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Winter activities at State Parks

by jmaloni
Fri, Dec 9th 2011 02:25 pm

The Niagara Region of the Office of New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation has announced its winter 2012 programming, which starts with a "First Day Hike" on Jan. 1, 2012. As always, events are free and open to the public, but registration is always encouraged due to limited space.

Activities are as follows:

First Day Hike

  • Sunday, Jan. 1
  • 10 a.m. to noon
  • Beaver Island State Park

Start the new year on a healthy note and connect to the great outdoors on a fun hike along the Niagara River. In winter the unfrozen waters of the mighty Niagara attract arctic waterfowl and other birds in great numbers, including tundra swans, canvasback, long-tailed, goldeneye and bufflehead ducks. In the event of deep snow, we will outfit everyone with snowshoes to look for animal tracks and wildlife along the wooded trails.

For more information or to register, call 716-549-1050.

First Day Hike

  • Sunday, Jan. 1
  • 2 to 4 p.m.
  • Niagara Falls State Park

Join a naturalist at the oldest state park in the nation for a winter walk. Participants will visit the falls and Goat Island to see if they are decked out in winter white. The discovery hike will also look to see if Niagara River's 2012 ice bridge is forming.

For more information or to register, call 716-282-5154. 

Annual Winter Trails Day Walk

  • Saturday, Jan. 7
  • 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • DeVeaux Woods State Park

Celebrate the 17th annual "Winter Trails Day" with a power point presentation and a walk through an old growth woods. See huge trees more than 150 years old. Snowshoes will be provided if there is sufficient snow. Bring your own skates as there is an ice rink available (weather permitting).

For more information or to register, call 716-282-5154.

Lake Erie by Ski

  • Sunday, Jan. 8
  • 10 a.m. to noon
  • Lake Erie State Park

Take a guided cross-country ski tour through the park on groomed trails ending with a breathtaking view of Van Buren Point. You must provide your own skis.

For more information or to register, call 716-549-1050.

Glaciers and Creatures of the Ice Age

  • Saturday, Jan. 21
  • 2 to 3:30 p.m.
  • DeVeaux Woods State Park

Learn about the advance and retreat of glaciers. Did mammoths and mastodons live here? Learn where their remains have been found. See replica teeth. Hands-on activities will follow.

For more information or to register, call 716-282-5154.

Long Point Cross Country Ski

  • Saturday, Jan. 28
  • 10 a.m. to noon
  • Long Point State Park

History and nature, old growth trees and more, ski the scenic views along the lakeshore. A glacial moraine rises above 1,300 feet and below Lake Chautauqua's waters are considered the most deep. The hills and forest block winds that are gusty, next to a lake renowned for its musky. Now do a "Minturn" to head on back for some hot cocoa and a sweet snack.

For more information or to register, call 716-549-1050.

Ice Volcanoes of Lake Erie

  • Saturday, Feb. 4
  • 10 a.m. to noon
  • Evangola State Park

Ice volcanoes can erupt, leaving a bizarre lunar landscape of cones, vents, mounds, ice caves and craters. Take a guided walk to learn frozen Lake Erie geology and how the ice volcanoes form. For more information or to register, call 716-549-1050.

Ice Bridges: 100th anniversary of the tragedy

  • Saturday, Feb. 4
  • 2 to 4 p.m.
  • Niagara Falls State Park

Meet with a park naturalist at the Visitor's Center and see an ice bridge display. Learn of the 1912 tragedy and walk to the falls to see if the annual ice bridge has formed.

For more information or to register, call 716-282-5154.

Goat Island Icicles

  • Saturday, Feb. 18
  • 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Niagara Falls State Park

Park naturalists will lead a walk through a winter wonderland at Niagara Falls State Park. Optional "buy your own lunch" to follow at the Hard Rock Café.

For more information or to register, call 716-282-5154.

Ice Volcanoes of Lake Ontario

  • Saturday, Feb. 25
  • 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
  • Fort Niagara & Wilson Tuscarora State Parks

Meet at one of Fort Niagara's historic buildings to view a PowerPoint presentation on ice volcanoes. We'll visit the shoreline at Fort Niagara and Wilson Tuscarora State Parks in search of ice volcanoes.

For more information or to register, call 716-282-5154.

Birding on the River

  • Beaver Island & Buckhorn Island State Parks
  • Saturday, March 3
  • 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Join us as we search for migratory waterfowl and other wintering birds found along the shores of the Niagara River. We will visit the new lagoon overlook as well as a few of the many viewing areas you will find in our state parks on Grand Island.

For more information or to register, call 716-282-5154.

Maple Sugaring 101

  • Saturday, March 24
  • 1 to 3 p.m.
  • Evangola State Park

It's that time of year again - maple sugaring time that is! Park naturalists will give an indoor presentation about the maple sugaring process. An informal outdoor hands-on presentation will follow. Learn how to tap a tree and see the sap turn into syrup.

For more information or to register, call 716-549-1050.

Night Sounds

  • Friday, March 30
  • 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
  • Evangola State Park

Listen for the sleigh bell serenade of "Spring Peepers" under shooting stars and a copper Mars. Will the wood frogs quack and the timber doodles twitter? Do screech owls whinny and can barred owls call for dinner? Find out on a journey through dusk into the world of night.

For more information or to register, call 716-549-1050.

State Park naturalists will also be present at the following special events throughout Western New York:

Village of Williamsville Winterfest

  • Sunday, Feb. 12
  • Glen Park

Free snowshoe loan for a limited time. Snowshoes will be available 1 to 4 p.m.

"Winterfest" is sponsored by the Village of Williamsville Recreation Department.

42nd annual Gem, Mineral and Fossil Show

Sponsored by the Buffalo Geological Society

  • Saturday, March 24, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Sunday, March 25, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Erie County Fairgrounds
  • Hamburg (Route 62)

See our state park interpretive display. Visit with a naturalist and enjoy hands-on activities. 

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