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Trail Mix: outdoor activities in our area

Athol Bird and Nature Club

∎ Joseph Superchi continues his popular “Second Tuesday” accessible birding sessions from 8 to 10 a.m. Dec. 10, meeting at the center before heading out to a variety of sites. Those wishing wheelchair van access can call ahead to 978-248-9491.

∎ The birding year will end with the Christmas Bird Count all day on Dec. 14. This “citizen scientist” project is the longest continuously running compilation of bird data in the area. Contact ABNC president Dave Small at 978-413-1772 or dave@dhsmall.net for additional information and to participate in this nationwide annual event.

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: November, “Changing Coastlines, Oil Paintings by Paula Tessier”; December, “Landscape and Nature Photography” by Tom Stratford.

∎ Friday, Nov. 22, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Discovery Hour: Turkeys! Young children ages 3 to 6 and their parents are invited to join refuge staff as we explore different things about local wildlife and the places they live. Be ready to have fun, be crafty, and bring your imagination as we explore the natural world around us.

∎ Saturday, Nov. 23, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Watershed Investigators: Beavers! Ever wonder what it would be like to be a beaver? Come experience life as a beaver, learn about these amazing engineers of nature and try your hand at building a beaver dam. Please wear clothing that can get dirty. This program is geared toward grades 2 to 5, but everyone is welcome.

∎ Friday, Nov. 29, center closed.

∎ Saturday, Dec. 14, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Watershed Investigators: Winter Birds. Join us as we go on a pretend birding experience, learn how to identify local winter birds, and make our own bird feeders to attract some feathered friends. This program is geared toward grades 2 to 5, but everyone welcome.

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/

∎ Solstice Headlamp Hike. Join Northfield Mountain staff member Beth Bazler for a holiday celebration for hike lovers on Saturday, Dec. 21 from 6 to 9 p.m. This romp will be on the carriage-width ski trails at Northfield. Participants’ headlamps will light the way on this longest night of the year as people share solstice facts and quotes from literary lovers of the night. Also, a visit to a mid-mountain campfire and shared cider and snacks. Participants should bring a headlamp, dress in layers for hiking in winter weather and expect to hike 1½ miles with an elevation gain of 300 feet. If the trails are open for skiing, snowshoes are required. This event is free and appropriate for ages 11 and older. Please register by calling Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environmental Center at 800-859-2960.

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