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 10 Dec
Hike to Historic Knox School #5 at Thacher Nature Center
Saturday, December 10, 2016 02:00 PM
Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center
(518) 872-0800

Ever wonder what it was like to attend school in the early 1900's? Take a walk back in time to visit a historic one-room schoolhouse. Learn about life in a rural school, who was in attendance, and how the teacher managed to teach all grade levels in one room! Afterwards, warm up around the campfire and enjoy hot cocoa and toasted marshmallows. Walk is less than one-half mile in length. Program is appropriate for adults and children. Please call 872-0800 to register.

Registration: Required
Wed 28 Dec
Tasty Treats for Winter Birds at Thacher Nature Center
Wednesday, December 28, 2016 10:00 AM
Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center
(518) 872-0800

Make a unique bird feeder to take home and hang in your yard. Bring a plastic net bag - the kind onions come in. We will go outside and look for native berries that birds love to use in our muffin mix! While they bake we will use binoculars and field guides to view and study the birds at our feeders. Take home a feeder and a list of shrubs that will feed the birds in your yard. Free program is open to adults and children. Call 872-0800 to register.

Registration: Required
Fri 30 Dec
Evergreen Walk at Thacher Nature Center
Friday, December 30, 2016 10:00 AM
Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center
(518) 872-0800

While the aroma of balsam is still in the air, take time to appreciate the season's color, green! We'll take an easy walk to find several species of conifers and learn how to identify them by their leaves (needles) and cones. Then we'll warm up at the Nature Center with some hot cocoa and make a simple tree ID guide to take home. This program is appropriate for adults and school-aged children. Please call 872-0800 to register.

Registration: Required
Sat 31 Dec
Nearly New Year Snowshoe Walk at Thacher Nature Center
Saturday, December 31, 2016 10:00 AM
Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center
(518) 872-0800

End the year on a fun, energetic note by taking a walk outdoors! We'll put on snowshoes if there's snow and explore the Nature Center's lovely trails that meander through diverse habitats. Snacks and sparkling juice will be available afterwards. Program is appropriate for all ages, so bring the family! Please call 872-0800 to register, reserve snowshoes, and confirm conditions.

Registration: Required
Sat 07 Jan
Snowshoe Walk at Thacher Nature Center
Saturday, January 7, 2017 10:00 AM
Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center
(518) 872-0800

Join us on a winter walk through woods and fields on Nature Center trails. We'll explore a variety of habitats and look for signs of wildlife. Bring your snowshoes or rent a pair of ours. If we don't have snow, we'll take a winter walk. Call 872-0800 to register, reserve snowshoes, and check conditions.

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!