Trail Mix

Solstice Celebration Saturday

EASTHAMPTON —Throughout time, people have come together to celebrate the shortest day of the year and welcome the lengthening days ahead. Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary, 127 Combs Road, has a tradition gathering at sundown for music and community unity. There will be a bonfire, hot cider and music. Call Arcadia if a blizzard is brewing. This is a free event; however, please bring a nonperishable food item for the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. Registration is not required. The program, which is suitable for individuals as well as families with children over the age of 5, will take place at sanctuary from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 21.

Northfield hike Sunday

NORTHFIELD — Sunday hikes in the Northfield area , sponsored by the Northfield Trails Association and the Northfield Open Space Committee, continue Sunday, Dec. 15. Visit some of the “special places” in Northfield and the surrounding area. Weather conditions will dictate trip route.

Hikers will meet behind the Northfield Town Hall at 1 p.m. for car-pooling to the hike trailhead and return by 3 p.m. School-age children are welcome but please leave the family dog at home. For cancellation due to weather or more information, call Sam Richardson at 413-498-5931.

Athol Bird and Nature Club

∎ The birding year will end with the Christmas Bird Count all day on Saturday, 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 for additional information and to participate in this nationwide annual event.

The outings are sponsored by the Athol Bird and Nature Club. More information is available on the web at New members are welcome.

Great Falls Discovery Center

2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, 413-863-3676, 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.

∎ Saturday, Dec. 14, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Watershed Investigators: Winter Birds. What birds do we see in our backyards in the winter? Learn how to identify local winter birds, and make bird feeders. This program is geared toward grades 2 to 5, but everyone is welcome.

∎ Saturday, Dec. 28, center closed.

Northfield Mountain

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

∎ 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 800-859-2960.

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