Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center

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Address
87 Nature Center Way
Voorheesville, NY 12186
Latitude 42.655132
Longitude -74.042389

The Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center opened in July 2001 and is located in Thompson's Lake Campground at Thacher State Park. The center offers year-round educational programs for school groups, youth organizations, clubs and the general public. Exhibits and displays include a geologic model of the Helderberg Escarpment, a live honeybee observation hive, bird viewing area, fossils, furs and other hands-on collections. Trails for hiking and skiing lead from the nature center to the lake, through woodlands and fields.

Learn more, watch WMHT's doccumentary: The Great Ledge 

Not allowed inside Nature Center.

Hours of Operation

  • Nature Center is open year-round, 9 am to 5 pm
    Closed on Mondays and holidays.

Program Descriptions

Experience Thacher Nature Center (year round):

This is a great program for first time visitors of all ages! Our hands on exhibits include lie turtles, honeybee observation hive, animal furs and skulls, bird observation window with binoculars, microscope, fossils and more! Students will explore the Nature Center through a written find and seek activiity. This program includes a nature walk through gfiled and forest habitats.

Busy Bees (May-October):

Learn about the lifecycle of the honeybee, and the important role they play in the antural world. Observe a real beehive to see the queen, drones and workers as they busily do their jobs. Try on beekeeping equipment to learn how beekeepers tend to their hives.

Geology of the Indian Ladder Trail (May-October):

New York was underwater 400 million years ago. See and learn about fossils, limestone, and the process that created the Helderberg Escarpment. Follow the trail down the cliff, under waterfalls and over underground streams. Suitable for elementary through high school earth science studies. Can be combined with a visit to the Nature Center.

Getting to Know Birds (year round):

Birds are everywhere, from the forest to an urban street! Learn the habits of some of the birds that frequent our feeders, or your schoolyard. Topics could include beginning birding techniques, bird adaptations, bird songs and more.

Seasons and Senses (year round):

This program is ideal for preschoolers and grades K-1. Children use their senses to explore the natural world and learn about the current season. Program includes sensory activities, exploration of the Nature Center and a nature walk.

Lifecycle of a Tree (year round)

The forest ecosystem is a community that depends on trees. Learn about the lifecycle of a tree, from seed to rotted log. Activities may include: build-your-own living tree, play habitat hotel, or get to know the trees in our forest or your schoolyard using identification keys,

Animals in Winter (winter only):

Winter can be a harsh season for wildlife, but animals have many different ways of surviving the cold months. Find out who remains active, who hibernates, and who skips town! Learn to look for evidence of animal life in thet racks and other signs they leave behind. If conditions are good, we'll strap on snowshoes and take an exciting invigorating walk on the Nature Center's trails or in your schoolyard.

 

To schedule a field trip or outreach program in your classroom, please call 518-872-0800 or email Megan Mansfield at megan.mansfield@parks.ny.gov

Sat 01 Apr
Bamboozled Again! Camouflage in Nature at Thacher Nature Center
Saturday, April 1, 2017 10:00 AM
Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center
(518) 872-0800

Trees with eyes?! Sticks that walk?! Every day is April Fool's Day in the natural world. Some animals and plants use camouflage to disguise or conceal themselves for protection. Come and learn about different camouflage techniques used by plants and animals, both locally and worldwide. Then try your skill at detecting camouflage in a hide and seek activity. Call 872-0800 to register.

Sat 08 Apr
Cliff-top Walk
Saturday, April 8, 2017 10:00 AM
Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center
(518) 872-0800

Take in the views from the cliff edge on this early spring walk. We'll take the Long Path out to Hailes Cave picnic shelter and walk the Escarpment Trail back, stopping to take in a cliff top perspective of the Indian Ladder Trail and the rushing waters of Outlet and Mine Lot Falls. Walk is about 1.5 miles in length and is over fairly level terrain with one short, steep section. Participants should dress for cool, damp weather and muddy trails. Please call 872-0800 to register.

Sat 15 Apr
Go With the Flow Waterfall Walk
Saturday, April 15, 2017 10:00 AM
Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center
(518) 872-0800

Spring is the best time to enjoy waterfalls in the park. Minelot and Outlet Falls spill over the cliff above the Indian Ladder Trail and rushing streams cascade down rocky slopes at Paint Mine and Hop Field. We'll choose our trail based on conditions at the time. Call 872-0800 to register and for more information.

Wed 19 Apr
Build a Nest Box” at Thacher Nature Center
Wednesday, April 19, 2017 02:00 PM
Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center
(518) 872-0800

Invite beautiful Bluebirds or mosquito-eating Tree Swallows into your yard! Our kits are pre-cut and pre-drilled, all hardware included. You will learn how to correctly place and monitor your nest box. This program is open to adults and children of all ages. Materials fee is $8. Bring a cordless screw gun and join the fun! Each child registered must be accompanied by an adult. Call 872-0800 to register and reserve your kit.

Sat 22 Apr
Wildlife Presentation at Thacher Nature Center
Saturday, April 22, 2017 02:00 PM
Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center
(518) 872-0800

Meet some wild neighbors up close and personal and learn about where and how they live. Wildlife rehabilitator Kelly Martin will introduce some of the birds of prey and other animals in her care. Learn what to do if you find an abandoned or injured animal and how to help prevent wildlife emergencies. Please bring a donation to support Kelly's work. Call 872-0800 for more information.

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Did You Know? We're #1! Our nature center made the top 20 list of places to take kids in the Capital District!