Crane Outdoor Adventures Program

Crane Wildlife Refuge: kayaks

Contact Information

Register online by clicking on the event title or call or email:
Dorothy Antczak
978.356.4351, x4052 or
978.810.5892
dantczak@ttor.org

Take a look at all of our events statewide >

We're going to bet you've heard of Crane Beach, but have you ever wondered what else Crane has to offer? Well this spring, we're launching a full line up of new adventures around the Crane Estate to let you experience the beautiful, wild, and scenic parts of Crane that you haven't seen before.

Upcoming Adventures:

Beach Plum Jam Workshop
Wednesday, September 2 | 5-9PM
Join us to gather these sweet and tart beach plums at Crane Beach. We'll then head up to the Great House kitchen to make beach plum jam. All materials will be provided and participants are welcome to take their hard work home!
Adults only. Pre-registration required.


Member: $75. Nonmember: $90.

Labor Day Weekend Family Camp Out
Saturday, September 5 | 11PM-11AM
Spend an adventure-filled weekend camping at the Crane Estate! Our special site in the Pine Grove is an ideal location for both experienced campers and first-timers. This overnight includes a choice of optional programs and activities on Saturday afternoon, which may include a Great Marsh Creek Walk, a Dune Hike through the Crane Wildlife Refuge, a Guided Kayak Paddle in Essex Bay, or a Scavenger Hunt for the little ones. Of course you are also free to simply lounge on the beach, or explore the property on your own. Bring a bag lunch for Saturday. There will be a camp out dinner and s'mores around the fire on Saturday night, and breakfast provided on Sunday morning. After you pack up on Sunday morning, you are welcome to spend Sunday afternoon at the beach (parking in the lot by the Barn only).
Pre-registration required.


Members Only. Adult $40, Child $25

Painting Choate (Bag Lunch included)
Thursday, September 10 | 10AM-2PM
Pack your palette, your paintbrush, your easel and all the supplies you'll need - including a bag lunch and snacks for fortification! - to take full advantage of this rare opportunity to paint the coveted sights from Choate Island. Overlooking the Great Marsh with views that stretch to the coast of Gloucester, Choate is an ideal vantage point to capture spectacular images of this iconic landscape.
We will transport you and your materials to and from Choate Island by boat, then truck you to a general area of your choosing. Upon registration, we'll send a confirmation letter with suggestions of what to bring along to optimize comfort and minimize misery!
Pre-registration required.


Member: $40. Nonmember: $50.

Crane Contra Dance
Friday, September 11 | 6-8PM
A family-friendly event! All are welcome to join in this celebration of community as we gather musicians, callers and dancers together in the Crane Estate Barn to dance in the early evening hours. If it rains, we'll hold the dance in the Barn. Food and drink will be available.

Pre-registration is required.


Member: Adult $20 Child $FREE Nonmember: Adult $20 Child $FREE

Choate Island Tour
Saturday, September 26 | 2-5PM
Enjoy one stunning view after the next as we explore Choate Island, a drumlin that is part of the Crane Wildlife Refuge, an island-studded patchwork of salt marsh and tidal creeks located in Essex Bay. During this guided tour, participants will walk a spectacular network of carriageways and footpaths that link cobbled beaches and grassy fields with forested hillsides and historic buildings. We'll take a look inside the 1778 Proctor Barn, and the Choate House, built around 1725, then continue up to the highest point on the island, where the Crane Family burial ground looks out over Plum Island Sound. This tour includes a complimentary boat ride to and from the refuge. Please note: the full round-trip hike is a distance of approximately four miles, and is fairly strenuous.
Pre-registration required.

Member: $20. Nonmember: $30. Children under 12: FREE

Choate Island Tour
Sunday, September 27 | 2-5PM
Enjoy one stunning view after the next as we explore Choate Island, a drumlin that is part of the Crane Wildlife Refuge, an island-studded patchwork of salt marsh and tidal creeks located in Essex Bay. During this guided tour, participants will walk a spectacular network of carriageways and footpaths that link cobbled beaches and grassy fields with forested hillsides and historic buildings. We'll take a look inside the 1778 Proctor Barn, and the Choate House, built around 1725, then continue up to the highest point on the island, where the Crane Family burial ground looks out over Plum Island Sound. This tour includes a complimentary boat ride to and from the refuge. Please note: the full round-trip hike is a distance of approximately four miles, and is fairly strenuous.
Pre-registration required.

Member: $20. Nonmember: $30. Children under 12: FREE

Choate Island Tour
Saturday, October 3 | 2-5PM
Enjoy one stunning view after the next as we explore Choate Island, a drumlin that is part of the Crane Wildlife Refuge, an island-studded patchwork of salt marsh and tidal creeks located in Essex Bay. During this guided tour, participants will walk a spectacular network of carriageways and footpaths that link cobbled beaches and grassy fields with forested hillsides and historic buildings. We'll take a look inside the 1778 Proctor Barn, and the Choate House, built around 1725, then continue up to the highest point on the island, where the Crane Family burial ground looks out over Plum Island Sound. This tour includes a complimentary boat ride to and from the refuge. Please note: the full round-trip hike is a distance of approximately four miles, and is fairly strenuous.
Pre-registration required.

Member: $20. Nonmember: $30. Children under 12: FREE

Choate Island Tour
Sunday, October 4 | 2-5PM
Enjoy one stunning view after the next as we explore Choate Island, a drumlin that is part of the Crane Wildlife Refuge, an island-studded patchwork of salt marsh and tidal creeks located in Essex Bay. During this guided tour, participants will walk a spectacular network of carriageways and footpaths that link cobbled beaches and grassy fields with forested hillsides and historic buildings. We'll take a look inside the 1778 Proctor Barn, and the Choate House, built around 1725, then continue up to the highest point on the island, where the Crane Family burial ground looks out over Plum Island Sound. This tour includes a complimentary boat ride to and from the refuge. Please note: the full round-trip hike is a distance of approximately four miles, and is fairly strenuous.
Pre-registration required.

Member: $20. Nonmember: $30. Children under 12: FREE

Full Moon and Folklore Hike
Tuesday, October 27 | 7-9PM

Native American tribes, including the local Algonquin-speaking tribes, named this full moon the Hunter's Moon. Traditionally, fields were reaped in late September or early October, making it easy for hunters to spot animals gleaning the fallen grains by the light of the moon. Deer and other game animals have fattened in anticipation of dwindling food supplies, and it's time to begin storing up meat for the long winter ahead.

Please note: We will be hiking up and down dunes, through soft sand, for approximately 3-3.5 miles. Dress for the weather to maximize comfort and minimize misery! Water is always good to have along. You are welcome to bring a flashlight or headlamp; we may ask for moments of total darkness to fully enjoy the moon and the shadows it makes on the dunes.

Pre-registration is required.

Recommended for ages 13 & up. Please note: Children under the age of 13 are welcome to participate in the Full Moon hikes if they are capable of keeping up with the group when hiking up and down dunes through soft sand for a distance of 3 - 3.5 miles (round-trip).



Members: $10 Nonmembers: $15

Cranberry Workshop
Wednesday, October 28 | 2-6PM

For more than one hundred years, wild cranberries have grown in the sand dunes behind Crane Beach. With our staff naturalist as your guide, join us for this cranberry workshop. You'll learn about the history and habits of this local fruit, and get a boots-on-the-ground feel for the matrix of trails that crisscross Castle Neck. When you finally arrive at the bog (our largest and most hidden) you'll have the opportunity to pick cranberries. Later, we'll head up to the Great House kitchen on Castle Hill to make something tasty. We'll even send you home with a few of our favorite Thanksgiving recipes!

Please note: We will be hiking up and down through the soft sand in the dunes for approximately 2 miles to get out to the bogs - a fairly strenuous walk. Limited to ages 15 and older.

Members $30 Non Members $35; limited to ages 15 and older. Pre-registration required.



Members: $30; Nonnmembers: $35

Cranberry Workshop
Wednesday, November 4 | 2-6PM
For more than one hundred years, wild cranberries have grown in the sand dunes behind Crane Beach. With our staff naturalist as your guide, join us for this cranberry workshop. You'll learn about the history and habits of this local fruit, and get a boots-on-the-ground feel for the matrix of trails that crisscross Castle Neck. When you finally arrive at the bog (our largest and most hidden) you'll have the opportunity to pick cranberries. Later, we'll head up to the Great House kitchen on Castle Hill to make something tasty. We'll even send you home with a few of our favorite Thanksgiving recipes!
Please note: We will be hiking up and down through the soft sand in the dunes for approximately 2 miles to get out to the bogs - a fairly strenuous walk. Limited to ages 15 and older.
Members $30 Non Members $35; limited to ages 15 and older. Pre-registration required.


Members $30 Non Members $35

The Long Way Around Hike (Bag Lunch included!)
Saturday, November 7 | 10AM-2PM
This hike explores the wild wonders of the dune trails through the Crane Wildlife Refuge, from the Crane Beach parking area to Essex Point and back again! We'll launch our long walk at the dunes trailhead, and make our way along the backside of Crane Beach, then tuck into the dunes again to reach Essex Point. A bag lunch prepared by Ferreira Foods of Salem will be delivered to us at the approximate halfway point. Come prepared for a leisurely long-way-around walk of about 8 miles!
Pre-registration is required. $ Members: $25 Nonmembers: $35
Recommended for ages 13 & up. Please note: Children ages 13 and older are welcome to participate if they are capable of keeping up with the group when hiking through soft sand for a distance of approximately 8 miles (round-trip).


Members: $25 Nonmembers: $35

Stop, Look & Listen Tour
Saturday, November 14 | 1-3PM
An outdoor adventure for the whole family! We'll walk the Cedar Point loop, investigating the trail for tracks and telltales, piecing together evidence that will help us see the story in the landscape. Bring your sharp senses and your skills of observation! We'll end the hike in the Pine Grove with a bonfire and hot chocolate.
This walk encompasses a loop of about 1 .5 to 2 miles; for the most part the walk will follow a dirt road, but parts of the trail traverse soft sand and the beach. We will go at an easy pace so little legs can keep up. Dress for the weather to maximize comfort and minimize misery! Water is always good to have along, and if it is sunny you may want sunscreen and/or sunglasses.
Pre-registration required.


Members: $5 Nonmembers: $10

Full Moon and Folklore Hike
Wednesday, November 25 | 6-8PM
November's Full Beaver Moon, also called the Frosty Moon, heralds the coming winter, and serves as a warning that ponds and swamps will soon freeze. Beavers are particularly active around this moon, storing food and making repairs to their lodge. Native American tribes knew this moon appeared when it was time to set beaver traps to ensure a supply of warm winter furs.
Please note: We will be hiking up and down dunes, through soft sand, for approximately 3-3.5 miles. Dress for the weather to maximize comfort and minimize misery! Water is always good to have along. You are welcome to bring a flashlight or headlamp; we may ask for moments of total darkness to fully enjoy the moon and the shadows it makes on the dunes.
Pre-registration is required. $ Members: $10 Nonmembers: $15
Recommended for ages 13 & up. Please note: Children under the age of 13 are welcome to participate in the Full Moon hikes if they are capable of keeping up with the group when hiking up and down dunes through soft sand for a distance of 3 - 3.5 miles (round-trip).


Members: $10 Nonmembers: $15

Snowy Owl Prowl
Saturday, December 19 | 1-3PM
Wide-open coastal sites are the location of choice for wintering Snowy Owls; common perches are dunes and salt hay staddles. In winters past, they have been frequent visitors to the Crane Wildlife Refuge. Join us as we hike the dunes in search of these magnificent birds. Unlike most owls, snowy owls are diurnal - they hunt and are active both day and night - so we have a good chance of sighting one even in the daylight hours!

Please note: We will be hiking up and down dunes, through soft sand, for approximately 2.5-3 miles. Dress for the weather to maximize comfort and minimize misery! Water is always good to have along. A spotting scope and/or binoculars are helpful when searching for snowy owls.
Members: $10 Nonmembers: $15; suggested ages 13 and older. Pre-registration required.


Members: $10 Nonmembers: $15

Solstice Stroll through Dunes with Hot Cider in Tavern
Monday, December 21 | 6-9PM
Join us for a leisurely hike through the dunes of the Crane Wildlife Refuge to celebrate the winter solstice. On this, the shortest day of the year, we'll take advantage of the dark with a stroll beneath the stars. We'll warm up after our walk with hot cider and refreshments in the Tavern at the Inn at Castle Hill. The perfect balance to counteract the bustle of the holiday season!
Please note: We will be hiking up and down dunes, through soft sand, for approximately 2.5-3 miles. Dress for the weather to maximize comfort and minimize misery! Water is always good to have along.
Members: $25 Nonmembers: $35; suggested ages 15 and older. Pre-registration required.


Members: $25 Nonmembers: $35

Snowy Owl Prowl
Saturday, January 16 | 1-3PM
Saturday, January 16 | 1-3PM
Wide-open coastal sites are the location of choice for wintering Snowy Owls; common perches are dunes and salt hay staddles. In winters past, they have been frequent visitors to the Crane Wildlife Refuge. Join us as we hike the dunes in search of these magnificent birds. Unlike most owls, snowy owls are diurnal - they hunt and are active both day and night - so we have a good chance of sighting one even in the daylight hours!

Please note: We will be hiking up and down dunes, through soft sand, for approximately 2.5-3 miles. Dress for the weather to maximize comfort and minimize misery! Water is always good to have along. A spotting scope and/or binoculars are helpful when searching for snowy owls.
Members: $10 Nonmembers: $15; suggested ages 13 and older. Pre-registration required.


Members: $10 Nonmembers: $15

Snowy Owl Prowl
Sunday, January 17 | 1-3PM
Wide-open coastal sites are the location of choice for wintering Snowy Owls; common perches are dunes and salt hay staddles. In winters past, they have been frequent visitors to the Crane Wildlife Refuge. Join us as we hike the dunes in search of these magnificent birds. Unlike most owls, snowy owls are diurnal - they hunt and are active both day and night - so we have a good chance of sighting one even in the daylight hours!

Please note: We will be hiking up and down dunes, through soft sand, for approximately 2.5-3 miles. Dress for the weather to maximize comfort and minimize misery! Water is always good to have along. A spotting scope and/or binoculars are helpful when searching for snowy owls.
Members: $10 Nonmembers: $15; suggested ages 13 and older. Pre-registration required.


Members: $10 Nonmembers: $15

Full Moon and Folklore Hike
Saturday, January 23 | 6-8PM
Join us as we celebrate the Wolf Moon with a night hike through the dunes of the Crane Wildlife Refuge! Amid the cold and deep snows of midwinter, wolf packs once howled hungrily outside Native American villages, prompting villagers to name January's full moon the Wolf Moon. It is also known as the Old Moon. We'll warm ourselves with hot cider around a crackling bonfire at the hike's end.
Please note: We will be hiking up and down dunes, through soft sand, for approximately 3-3.5 miles. Dress for the weather to maximize comfort and minimize misery! Water is always good to have along. You are welcome to bring a flashlight or headlamp; we may ask for moments of total darkness to fully enjoy the moon and the shadows it makes on the dunes.
Pre-registration is required. $ Members: $10 Nonmembers: $15
Recommended for ages 13 & up. Please note: Children under the age of 13 are welcome to participate in the Full Moon hikes if they are capable of keeping up with the group when hiking up and down dunes through soft sand for a distance of 3 - 3.5 miles (round-trip).


Members: $10 Nonmembers: $15

What is it?

A year-round line up of EXCITEMENT, designed to encourage people to enjoy the great outdoors at one of The Trustees of Reservations’ most beautiful properties. With more than 2,000 acres and miles of trails weaving through beaches, dunes, woodlands and marsh, The Crane Estate offers the ideal outdoor playground. The program offers two or three “adventures” each month featuring spectacular properties such as – the Crane Estate, the Crane Wildlife Refuge, Choate Island, or the nearby Hamlin Reservation. While some of these events are designed specifically for adult participants, most activities will be family-oriented for all to enjoy.

Programs meet in different locations. Upon registration, you will receive a detailed confirmation letter with information about where to meet, what to bring, and what to expect.

As always, we are here to help. If you have any questions, or to register, please call or email:

Dorothy Antczak
978.356.4351, x4052 or
978.810.5892
dantczak@ttor.org