First Day Hike in Nature: A Time for Family Reflection

Set The Tone for the Year: Connect with Nature!

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For many, New Year’s Day is a time for peace, quiet, and calmness. Though it’s the beginning of something new, it’s also a time to reflect on all that life brought during the past year in preparation for what’s soon to come. Luckily, New Year’s Day in western Massachusetts offers us a beautiful landscape within which to reflect. As 2019 begins, families can connect to the world around them by participating in facilitated First Day hikes or by exploring on their own through the chilly landscape.

Five Featured First Day Hikes

Make sure you dress accordingly and arrive early.

  1. Tuesday, January 1 at 10am-4pm in Lanesborough at Mount Greylock State Reservation. Self-guided hike and open house.
  2. Tuesday, January 1 at 10:30am in Granville at the Granville State Forest. Meet at the Park Headquarters. Warm up afterward with a fire and warm beverage.
  3. Tuesday, January 1 at 12noon-1pm in Windsor at Notchview. Guided snowshoe hike.
  4. Tuesday, January 1 at 1pm in Turners Falls at Great Falls Discovery Center. Meet in the Great Hall. Hot chocolate will be served following the hike.
  5. Tuesday, January 1 at 1-4pm in Amherst at Holyoke Range State Park. Meet at the Notch Visitor Center. Warm beverages follow.

Families who prefer a more personalized beginning to the new year can create their own adventure, using some of our winter tracking resources as a catalyst for nature-based discoveries. Additionally, families can make a game of learning to look closely at their surroundings using Mass Audubon’s winter installment of nature bingo, a 5″x5″ bingo-style card that requires players to find an assortment of interesting nature treasures to win. The winter bingo card includes things like feathers and acorns, as well as more difficult to spot things like animal burrows, birds’ nests, and evidence of woodpeckers. Unstructured family outdoor time can help to set the tone for the year – if your family intends to make 2019 a nature-filled year, then local exploration is undoubtedly where the year should begin. Read the rest of this entry »

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