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.
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 email@example.com
Ever wonder where all the wild animals are in winter? You may not see them, but if you observe closely enough, you can find the signs they've left behind. Learn all about these ‘wildlife signatures' and go outside and look for signs of our wild neighbors. Make an edible sign treat to enjoy or take it home. Call 872-0800 to register. This FREE program is appropriate for all ages!
Learn all about ice fishing at a free clinic co-hosted by NYS DEC, Albany County Conservation Alliance, and NYS Parks. DEC will supply some bait and tackle, but experienced anglers are encouraged to bring their own fishing gear. After a short lesson on the basics of ice fishing and filleting your catch, anglers will try their luck on the ice. Volunteers will be on hand throughout the day to assist participants on the ice. A warming area and refreshments will be available. Rain date is February 26. Call 872-0800 for more information.
Shake off the cabin fever and come up for a snowshoe walk. If we don't have snow, we'll take a winter hike. Snowshoes are available to rent. Call 872-0800 to register and reserve snowshoes.
Enjoy the beautiful moonlit views of the park on an evening snowshoe walk. With a bright moon and cover of snow, we'll leave the flashlights behind. Snowshoes are available to rent for $5 per person and may be reserved in advance. Appropriate for adults and children ages 12 and up. Conditions will determine meeting place. Call 872-0800 to register and reserve snowshoes.