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 23 Jun
Hike to High Point at Thacher Park
Saturday, June 23, 2018 10:00 AM
Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center
(518) 872-0800

Get outside and stretch your legs by joining us for a hike on the Fred Schroeder Memorial Trail (2.72 mi)! We'll discuss our observations of the landscape in a geologic context, while enjoying the scenery of the park. Call 518-872-0800 to register and for meeting location.

Registration: Required
Sat 23 Jun
Walk Through History at Thacher Park
Saturday, June 23, 2018 01:00 PM
Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center
(518) 872-0800

Join historian Tim Albright on a walk back through time in Thacher Park. Tim will share the story of the park's history and tales of former residents. Meet at the Visitor Center and wear appropriate footwear for hiking on uneven terrain. Call 518-872-1237 to register. Park entrance fee is $6 per vehicle.

Registration: Required
Thu 28 Jun
Thursday Trail Treks at Thacher Park
Thursday, June 28, 2018 10:00 AM
Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center
(518) 872-0800

Thacher State Park is home to over 25 miles of trails. Explore the trails with our educators on a series of interpretive walks throughout the park. This week we'll experience waterfalls and an old hemlock forest on the Red Trail, and learn about geology and ecology along the way. The rating for this tour is Beginner at 1.25 miles in length. Meet at the Paint Mine parking area. Call 518-872-1237 to register. Park entrance fee is $6 per vehicle.

Registration: Required
Sat 30 Jun
Wild about Wetlands at Thacher Park
Saturday, June 30, 2018 10:00 AM
Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center
(518) 872-0800

Wetlands are fascinating ecosystems where land meets water, and life abounds! Join us for a hike to one of Thacher Park's wetlands, where we will study the plants and animals that thrive in this unique environment, and discuss the integral role that wetlands play in watershed ecology. Appropriate for adults and children 12 and older. Call 518-872-0800 to register. Park entrance fee is $6 per vehicle.

Registration: Required
Sun 01 Jul
Indian Ladder Trail Guided Walk at Thacher Park
Sunday, July 1, 2018 02:00 PM
Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center
(518) 872-0800

Descend the cliff and learn about the geologic and cultural history of the Helderbergs on this scenic and historic trail. See underground streams, look for fossils and step inside the crevice cave along the trail. Trail is moderately rugged with stairclimbing and a couple of steep slopes. Wear sturdy shoes and meet at the Indian Ladder picnic area. Walk lasts about 1.5 hours. Call 518-872-0800 to register. Park entrance fee is $6 per vehicle.

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!