It is turning colder and winter is finally here, but don't let that keep you cooped up. Head to Saratoga for some outdoor adventures in one of our local State Parks or preserves.
Upcoming January Park Events:
(click on park website for full list of events or call the park office)
SARATOGA SPA STATE PARK
Wednesday, January 6th, 2p.m.: 10,000 Steps Hike
Did exercise make your New Year’s resolution list? Join the Park Naturalist on a five mile hike equating to about 10,000 steps. This moderately strenuous hike will lead participants through fields, forests and wetlands. Please come prepared to hike with a water bottle and hiking boots. This event is free. Please call 518-584-2000 Ext. 116 to register.
Saturday, January 9th, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.: Snowmobile Safety Course
Learn how to be safe on the wintry trails this year! Become certified in snowmobile safety in an eight-hour course taught by Jeffrey McGreevy. This course is free to residents of New York State, and anyone 10 years of age and over will receive a certificate in snowmobile safety. Parents must attend the course with children under the age of 10. Attendees must participate in the entire course to be eligible for certification. Register by contacting the park office of Saratoga Spa State Park at (518) 584-2000. The course will take place in the Maintenance Building of Saratoga Spa State Park, 15 Avenue of the Pines, Saratoga Springs, NY. Please bring a pencil. Lunch will be provided. Please do not bring your snowmobile. Space is limited, so please pre-register to ensure your spot.
Saturday, January 9th, 10a.m.-2p.m.: Snowshoe Open House
Visit the Park Office with all of your snowshoe questions! Staff will be on hand to show you how snowshoes can enhance your winter experience in the park. Snowshoes will be available to rent for $5 if there is snow. Please call (518) 584-2000 for directions.
Monday, January 18th, 11a.m.: Kids Snowshoe Lesson
Interested in learning how to snowshoe? Now is the time! We’ll go over the basics of how to put snowshoes on (and take them off), walk and turn. Then we’ll to put our new skills to work on a short walk along one of our nature trails. If there is no snow we will take a guided nature hike. All ages are welcome. Fee is $3 per person or $5 per family. Please call (518) 584-2000 Ext. 116 to register.
Tuesday, January 26th, 10a.m.: Woodpecker Walk
Woodpeckers of all shapes and sizes inhabit Saratoga Spa State Park. Take a walk with the park naturalist to find evidence of woodpecker activity and learn all about these fascinating creatures! All ages welcome. Please bring binoculars if you have them. Fee is $3 per person or $5 per family. Please call (518) 584-2000 Ext. 116 to register.
MOREAU LAKE STATE PARK
January 7, 2016 Animal Tracking Class 10:00a.m. – 12:00p.m.
Join the Park Naturalist on a family friendly hike that will be sure to impress. Learn animal tracks and their winter behaviors from an expert. Registration is necessary with 24 hours advanced notice, please call 793-0511.
January 8, 2016 Lake Ann Hike 10:00a.m. – 12:30p.m.
January 20, 2016 10:00a.m. – 1:00p.m.
A lesser known trail nicely weaves through some thick forest up to the top of Palmertown Range. This hike will be a challenging 4+ miles. Please bring lunch and plenty of water. Appropriate shoes are necessary. Reservations are required with 24 hours advanced notice, 518-793-0511.
January 9, 2016 Eagle Watch 9:30a.m. – 12:30p.m.
January 16, 2016 9:00a.m. – 12:00p.m.
January 23, 2016 9:30a.m. – 12:30p.m.
January 30, 2016 9:00a.m. – 12:00p.m.
Grab a pair of binoculars and join park staff on their weekly Bald Eagle survey. Moreau Lake State Park’s section of the Hudson is home to wintering bald eagles. It is important for us to monitor their population and health, please come and help us! Registration is necessary, please call 793-0511.
January 13, 2016 Porcupine Adventure 10:00a.m. – 12:00p.m.
A park naturalist will take participants up the Red Oak Ridge Trail to view the abandoned graphite mines. Participants will get a chance to see recent porcupine activity in and around the mines as well as their feeding quarters. Reservations are required with 24 hours advanced notice, please call 793-0511.
January 15, 2016 Spring Overlook Hike 1:00p.m. – 3:00p.m.
January 26, 2016 10:00a.m. – 12:00p.m.
January 29, 2016 1:00 – 3:00p.m.
This short, moderate snowshoe hike has a few steep sections, which will take participants to the top of the Palmertown Range. This overlook presents spectacular views of the Luzerne Mountains and Hudson River. Bring snack, H20 or a lunch to enjoy at the overlook. Registration is necessary with 24 hours advanced notice, please call 793-0511.
January 18, 2016 Family Lake Walk 11:00a.m. – 1:00p.m.
The kids have the day off, why not get out and spend an afternoon hiking around the lake. This hike is suitable for children, who can walk 2 miles easily, as well as youngsters who can be carried. We will stop along the way to learn and play… please come dressed for the weather! Consider bringing snacks and drinks to enjoy at the warming hut after the walk. Registration is necessary with 24 hours advanced notice, please call 793-0511.
January 22, 2016 Potter Point Hike 10:00a.m. – 12:00p.m.
This is a trail free piece of property, which makes it a favorite to our staff. As you weave through along the edge of the Hudson River you will have chances to explore more freely than when walking single file on a trail. Registration is necessary, please call 793-0511.
January 23, 2016 Full Moon Walk 5:00p.m. – 7:00p.m.
Gary, our Park Naturalist will be leading this month’s Full Moon Hike. While walking around the lake Gary will point out flora and fauna as the sun is setting and the moon is rising. Please call for reservations 793-0511.
January 27, 2016 Red Oak Ridge 1:00p.m. – 3:00p.m.
Join the Park Educator on his favorite hike in the park. Though challenging this hike is 2.5 miles round trip. You will be climbing about half way up the mountain range and walking through some special places our educator will point out as well as stop to enjoy. Please bring water on this hike. Registration is necessary with 24 hours advanced notice, please call 793-0511.
Programs are weather permitting and are subject to change. Please call the park office to confirm event date, time and location. Participants should be prepared to spend time outside and are encouraged to wear appropriate clothing and footwear. There are program fees with all classes, please ask for the price when registering for the class. Reservations are required with 24 hours advanced notice, 518-793-0511.
If there are no participants signed up, classes can be cancelled at the discretion of the park. Moreau Lake State Park is located off of exit 17 S of I87, the Adirondack Northway. For additional information or to register for programs, please call the park office at (518) 793-0511.
WILTON WILDLIFE PRESERVE
January 9, 2016 X-Country and Snow Shoe Rental at 10:00 am
January 10, 2016 X-Country and Snow Shoe Rental at 10:00 am
January 11, 2016 Wellness Walk at 10:00 am
January 11, 2016 Pre-K Discovery Day at 10:30 am
January 16, 2016 X-Country and Snow Shoe Rental at 10:00 am
January 17, 2016 X-Country and Snow Shoe Rental at 10:00 am
January 23, 2016 X-Country and Snow Shoe Rental at 10:00 am
January 23, 2016 Moonlight Ski and Snowshoe at 6:00 pm
January 24, 2016 X-Country and Snow Shoe Rental at 10:00 am
January 30, 2016 X-Country and Snow Shoe Rental at 10:00 am
January 20, 2016 Winter Exploration at 1:00 pm
January 31, 2016 X-Country and Snow Shoe Rental at 10:00 am
PEEBLES ISLAND STATE PARK, WATERFORD
January 10 – ANNUAL EAGLE WATCHING EVENT 10 a.m.
Peebles Island will be joining forces with the Audubon Society of the Capital Region to participate in the annual eagle survey sponsored by the Army Corp of Engineers. John Loz, President of the local chapter of the Audubon Society will be sharing information about eagles, followed by a hike around the Island to view and record sightings. Program will begin at 10A.M. and is appropriate for all ages. Please dress for outdoor weather. Binoculars a plus. Program will conclude with hot chocolate and refreshments. Registration encouraged.
January 28 – LEARN TO SNOWSHOE Noon
Come meet at the pavilion, get sized up, and learn the sport of snowshoeing. Program will conclude with hot chocolate. If no snow, reschedule date will be on February 4 at noon. Please call to reserve a pair as there are limited amounts in stock. This program is geared for all ages and will meet at the Pavilion at noon.
All programs are free and open to the public. Registration encouraged. Donations will be gratefully accepted and will be earmarked for future programs at Peebles Island State Park. Call 518-268-2188 for more information.
For more outdoor recreation, go online to www.saratoga.org.