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Trail Mix: Outdoor activities in our area

Northfield hike Sunday

The Third Sunday Northfield Hike is scheduled for this weekend. As as usual, people will meet in the parking area behind Town Hall at 1 p.m. Jointly sponsored by the Northfield Open Space Committee and the Northfield Trails Association, this Sunday’s hike will be a two-hour traverse over moderate terrain near the summit of Gulf Road. School-age children are welcome but please leave the family dog at home.

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/

∎ Astronomy Conjunction. On Friday, Aug., 22, and Saturday, Aug. 23, Northfield Mountain will host the 30th Annual Connecticut River Valley Astronomer’s Conjunction. Enjoy the camaraderie of amateur astronomers learning and observing together at Northfield Mountain. Held during the dark of the moon, the weekend will be jam-packed full of slide presentations, talks, and Friday and Saturday night sky viewing through telescopes of all shapes and sizes. Check out the conjunction website at: http://www.philharrington.net/astroconjunction/. Registration forms available from Richard Sanderson at rsanderson@springfieldmuseums.org or by writing Jack Megas, Astronomy Conjunction, 311 Surrey Road, Springfield, MA 01118. For ages 12 and older.

∎ Trees at Riverview: Come to Riverview Picnic Area in Northfield on Saturday, Aug. 23, from 10 a.m. to noon for a walk exploring tree identification and lore. Discover which species was featured on a 1600s coin, what wood is best for baseball bats and which trees are most valued by wildlife. This walk will explore both bottom-land hardwoods and an upland mixed forest. Learn how to identify a variety of tree species common to our landscape by looking at bark, branching patterns, leaves, nuts and habitat. This leisurely stroll will meander along the river and quiet, country lanes. The program will meet beneath the shade of the towering sugar maples at the Riverview picnic area in Northfield, across from the Visitors Center. Bring binoculars and wear comfortable shoes. This is a free event and is appropriate for ages 10 and older. To register, call 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

∎ “The Long View,” paintings by Stein Feick. The paintings include stunning long view landscapes. Exhibit is up in the Great Hall through Aug. 30.

∎ Sunday, Aug. 17, 24 (8:30 am) Canal-side Nature Walk. Meet outside our 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.

∎ Tuesday, Aug. 19, 26, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Kidleidoscope. Come learn about our neighbors who share our home in the Connecticut River watershed. Every Tuesday morning, each program includes a story, interactive games and a craft. Recommended for ages 3 to 6 with a parent or guardian.

∎ Thursday, Aug. 14, 21, 10:30 to 11:30 p.m. Junior Refuge Explorers. This program is a two-week nature investigation for children ages 8 to 11. Each week, there will be hands-on explorations, games and activities Call to register.

∎ Saturday, Aug. 16, 2 to 3:30 p.m. Watershed Poets. Take a literary look at the Connecticut River watershed. Join DCR Park Interpreter and poet Janel Nockleby. Enjoy a lively discussion of poems by poets such as Emily Dickinson, Frederick Goddard Tuckerman and Wallace Stevens. Bring your own watershed themed poem to share.

∎ Friday, Aug. 22, 2 to 4 p.m. Watershed Wonders: Dinosaurs. A story hour with crafts and activities focusing on the many wonders of life in the Connecticut River watershed. For ages 6 to 8, with a parent or guardian.

∎ Saturday, Aug. 23, 2 to 3 p.m., Nature Journaling. Explore the natural world through careful observation and language play. Through writing, drawing prompts and short walks you will have an opportunity to experiment and see the world in new ways. No prior writing or drawing experience necessary. Meet at the entrance of the center. Appropriate for adults and youth accompanied by an adult.

∎ Saturday, Aug. 30 , 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 welcome; practice examining the natural world with field guides, binoculars and a fun game.

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