Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center

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The Indian Ladder Trail at Thacher State Park is closed until further notice.

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 21 Apr
CANCELLED: Early Spring Wildflowers at Thacher Park
Saturday, April 21, 2018 10:00 AM
Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center
(518) 872-0800

Due to weather, the event has been cancelled.

Registration: Required
Sat 21 Apr
“Thacher State Park: A Classic North American Geologic Site”
Saturday, April 21, 2018 02:00 PM
Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center
(518) 872-0800

The rocks of Thacher Park record the history of Earth, from the deep geologic past and from recent times. Ancient seas, modern and ancient earthquakes, and today's retreat of the Indian Ladder cliffs can be "read" from the pages of the rock layers. Explore these various Helderberg histories with Dr. Chuck Ver Straeten, geologist at the NY State Museum. Call 518-872-0800 for more information.

Sun 22 Apr
Nest Box Monitoring Workshop at Thacher Nature Center
Sunday, April 22, 2018 11:00 AM - 01:00 PM
Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center
(518) 872-0800

This training will teach you to identify the birds using the birdhouse or nest in your yard and how to monitor the progress of the nestlings. Learn how to obtain and record data and how to keep your baby birds safe from harm. We will go outside to try out your new skills and conduct nest box checks in our fields. Appropriate for adults and children ages 9 & up. Call 872-0800 to register for this free program.

Registration: Required
Sat 28 Apr
Wildlife Presentation at Thacher Nature Center
Saturday, April 28, 2018 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.

Sun 29 Apr
Waterfalls Geology Walk at Thacher Park
Sunday, April 29, 2018 10:00 AM
Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center
(518) 872-0800

Spring is the best time to enjoy waterfalls in the park. Rushing streams cascade down rocky slopes at Paint Mine and Hop Field, and flow off the cliff above the Indian Ladder Trail. The rocks beneath the water are the cause of all the drama. Come and explore the geology while you take in the beauty of the falls. We'll meet at the Paint Mine picnic area. Call 518-872-0800 to register.

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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!