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

Sun 21 Oct
Geology of the Blue Trail at Thacher Park
Sunday, October 21, 2018 02:00 PM
Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center
(518) 872-0800

The blue trail in the southern portion of the park is a hidden gem and doesn’t necessarily get explored too often. Along this trail, you’ll pass a series of cliffs and some fields full of grikes. Wear appropriate footwear for walking on and off trail to view the geology. Meet at the Paint Mine parking lot. Pre-register for this program by calling the park office at 518-872-1237. Park entrance fee is $6 per vehicle.
Registration: Required
Fri 26 Oct
Critters of the Night Hike at Thacher Nature Center
Friday, October 26, 2018 06:30 PM
Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center
(518) 872-0800

Under the cover of darkness, the forest comes alive with sounds of animals and insects adapted to night-life! Join us for a sensory hike through the fields and forests surrounding the Nature Center, as we search for elusive critters of the night. Learn to identify some common night sounds and give your best owl call a shot! This program is appropriate for adults and children age 8 and older. Please call 518-872-0800 to register.
Registration: Required
Sat 27 Oct
Nature’s Creepy Mystery Trail at Thacher Nature Center
Saturday, October 27, 2018 10:00 AM - 02:00 PM
Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center
(518) 872-0800

Take a walk on the Nature Center Trail and discover cool and creepy natural objects and oddities along the way. Use the clues to complete the challenge and win a prize! Wear your Halloween costume if you like. Make Halloween crafts and enjoy warm cider and donuts. This fun (not scary) program is appropriate for all ages. Please call 518-872-0800 for more information.

Sat 03 Nov
Nature’s Engineers at Thacher Nature Center
Saturday, November 3, 2018 03:30 PM
Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center
(518) 872-0800

Beavers are famously busy animals with the unique ability to create their own habitats! Come learn more about the many adaptations that allow beavers to redesign entire ecosystems and survive the winter! After an indoor presentation, we will visit a nearby beaver lodge in hopes of catching a beaver or two in action! This program is appropriate for adults and children 7 years and older. Please call 518-872-0800 to register.

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!