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

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:

The Long Way Around Hike (Bag Lunch included!)
Saturday, October 21 | 10AM-3PM

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 then wander the dunes to Essex Bay, and 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 8.5 miles. Pre-registration is required. Limited to ages 15 and older.



Member: $28 Nonmember: $35

Haunted Hike
Tuesday, October 31 | 7-9PM

Join us for a harrowing Halloween Hike through the haunted trails of the Crane Wildlife Refuge! All Hallow’s Eve is a night when the creatures of the woods roam the paths and the dunes, silent and scary. Bring someone you can hold on to – and be prepared to hike through soft sand up and down hills for approximately 1.5 miles! We’ll finish our adventure with witches brew and pumpkin bread around a campfire on the beach.



Member: $9 Nonmember: $15

Cranberry Workshop
Wednesday, November 1 | 2-6PM

Join us for this opportunity to pick cranberries in the bogs that hide in the dunes of Castle Neck. 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 this stretch of the Crane Wildlife Refuge. 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. Adults Only. Pre-registration required.



Member: $44 Nonmember: $55

Cranberry Workshop
Thursday, November 2 | 2-6PM

Join us for this opportunity to pick cranberries in the bogs that hide in the dunes of Castle Neck. 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 this stretch of the Crane Wildlife Refuge. 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. Adults Only. Pre-registration required.



Member: $44 Nonmember: $55

Full Moon and Folklore Hike
Saturday, November 4 | 7-9PM

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 that when this moon appeared 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 3-3½ 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.

Recommended for ages 13 & up. Pre-registration is required.



Member: $9 Nonmember: $15

Stop, Look & Listen Tour
Saturday, November 4 | 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 campfire and hot chocolate.

This walk encompasses a loop of about 1 ½ 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 suggested.



Member: $9 Nonmember: $15

Autumn Ramble
Sunday, November 12 | 1-3PM

Come explore the Crane Estate trails in this season between the chaos of summer and the quiet of winter. We’ll take note of the ways nature gets ready to rest – the preparations that plants and animals make to survive the snowfall that will arrive in a matter of weeks. Bring your sharp senses and your skills of observation! This is an outdoor adventure for the whole family! We’ll end our ramble with a campfire and hot chocolate.

This walk encompasses a loop of about 1 ½ 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'll 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 suggested.



Member: $9 Nonmember: $15

Shine A Light: A Family Night Hike
Friday, November 17 | 7-9PM

On this Friday before Thanksgiving, in the dark of the new moon, we’ll walk with tea lights (no open flames!) to illuminate our passage through the trails and along the rolling hills at the Crane Estate. While we walk, we’ll talk about the first Thanksgiving, and how giving thanks can make us appreciate all the good and wonder in our lives. You’ll be amazed at how fortunate you are when you stop taking things for granted! Come with an attitude of gratitude!

Pre-registration is suggested.



Member: Adult: $9; Child: $6 Nonmember: Adult: $15; Child: $10

Gratitude: Silent Hike and Meditation
Saturday, November 18 | 5-7PM

Prepare for the upcoming Holiday Madness with a centering Silent Hike and Meditation at the Crane Estate. Keeping in line with the true meaning of Thanksgiving, the evening will have the theme of Gratitude.

The night will begin at the Casino on the Crane Estate with a brief discussion about gratitude and its effects on our lives. We’ll then head out for a hike around the property to experience the peace that is found in nature, especially in the hush of evening. The hike itself will be silent, and will take approximately one hour (about 2 ½ miles).

At the end of the hike, we will gather again at the Casino where there will be a 15-minute guided meditation.  

Suggested ages 13 & up.



Member: $9 Nonmember: $15

Too Much Pie Hike
Saturday, November 25 | 1-3PM

This brisk hike through the Crane Wildlife Refuge will walk away any residual feelings of fullness from your Thanksgiving feast – especially that “ooooh, I ate too much pie” regret. The stark beauty of the dunes, the big empty sky, the barren stretch of sand to the sea will remind us that less can be more – the perfect way to reset the stomach’s expectations!

Please note: We will be hiking up and down dunes, through soft sand, at a good pace, for approximately 2 ½ - 3 miles. Suggested ages 13 and older. Pre-registration required.



Member: $9 Nonmember: $15

Full Moon and Folklore Hike
Sunday, December 3 | 4:30-6:30PM

We’ll start this Full Moon Hike on the early side so we can witness the moonrise of the only supermoon in 2017. In December, the winter cold fastens its grip, and nights are at their longest and darkest. The Algonquin tribes aptly named this full moon the Long Nights Moon. Also called the Cold Moon, this midwinter full Moon has a high trajectory across the sky because it is diametrically opposite to the low Sun. Weather permitting, we’ll end our hike with hot chocolate around a fire on the beach.

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. Suggested ages 13 and older.



Member: $9 Nonmember: $15

Tracks & Telltales
Saturday, December 9 | 1-3PM

An outdoor adventure for the whole family! We’ll hike the dune trails, where we’ll be sure to see tracks – snow or no snow! We’ll learn to read what tracks can tell us: are these footprints from a feline, or a canine? Was this animal running or walking? In which direction? Investigating the trail for tracks and telltales, we’ll piece 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 with cookies and hot chocolate.

This walk encompasses a loop of about 1 ½ 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 suggested.



Member: $9 Nonmember: $15

Ornaments from Nature
Saturday, December 16 | 10AM-12Noon

Join us as we gather treasures from the beach and the Pine Grove to create beautiful and unique ornaments to celebrate the Holidays! Wreaths, cards, decorations -- nature will supply the materials, you'll need to bring your creative spirit! And a smock! Dress for the weather as much of this program will take place outside. Fun for the whole family! Registration required.



Member: $9 Nonmembers5: $15

Dunes to Tavern Solstice Stroll
Thursday, December 21 | 6:30-9:30PM

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, rum, 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 2½ - 3 miles – a fairly strenuous hike.

This is a 21 and older event. Pre-registration required. 



Member: $32 Nonmember: $40

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