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

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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:

Stop, Look & Listen Tour
Tuesday, February 16 | 1-3PM

An outdoor adventure for the whole family! We'll walk from the Barn to the Pine Grove, investigating the trail for tracks and signs left behind by travelers that passed through before us. We'll piece together the 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 is about 3/4 mile each way. We will go at an easy pace so little legs can keep up. Children must be accompanied by and adult. 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.



Member: $10 Adult, $5 Child; Nonmember: $15 Adult, $10 Child

Igloo Building Contest on the Grand Allee
Friday, February 19 | 1-3PM

Looking for an outdoor activity during school vacation? Come build snow forts with us! We'll have a contest to determine the best winter architects - which igloo is the most structurally sound? The most creative? The one that best represents Ipswich history? The one that best fits the Crane Estate landscape? At the end of the day we'll enjoy some hot chocolate to warm ourselves. Please note: Children must be accompanied by an adult. Dress for the weather to maximize comfort and minimize misery! Water is always good to have along.



Member: $10 Adult, $5 Child; Nonmember: $15 Adult, $10 Child

Snowy Owl Prowl
Saturday, February 20 | 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, the owls 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! We'll warm up with hot cider at the end of our hike.

Please note: We will be hiking up and down dunes, through soft sand, for approximately 2.5 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. Suggested ages 13 and older. Pre-registration required.


Member: $10; Nonmember: $15

Full Moon & Folklore Hike
Monday, February 22 | 6-8PM

Join us for a night hike through the dunes of the Crane Wildlife Refuge! Transformed and illuminated by the glow of the full moon on snow, the dunes are an eerily beautiful landscape. Traditionally a month of cold temperatures and heavy snow fall, February was known by Algonquin tribes as the month of the Snow Moon. As hunting was often difficult during this month, some Native American tribes also called this the Hunger 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 2½-3 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.



Member: $10; Nonmember: $15

Tracks & Telltales for Kids
Saturday, March 12 | 1-3PM

Join us as we hike from the Barn to the Pine Grove, looking for tracks and telltales left behind by the creatures who roam the property surrounding the Crane Estate. We'll use our skills of observation to find footprints and feeding sites, homes and hiding places. We'll end our trek with hot chocolate in the Pine Grove. This walk is about 3/4 mile each way. We will go at an easy pace so little legs can keep up. Children must be accompanied by and adult. 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.



Member: $10 Adult, $5 Child; Nonmember: $15 Adult, $10 Child

Snowy Owl Prowl
Sunday, March 13 | 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, the owls 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! We'll warm up with hot cider at the end of our hike.

Please note: We will be hiking up and down dunes, through soft sand, for approximately 2.5 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. Suggested ages 13 and older. Pre-registration required.


Member: $10; Nonmember: $15

Full Moon & Folklore Hike
Wednesday, March 23 | 6-8PM
Join us as we celebrate the Algonquin Worm Moon with a night hike through the dunes of the Crane Wildlife Refuge! At the time of this almost-spring Moon, the ground begins to soften and earthworm casts reappear, inviting the return of robins. This is also known as the Sap Moon, as it marks the time when maple sap begins to flow and the annual tapping of maple trees begins. At the end of our walk we'll warm ourselves with hot cider around a bonfire.

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. 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. Suggested ages 13 and older. Pre-registration required.


Member: $10; Nonmember: $15

Snowy Owl Prowl
Sunday, March 27 | 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, the owls 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! We'll warm up with hot cider at the end of our hike.

Please note: We will be hiking up and down dunes, through soft sand, for approximately 2.5 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. Suggested ages 13 and older. Pre-registration required.


Member: $10; Nonmember: $15

Stargazing Fools!
Friday, April 1 | 8-10PM

Bundle up and join us as we learn to identify the constellations of spring! At this time of year there are no fewer than ten first-magnitude (really bright!) stars in the evening sky at once. No other season, not even winter, can offer so many. We’ll set up our viewing station on the boardwalk at Crane Beach to gaze at the more common clusters such as the Big Dipper, and also at those we might not be familiar with, including the zodiacal constellations Leo the Lion and Virgo the Maiden. We will have a couple of telescopes to share, but you are welcome and encouraged to bring your own.



Member: $15; Nonmember: $25

Toad Trek: In Search of Bufo Americanus
Saturday, April 16 | 7-9PM

Ever wonder what that screeching sound is on damp spring evenings? The cacophonous chorus of toads and Spring Peepers means winter is finally coming to an end. In the early evening darkness we’ll quietly make our way through the dunes to the bogs and puddles that serve as breeding pools for the American Toad, and hope to catch a glimpse of them (and other species too!) as they call to find a mate. These are the toads you most often see around your yard – but there’s a lot to learn about them! Come with us as we get up close and personal with these bumpy jumpers!



Member Adult $9; Member Child: $5; Nonmember Adult: $15; Nonmember Child: $10

Vernal Pool Exploration
Sunday, April 17 | 7-9PM

On a misty evening in early spring, vernal pools are hopping! The swales we find tucked amongst the dunes are coming alive, host to a variety of creatures waking from a long winter’s nap and ready for action! We’ll hike out under cover of darkness to spy on – and listen to – this celebration of awakening. Bring a flashlight or headlamp, and wear boots!  We’ll have nets and buckets for up-close observations, but our specimen collecting is strictly catch-and-release.



Member: Adult $9; Child $5; Nonmember: Adult $15; Child $10

Stop, Look & Listen Tour
Monday, April 18 | 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 understand the story in the landscape. Bring your sharp senses and your skills of observation! With spring bringing the place to life, it’s an especially fun time of year to look and listen. We’ll end the hike in the Pine Grove with a bonfire and hot chocolate.



Member: $5; Nonmember: $10

Fish Printing for Kids
Tuesday, April 19 | 10AM-12Noon

Looking for something to do during school vacation? Come with us as we search for shapes in the wrackline to print and press. We’ll start with a walk on the beach to find fish, shells and seaweed. Then we’ll head to the Barn to learn how to transfer our treasures to t-shirts and art paper. Bring your creative imagination – and a smock!



Member Child: $24; Nonmember Child: $30; Adult: FREE

Full Moon and Folklore Hike
Friday, April 22 | 7:30-9:30PM

According to The Farmer’s Almanac, April’s Full Pink Moon heralds the appearance of the moss pink, or wild ground phlox—one of the first spring flowers. Among coastal tribes this moon was known as the Full Fish Moon, because shad swim upstream to spawn at this time of year. Other names are the Sprouting Grass Moon and the Egg Moon. Bring your own fun facts and folklore to share around the bonfire at the end of our hike!



Member: $9; Nonmember: $15

The Awesome Obstacles Race!
Saturday, April 23 | 1:30-3PM

This race against the clock will put your physical powers to the test! Join us as we run, roll, jump, balance, and limbo to the finish line – where cold lemonade and cookies will be waiting! The fun way to fitness! Suggested ages 6-12. Pre-registration required.



Member Child: $9; Nonmember Child: $15; Adults: FREE

The Long Way Around Hike
Saturday, April 30 | 10AM-2PM

This hike explores the wild wonders of the Crane Estate!  We’ll launch our long walk at the Cedar Point Trail and follow it to the Ipswich River, then meander along the beach and through seldom-traveled paths to the trailhead at the Crane Wildlife Refuge. We’ll wander the dunes to Essex Bay, then make our way along the backside of Crane Beach to reach the Essex River. A bag lunch will be delivered to us at the approximate halfway point, and will give us the sustenance we’ll need to finish the hike! Come prepared for a leisurely long-way-around walk of about 8 miles.  



Member: $28; Nonmember: $35

Morning Sunshine! Yoga on the Roof
Saturday, May 7 | 8-9:30AM

Rise and shine and meet us on the roof of the Great House for a morning stretch! We’ll combine breathing techniques with breathtaking views, and pull poses from various practices to give each muscle group a luxurious lengthening workout. What a great way to start the day and celebrate spring!



Member: $20; Nonmember: $26

A Fairy House Tea for Mother’s Day
Sunday, May 8 | 1-3PM

Celebrate Mother’s Day with a magical tea party! We’ll start with a walk to the Pine Grove, then create special fairy houses to visit for teatime. Join in the wonder of making a tiny world with nature’s treasures, and linger for a cuppa and a snack to honor the awe-inspiring marvels of Mothers!



Member Child: $9; Nonmember Child: $15; Adult: FREE

Snakes Alive! Snake Hunt and Live Snake Show
Sunday, May 15 | 1-3PM

An afternoon designed to make every herpetologist happy! We’ll start with a hunt for local snake species around the Crane Estate, looking under logs and around the stone walls that lace the property. Capture will be strictly catch and release! We’ll then make our way to the Barn where Rick Roth, founder and executive director of the Cape Ann Vernal Pond Team and local snake expert, will present "Snakes of New England and the World." Rick cares for over 100 snakes of all different species -- even if we don’t find any slithering friends on our hunt, there will be plenty of snakes to see and learn about during the show!



Member: Adults: $15 Child: $9; Nonmember: Adults: $25, Child: $15

Full Moon and Folklore Hike
Saturday, May 21 | 8-10PM

Join us for a hike under the Full Flower Moon. The Algonquin tribes named this moon for the abundance of wild flowers starting to bloom this time of year. Other Native American tribes called this moon Mother's Moon, Milk Moon, and Corn Planting Moon; temperatures are warm enough for animals to safely bear their young, and with a near end to late frosts, planting can begin.  We’ll share other facts and folklore around a bonfire at the end of our hike, so brush up on your lunar literacy!



Member: $9; Nonmember: $15

Kayak Fox Creek with Picnic
Sunday, May 22 | 11AM-2PM

Join us as we kayak the winding waters that meander through the marsh between the Ipswich River and Essex Bay. We’ll start our adventure at Steep Hill Beach, then paddle into the Ipswich River to Fox Creek, traveling through the oldest man-made tidewater canal in the United States! As we wend our way through the marsh, we’ll be on the lookout for herons, egrets, and other shore birds -- with luck we’ll spot an osprey hunting for its supper! A picnic lunch will be waiting for us when we return. We’ll supply the kayaks and lifejackets; please call to learn more.



Member: $44; Nonmember: $55

Kid’s Night Hike
Friday, May 27 | 7:30-9:30PM

An evening adventure for the whole family! Join us for a hike down the Cedar Point trail to Steep Hill Beach, and experience the hush of dusk as the sun fades and the creatures of the marsh prepare for nightfall. We’ll stop for a while to stargaze, then finish our hike with s’mores around a campfire in the Pine Grove! Pre-registration is required.     



Member: Adult: $9; Child: $5; Nonmember: Adult: $15; Child: $10

Kayak Fox Creek
Sunday, June 5 | 10AM-12Noon

Have you ever wanted to kayak the winding waters that meander through the marsh between the Ipswich River and Essex Bay? Join us at Steep Hill Beach for this early-in-the-day adventure as we paddle Fox Creek, the oldest man-made tidewater canal in the United States! As we wend our way through the marsh, we’ll be on the lookout for herons, egrets, and other shore birds -- with luck we’ll spot an osprey hunting for its supper! We’ll supply the kayaks and lifejackets; please call to learn more.



Member: $36; Nonmember: $45

Kayak Fox Creek
Saturday, June 11 | 4-6PM

Have you ever wanted to kayak the winding waters that meander through the marsh between the Ipswich River and Essex Bay? Join us at Steep Hill Beach for this late-in-the-day adventure as we paddle Fox Creek, the oldest man-made tidewater canal in the United States! As we wend our way through the marsh, we’ll be on the lookout for herons, egrets, and other shore birds -- with luck we’ll spot an osprey hunting for its supper! We’ll supply the kayaks and lifejackets; please call to learn more.



Member: $36; Nonmember: $45

Morning Sunshine! Yoga on the Roof
Saturday, June 11 | 8-9:30AM

Rise and shine and meet us on the roof of the Great House for a morning stretch! We’ll combine breathing techniques with breathtaking views, and pull poses from various practices to give each muscle group a luxurious lengthening workout. What a great way to start the day!



Member:$20; Nonmember: $26

Father’s Day Weekend Family Camp Out with REI Cooking Class!
Saturday, June 18 | 11-11AM

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. REI will teach us how to make a delicious, nutritious camp out supper – and we’ll follow that with s’mores around the campfire on Saturday night. A light breakfast will be 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).



Members Only: Adult $45, Child $25

Full Moon Hike and Solstice Sunset Salute
Monday, June 20 | 8-10PM

A very special Summer Solstice Full Moon Hike! We’ll start the evening watching the sun set on this longest day of the year, then head into the dunes for a hike under the Full Strawberry Moon. Local Native American tribes knew this moon as a signal to gather ripening fruit. We’ll welcome the arrival of summer with a snack involving fresh strawberries and a celebratory bonfire at the end of our hike.



Member: $9; Nonmember: $15

Kayak to Choate Tour
Sunday, June 26 | 2-5PM

A paddle and a hike – what better way to spend a summer day? Join us as we paddle across Essex Bay from the Trustees of Reservations boat dock to Choate Island. We’ll beach our boats for a tour of the island, stopping in at the Proctor Barn, the White Cottage and the Choate House, then continuing to the highest point on the island where Cornelius and Miné Crane are buried. After the hike, we’ll kayak around the island to get the views from the water (tides permitting).



Member: $36; Nonmember: $45

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