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@thetrustees.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:

Let's Make A Field Guide! What We Find At The Beach
Monday, July 25 | 9:30-11:30AM

What better way to get to know the plants and animals that inhabit Crane Beach than to create our very own Field Guides? Join us as we investigate the tidepools and the wrackline to discover and record the many creatures that make their homes along the shore. We’ll assemble one-of-a-kind booklets that you can write in -- draw, glue sand, make pencil rubbings (of the dead stuff!) – and then take your Field Guide home with you to remember all the amazing things you found during your day at the beach!

Suggested ages 6-10; children must be accompanied by an adult.



Members: $5 Nonmembers: $10

Cawfee Tawk & Walk
Tuesday, July 26 | 8-9AM

Join us every Tuesday morning for an hour-long fitness walk. Each week we'll explore different routes around the Crane Estate. Meet new friends, get a little exercise, and enjoy a delicious cup of coffee -- what a great way to start the day! 



Member: $5; Nonmember: $10

Marsh Madness!
Tuesday, July 26 | 10AM-12Noon

Join us for this mud-lucious adventure in the Great Marsh! We’ll meander through the winding waterways that lead to Fox Creek, looking for the creatures that live and thrive with the rise and fall of the tides. As we explore the mudflats we’ll dig for razor clams, cheer for green crabs as they race one another to the creek, and get as muddy as possible.  Free spraying with hose after our adventure! Children must be accompanied by an adult.



Members: Adult: $9; Child: $6 Nonmembers: Adult: $15; Child: $10

Cawfee Tawk & Walk
Tuesday, August 2 | 8-9AM

Join us every Tuesday morning for an hour-long fitness walk. Each week we'll explore different routes around the Crane Estate. Meet new friends, get a little exercise, and enjoy a delicious cup of coffee -- what a great way to start the day! 



Member: $5; Nonmember: $10

Cawfee Tawk & Walk
Tuesday, August 9 | 8-9AM

Join us every Tuesday morning for an hour-long fitness walk. Each week we'll explore different routes around the Crane Estate. Meet new friends, get a little exercise, and enjoy a delicious cup of coffee -- what a great way to start the day! 



Member: $5; Nonmember: $10

Viewing the Perseids Meteor Showers: A Family Night Hike
Friday, August 12 | 10PM-12Midnight

A late-night stargazing adventure for the whole family! The Perseids meteor shower is one of the main celestial events of the summer, with peak meteor viewing at up to 60 per hour! Join us for a hike along the Beach – and bring a blanket so you can stretch out on the sand for optimal viewing. We’ll keep our energy up with s’mores and lemonade around a bonfire. Pre-registration is required.



Members: Adult: $9, Child: $6, Family: $36; Nonmembers: Adult: $15, Child: $10, Family: $45

Kayak to Choate
Sunday, August 14 | 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 up to the highest point on the island where Cornelius and Miné Crane are buried. After the hike, we’ll kayak around the island to enjoy the views from the water (tides permitting). Please note: Limited to ages 15 and older. You must be a competent swimmer to participate in this program, and have some previous kayaking experience. Pre-registration required.



Members: $36; Nonmembers: $45

Cawfee Tawk & Walk
Tuesday, August 16 | 8-9AM

Join us every Tuesday morning for an hour-long fitness walk. Each week we'll explore different routes around the Crane Estate. Meet new friends, get a little exercise, and enjoy a delicious cup of coffee -- what a great way to start the day! 



Member: $5; Nonmember: $10

Fish Prints for Kids!
Tuesday, August 16 | 10AM-12Noon

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!

Children must be accompanied by an adult. Pre-registration is required.



Members: Adult $FREE; Child $24. Nonmembers: Adult $FREE; Child $30

Full Moon and Folklore Hike
Thursday, August 18 | 7-9PM

Join us for a hike through the dunes of the Crane Wildlife Refuge beneath the light of the full moon! Known as the Red Moon for the reddish hue it often takes on in the sultry summer haze, August’s full moon is also called the Green Corn Moon and the Grain Moon. Colonial Americans dubbed this moon the Dog Days Moon, while North American fishing tribes, who knew that the sturgeon of the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain were most readily caught during this full moon, called it the Sturgeon Moon.

Please note: We will be hiking up and down dunes, through soft sand, for approximately 3 - 3½ miles – a fairly strenuous hike.



Members: $9 Nonmembers: $15

Clam-O-Rama! Wild Edibles from the Marsh
Friday, August 19 | 6-8:30PM

An edible adventure for the whole family! Ipswich has long been renowned for it’s delicious soft-shell clams. Join us as we wander into Fox Creek to find out firsthand where our food comes from! We’ll dig for a variety of clams – and maybe find some vegetables to go with them – and then hike to the Pine Grove to cook and eat what we’ve gathered. You may want to bring a bag supper to supplement our harvest – clamming is harder than it looks! 

Pre-registration is required.



Members: $21; Nonmembers: $35

Kayak to Choate Island, with Tour and Picnic Supper
Sunday, August 21 | 3-7PM

Join us for an afternoon kayak paddle, followed by a leisurely walking tour of Choate Island. We’ll stop in to view the Proctor Barn and the Choate House, then continue on to the highest point on the island where Cornelius and Miné Crane are buried. After marveling over the breathtaking views of the marsh and Essex Bay, we’ll make our way back to the Proctor Barn for a delicious picnic supper catered by Ferreira Foods. Please note: You must be a competent swimmer to participate in this program, and have some previous kayaking experience. Pre-registration required.



Members: $48; Nonmembers: $60

Cawfee Tawk & Walk
Tuesday, August 23 | 8-9AM

Join us every Tuesday morning for an hour-long fitness walk. Each week we'll explore different routes around the Crane Estate. Meet new friends, get a little exercise, and enjoy a delicious cup of coffee -- what a great way to start the day! 



Member: $5; Nonmember: $10

Tidepools & Wracklines
Tuesday, August 23 | 10AM-12Noon

Join us as we investigate the tidepools and the wrackline on Steep Hill Beach to discover and record the many creatures that live along the shore. We’ll (carefully and gently!) use nets to capture specimens and magnifying glasses to take an up-close-and-personal look, before releasing our new friends back to where we found them. We’ll talk about our observations and discoveries – and surprise ourselves with how much we can learn by looking. An educational adventure for the whole family. Children must be accompanied by an adult.



Members: Adult: $9; Child: $6; Nonmembers: Adult: $15; Child: $10

Cawfee Tawk & Walk
Tuesday, August 30 | 8-9AM

Join us every Tuesday morning for an hour-long fitness walk. Each week we'll explore different routes around the Crane Estate. Meet new friends, get a little exercise, and enjoy a delicious cup of coffee -- what a great way to start the day! 



Member: $5; Nonmember: $10

Labor Day Family Camp Out
Saturday, September 3 | 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. 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: Adult $40, Child $24 Nonmembers: Adult $50, Child $30

Cawfee Tawk & Walk
Tuesday, September 6 | 8-9AM

Join us every Tuesday morning for an hour-long fitness walk. Each week we'll explore different routes around the Crane Estate. Meet new friends, get a little exercise, and enjoy a delicious cup of coffee -- what a great way to start the day! 



Member: $5; Nonmember: $10

Beach Plum Picking & Jam Workshop
Wednesday, September 7 | 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!  Pre-registration required. Adults only.



Members $68; Nonmembers $85

Cawfee Tawk & Walk
Tuesday, September 13 | 8-9AM

Join us every Tuesday morning for an hour-long fitness walk. Each week we'll explore different routes around the Crane Estate. Meet new friends, get a little exercise, and enjoy a delicious cup of coffee -- what a great way to start the day! 



Member: $5; Nonmember: $10

Painting Choate
Thursday, September 15 | 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.



Members: $28; Nonmembers: $35

View the Harvest Moon Rise!
Friday, September 16 | 6-9PM

Crane Beach is the ideal vantage point to view the spectacular Harvest Moon as it rises from the horizon. Join us for a glass of wine and hors d‘oeuvres as we watch this majestic moon climb into the night sky. Known also as the Barley Moon and the Corn Moon, the Harvest Moon rise corresponds to the ripening of many of the Native American’s staple crops, and its particularly bright appearance and early rise allowed farmers to continue harvesting into the night. Traditionally, the name goes to the full moon nearest the autumnal equinox; once or twice a decade this moon rises in October. This is a 21 and over event. Pre-registration required.



Members: $36; Nonmembers: $45

Kayak to Choate
Saturday, September 17 | 2-5PM

A paddle and a hike – what better way to spend an end-of-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 up to the highest point on the island where Cornelius and Miné Crane are buried. After the hike, we’ll kayak around the island to enjoy the views from the water (tides permitting). Please note: Limited to ages 15 and older. You must be a competent swimmer to participate in this program, and have some previous kayaking experience; limited to ages 15 and older. Pre-registration required.



Members: $32 Nonmembers: $40

Kayak To Choate
Sunday, September 18 | 2-5PM

A paddle and a hike – what better way to spend an end-of-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 up to the highest point on the island where Cornelius and Miné Crane are buried. After the hike, we’ll kayak around the island to enjoy the views from the water (tides permitting). Please note: Limited to ages 15 and older. You must be a competent swimmer to participate in this program, and have some previous kayaking experience; limited to ages 15 and older. Pre-registration required.



Members: $32; Nonmembers: $40

Cawfee Tawk & Walk
Tuesday, September 20 | 8-9AM

Join us every Tuesday morning for an hour-long fitness walk. Each week we'll explore different routes around the Crane Estate. Meet new friends, get a little exercise, and enjoy a delicious cup of coffee -- what a great way to start the day! 



Member: $5; Nonmember: $10

Choate Island Tour
Saturday, September 24 | 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.



Members: $24; Nonmembers: $30

Choate Island Tour
Sunday, September 25 | 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.



Members: $24; Nonmembers: $30

Cawfee Tawk & Walk
Tuesday, September 27 | 8-9AM

Join us every Tuesday morning for an hour-long fitness walk. Each week we'll explore different routes around the Crane Estate. Meet new friends, get a little exercise, and enjoy a delicious cup of coffee -- what a great way to start the day! 



Member: $5; Nonmember: $10

Kayak to Choate
Sunday, October 2 | 2-5PM

A paddle and a hike – what better way to spend an end-of-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 up to the highest point on the island where Cornelius and Miné Crane are buried. After the hike, we’ll kayak around the island to enjoy the views from the water (tides permitting). Please note: You must be a competent swimmer to participate in this program, and have some previous kayaking experience; limited to ages 15 and older. Pre-registration required.



Member: $36; Nonmember: $45.

Choate Island Tour & showing of The Crucible with picnic supper
Saturday, October 15 | 4-9PM

Enjoy one stunning view after the next as we explore Choate Island, site of The Crucible filming. The tour will focus on the history of Choate, once known as Hog Island, and will include anecdotes about the cast and crew of The Crucible, and the trials of filming on a remote island in the middle of a salt marsh. After the hike, we’ll stop at the Barn for a delicious picnic supper prepared by Ferreira Foods of Salem and adult beverages, followed by an outdoor showing of the film. 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 – but we will have a long rest with dinner and the movie, so the distance will be easier to manage.  Pre-registration required; this is a 21 and older event. Tickets are limited.



Member: $52; Nonmember: $65.

Full Moon & Folklore HIke
Sunday, October 16 | 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 3-3½ miles. Recommended for ages 13 & up. Pre-registration is required.



Member: $9; Nonmember: $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