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 22 Sep
Vultures: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly at Thacher
Saturday, September 22, 2018 01:00 PM
Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center
(518) 872-0800

Turkey Vultures fill an important ecological niche, and exhibit some truly amazing, albeit peculiar, adaptations! Their habit of eating rotting carcasses has earned them a rather grisly reputation in the hearts of many. Join us to learn more about turkey vulture biology, and discover why the world is better off with these misunderstood birds of prey! This program is appropriate for adults and children age 8 and older. Please call 518-872-0800 to register. Park entrance fee is $6 per vehicle.
Registration: Required
Sun 23 Sep
Learn to Kayak at Thompson’s Lake
Sunday, September 23, 2018 10:00 AM
Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center
(518) 872-0800

Join us for a beginner’s kayak course at Thompson’s Lake! Learn the basics of kayaking with emphasis on effective paddling strokes and safe practices. This introductory course is ideal for first time and beginner kayakers. Sturdy shoes/sandals are preferred. Program is appropriate for adults and children age 12 years and older. Space is very limited, preregister by calling 518-872-0800. Parking fee is $7, kayaks are provided for participants.
Registration: Required
Sun 23 Sep
Bushes, Berries & Birds at Thacher Nature Center
Sunday, September 23, 2018 02:00 PM
Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center
(518) 872-0800

Autumn is a wonderful time of year to go outside and enjoy the gorgeous days and fall color. It’s also a great time of year to explore our local shrubs and learn who’s who and what’s what. We’ll identify some beneficial native shrubs, figure out which invasive plants to remove from our yards, and how to benefit birds and other wildlife. We’ll also keep our eyes open for migrating bird species. Dress for the outdoors and bring binoculars and/or a notebook. Call 518-872-0800 to register.
Registration: Required
Sat 29 Sep
Fall Colors Tour at Thacher Park
Saturday, September 29, 2018 10:00 AM
Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center
(518) 872-0800

With fall in full swing, the deciduous trees on the escarpment and in the valley begin to prep for the coming winter. The weeks leading to bare trees treat us with a beautiful array of colors. Join us as we learn the different trees and why they behave the way they do. Meet at the Pear Orchard parking lot. Pre-register for this program by calling the park office at 518-872-1237. The park entrance fee is $6 per vehicle.
Registration: Required
Sun 30 Sep
Fall Foliage Hike at Thacher Park
Sunday, September 30, 2018 10:00 AM
Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center
(518) 872-0800

Join us for a beginner’s kayak course at Thompson’s Lake! Learn the basics of kayaking with emphasis on effective paddling strokes and safe practices. This introductory course is ideal for first time and beginner kayakers. Sturdy shoes/sandals are preferred. Program is appropriate for adults and children age 12 years and older. Space is very limited, preregister by calling 518-872-0800. Parking fee is $7, kayaks are provided for participants.
Registration: Required

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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!