 1, from 12:30 to 4 p.m. Explore animal tracks, porcupine signs and an abandoned 19th-century stone quarry. Learn tips on snowshoeing technique, equipment and clothing. A cup of hot cocoa by a fire will round out the afternoon. This moderately strenuous hike is approximately 2½ miles with an elevation gain of 400 feet. Bring water, snacks, wear wind pants or gaiters and dress in warm layers that can be shed. Warm footwear is essential. All levels of experience are welcome. For ages 12 and older. The event is free, $18 with snowshoe rentals. Please register by calling 1-800-859-2960.
∎ Valentine’s Day Full Moon Snowshoe. Friday, Feb. 14, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. On this adventure for lovers of the natural world, look for signs of local wildlife and learn which of them are in a mating mood. There will be piping hot cup of cocoa after the walk. Inspiring quotes, outdoor exercise and local fare. No previous snowshoeing experience is necessary. Bring water, wear wind pants or gaiters if you have them and dress in warm layers that can be shed. In case of no snow, a moonlit hike will be offered. The fee is $5 or $21 with snowshoe rentals and is appropriate for ages 16 and older. Please register by calling 1-800-859-2960.
∎ Wildlife Tracking; Predators, Patterns and Prints. Join Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environmental Center naturalist Kim Noyes on Saturday, Feb. 15, from 2 to 4 p.m. for Wildlife Tracking. Learn how to identify the tracks left behind by local wildlife. The stories they leave in the snow can offer fascinating glimpses into their mysterious lives. Perhaps we’ll find signs of fox and porcupine, or the elusive and secretive fisher? This outdoor program will include an introduction to common track patterns and helpful tips for observing prints as well as the opportunity to follow tracks and sign to learn more about an animal’s behavior. We’ll explore the trails, field edges and forests as we search for clues and discover which animals are active in winter. Participants should be in moderate shape and the program will include some off-trail tracking. If we are open for skiing, snowshoes are required. This event is for ages 12 and older and is free, $16 with snowshoe rentals. Please register by calling 1-800-859-2960.