Essex County Trail Association is hosting the 28th annual Equine Expo & Tack Sale to be held on Saturday, April 22, 2023 from 9-3 in the Arena Building at the Topsfield Fairgrounds on Route 1, Topsfield, MA. Individuals, groups & businesses make up our booths offering new and used items for the horse and rider/driver. To outfit everyone for the show and trail season, purchase a new saddle, upgrade all your tack and equipment, purchase supplements, books, herbal products, home décor or gifts this is the place to be!
Celebrate the shortest day of the year and welcome the lengthening days ahead with a candlelit evening walk on the trails of the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary. Sanctuary naturalists will share solstice stories and folklore outdoors by bonfire then, with candles in hand, we'll light up the night with a stroll through the forest and perhaps catch sights or sounds of animals active during the winter season.
Beavers, coyote, and deer, oh my! Mammals are storing food, putting on fat, thickening their fur, and winterizing their homes for winter. Let's see what evidence of these preparations we can find in the woods and wetlands as we use our science eyes for this hike around the remarkable rockery.
This new three-day drop-off program is for youths who want to learn what it takes to survive in the wild. Each day will have a different theme around an outdoor skill. We will explore the sanctuary, look to our local wildlife for inspiration, and complete an outdoor skill challenge each day. Our last day will end with a carefully made campfire and toasted marshmallows!
First Day Hikes take place at nearby State Parks nationwide on New Year's Day. The annual hike originated more than 20 years ago at the Blue Hills Reservation in Massachusetts. The program was launched to promote both healthy lifestyles throughout the year and year-round recreation at state parks. On the North Shore, there will be First Day hikes at Bradley Palmer State Park and Breakheart Reservation.
Brighten up your yard this winter with a bird feeder handmade by you and your child. Each family will receive a kit containing all the necessary parts and step-by-step instructions to build a feeder that will attract chickadees, nuthatches, cardinals, and many other birds to your yard. A short presentation will highlight the birds that commonly come to feeders, and we will also observe birds in the sanctuary's bird garden. Please bring a hammer!
As temperatures cool and autumn arrives, Miss Lisa invites you to join her for some family friendly nature walks. Let's explore the woods, a pond, and the beach to look for creatures like birds, fish, frogs, and more while we learn, play, and explore. We'll use our "science eyes" and "nature ears" and discover wildlife together!
Spend an evening walking in the crisp autumn air looking and listening for nocturnal wildlife and experiencing the sanctuary in a whole new way. Let your eyes adjust to the moonlight, hear the distant hoots of owls, feel the crunch of leaves underfoot, and smell the chilly air reminding us that winter is just around the corner. Walks are leisurely in pace and lead by an experienced nature educator. What a perfect way to spend a quiet evening and give thanks for the natural wonders all around us!
Choose the adults only program or the family program.
At sundown this Halloween season, Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary will be transformed into a magical forest. Take a guided walk along our Halloween trail, lit by glowing luminaries and home to some interesting characters that come out just for Halloween. Learn about local animals of the night and signs of the season on this, fun family-friendly walk. Allow about one and a half hours for this walk.
Wetlands are home to many fascinating creatures, including some unique mammals. While visiting the numerous wetlands on the sanctuary, we will explore active and abandoned beaver lodges, scan the marshes for signs of muskrats, and search for signs of otter activity. With a little luck, we may see some of these mammals making their final preparations for winter.
Saturday, February 4
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