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.

Please note fishing is prohibited at the Emma Treadwell Nature Center

Learn more, watch WMHT's documentary: The Great Ledge 



Pet Policy:  A maximum of two pets are allowed in campsites and day use areas unless prohibited by sign or directive. Pets are to be supervised at all times and either be crated or on a leash not more than 6-feet in length. Proof of rabies inoculation shall be produced if requested by staff. Pets are not permitted in playgrounds, buildings, golf courses, boardwalks, pools and spray-grounds or guarded beaches (this does not apply to service animals).

Hours of Operation

  • Nature Center is open year-round, Tuesday through Sunday, 9:00am - 4:00pm
    Snowshoe rentals by appointment only

Fees & Rates

  • Snowshoe Rentals
  • $10.00 all day

    $5.00 four hours or less

Program Descriptions


Incredible Insects (April-September)
Butterflies, bees, and all kinds of bugs are an important part of nature. Discover what makes them special, and what you can do to support biodiversity in your backyard. Then, take to the fields and forest to see how many insects you can find.

Awesome Aquatics (April-September)
Discover the different parts of a habitat, and what animals need to thrive. Then, borrow nets and see how many lake creatures you can catch! Dress for wading.

Indian Ladder Trail Tour (June-October)
Descend through the entrance of the Indian Ladder Trail to view the amazing rock formations, and the forces that shaped them. This one mile hike offers spectacular views of the valley and mountains north and east.

Hibernation Investigation (November-March)
Explore mammal skulls and skins to learn about the many adaptations that help them survive in their habitat. Then, take to the trails to search for signs of wildlife. The hike will be lead on snowshoes, weather permitting.

Snowshoeing (January-March)
We'll strap on snowshoes and take an invigorating walk on the trails or in your schoolyard. Learn to look for evidence of animal life while you take in the quiet beauty of winter. Warm, waterproof footwear, and snowpants recommended.

Animal Superpowers (All Year)
Meet some of our animal ambassadors and discover the adaptations that help them thrive in their habitat. Then, take a hike to search for some of the amazing plants and animals that call the park home.

Fun With Fossils (All Year)
400 million years ago, New York was submerged under a tropical sea! Explore the geological history of the park, and examine fossils of ancient sea creatures.

The Connect-Kids-to-Parks Grant Program is designed to connect students in New York State with nature and history. Each grant can provide reimbursement for field trips to state and federal parks, forests, historic sites, fish hatcheries, and outdoor recreation areas for districts with at least one Title 1 school.

Additional programs can be designed to meet your group's specific interests. To schedule a field trip or outreach program in your classroom, please call 518-872-0800 or email ThacherEducation@parks.ny.gov.

Wed 28 Feb
Yoga Body Basics
Wednesday, February 28, 2024 09:30 AM - 10:30 AM
Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center
Have some yoga experience but feeling a bit rusty? We will focus on working from the basic building blocks of yoga to strengthen the core and improve balance and mobility. Come and enjoy the many benefits of yoga! Donations welcomed! Registration is required. Call 518-872-1237. Meet at the Visitor Center. Ages 18+.
Registration: Required
Thu 29 Feb
Drop-in Play Time
Thursday, February 29, 2024 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center
Children ages 0-5 and their caregivers. The Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center offers many self-guided opportunities for little hands to explore! Dig for fossils in the kinetic sand table, build a beaver dam in the stream table, or roast a pretend marshmallow on the plush campfire with some new friends. The Nature Center is open Tuesday-Sunday from 9:00am to 4:00pm. Meet at the Nature Center. No registration is required.
Wed 06 Mar
Yoga Body Basics
Wednesday, March 6, 2024 05:30 PM - 06:30 PM
Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center
Have some yoga experience but feeling a bit rusty? We will focus on working from the basic building blocks of yoga to strengthen the core and improve balance and mobility. Come and enjoy the many benefits of yoga! $20.00 per person cash or check. Registration is required. Call 518-872-1237. Meet at the Visitor Center. Ages 18+.
Registration: Required
Sun 10 Mar
Watercolor Spring Flowers
Sunday, March 10, 2024 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM
Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center
Practice watercolor techniques as you paint spring flowers with professional artist Diane Steele. $20 per person, cash or check payable at the time of the program. Registration required. Call 518-872-0800. Meet at the Nature Center. All skill levels ages 18+.
Registration: Required
Wed 13 Mar
Yoga Body Basics
Wednesday, March 13, 2024 05:30 PM - 06:30 PM
Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center
Have some yoga experience but feeling a bit rusty? We will focus on working from the basic building blocks of yoga to strengthen the core and improve balance and mobility. Come and enjoy the many benefits of yoga! $20.00 per person cash or check. Registration is required. Call 518-872-1237. Meet at the Visitor Center. Ages 18+.
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!