Welcome to Acorn Adventures, sponsored by Putnam Bank. We visit a different location and have a different topic each month. We hope to see you in The Last Green Valley on all of the Acorn Adventures! Be sure to “like” us on Facebook!
ACORN ADVENTURES ARE HAPPENING!
Join a TLGV each month for an Acorn Adventure! As always see the PIX page and SEASONS page for fun and info on past Acorn Adventures. You can find Acorn Adventures listed on our online Events Calendar and on our Facebook Events page.
2018 Acorn Adventures!
(For info on past Acorn Adventures, keep scrolling down!)
Treasure Hunting on the Trails, 1 -3 p.m. Sunday March 25, Camp Laurel, 175 Clubhouse Road, Lebanon CT. The Last Green Valley is teaming up with the Girl Scouts of Connecticut to hold a letterboxing Acorn Adventure. Do you like to be outside? Do you like to search for treasure? Letterboxing is a family-friendly hobby that gets you outside to follow the clues and find the treasure, a hand-carved stamp that you can add to your personal log book. Acorn Adventurers will get an introduction to letterboxing and their own letterboxing kits, which will include a starter logbook, an inkpad and the chance to make a personal stamp. The group will then hike the trails of Camp Laurel, following the clues to find a series of four letterboxes. The program is open to all kids and their families. To learn more about letterboxing, visit www.atlasquest.com or www.letterboxing.org.
KEEP CHECKING BACK AS WE FILL UP THE 2018 CALENDAR!
PAST ACORN ADVENTURES!
Jan. 20, 2018: Eagle Eyes with Chief Ranger Bill Reid. We saw eagles — adults and juveniles circled Roseland Lake and then Atka from Horizon Wings joined us. We could not have asked for a better day. Eagles in the wild and one up close to see and learn more about these amazing birds.
August 11, 2017: Heins Farm, Sturbridge, Perseids Meteor Showers under dark skies. A cloudy evening didn’t discourage our long term Acorns this evening as we visited with our friends at Friends of Sturbridge Trails. The trails are spectacular! We saw fireflies, bats, wildflowers. We talked, laughed, did handstands, had snacks, found fairy houses, skipped over bridges! What fun it is having friends in The Last Green Valley!
July 1, 2017: Acorns marched and rode bikes in our own Patriotic “parade” as we visited the family-friendly walking trail around the Lebanon green. After the fresh air, we went inside the Lebanon Historical Museum for a visit in the room especially for children. It is amazing, and the entire place is full of surprises for all ages. Visit this treasure-trove in The Last Green Valley!
June 11, 2017: Have you ever done letterboxing? It – is – awesome! Creativity comes in to play as you think up a trail name and make a stamp. Sleuthing comes next as you get the clues, read them and follow the directions to find the letterbox! You stamp your log with the stamp inside the letterbox. You use your stamp in the letterbox’s log book. Hide it back where you found it and move on! We did it on this Acorn Adventure Letterboxing at Camp Laurel, with Girl Scouts of Connecticut and TLGV Ranger Kim McLean.
May 21, 2017: For the 3rd year in a row, we visited the Quinebaug Valley State Trout Hatchery, Plainfield, to see where trout are raised & to do some family fishing, plus we walked out along the paths that run along the Quinebaug River. Did you know you can go there any day of the year, and their building is open every day from 8:30am-3:30pm so you can learn all about trout, hatcheries, and fishing!
April 23, 2017: A warm, sunny spring day welcomed us to the Salamander Search at Lake Siog, Holland. Stumps were rolled over, leaves were scattered and we found salamanders – and lots of skunk cabbage to sniff, too. What is better on a spring day in our National Heritage Corridor?!
March 26, 2017: A little snow didn’t stop us from trekking on a cloudy day looking for skunk cabbage, ferns and signs of spring on the Air Line Trail is Chaplin. As we walked, we passed a section of woods being harvested by our partners, Hull Forest Products, and we saw the Joshua’s Trust’s Two Sisters Tract Sanctuary signs, as this preserve borders the Air Line Trail. If you park at the parking lot at the Chewink & Lyons Road intersection in Chaplin you can walk west to Windham or east to Hampton on this family-friendly trail.
February 19, 2017: CANCELLED! Can you believe we had to cancel due to a snow-filled parking lot? Only the 2nd Acorn Adventure in our 3rd year to be cancelled, but we did not want to endanger attendees. Be sure to choo, choo, choose the Brimfield Trolley Trail for a stroll sometime on your own. Click for other places to Explore.
January 29, 2017: Our Roseland Park, Woodstock, Eagle Search was a success! As we pulled up to the event and parked, an eagle was sitting in a tree at the northwest end of the lake. Binoculars, eyes & cameras focused! The eagle flew, we watched in awe. Since the park also boasts other great family-friendly fun, we walked trails, in the woods, and along the shore of Roseland Lake. The resident beaver slapped his tail as we passed. It was a wonderfully chilly winter day and we ended up in the boathouse by the fire, roasting marshmallows for making s’mores and sipping hot chocolate. We invite you attend our next Acorn Adventure!
December 11, 2016: UConn Horsebarn Hill, Storrs, Christmas on the farm! Not only did we stroll around Horsebarn Hill Road, we climbed the hill and could see the UConn Campus on one side & lots of green views looking the other way. Stunning. Fresh air! After we hiked, we enjoyed the UConn Dairy Bar Ice Cream! YUM! Bring your family for a visit soon, and join us on our next Acorn Adventure!
November 13, 2016: Acorns hiked the very family-friendly trails at the Tufts Branch Wildlife Sanctuary,a Dudley Conservation Land Trust preserve in Dudley, MA. Since moose were seen about 2 months ago in N. Woodstock and very close by in Dudley, we searched for Moose Poop. We found a red, blue & yellow trail, woods, trees, a salamander under an old log, a big meadow to enjoy our snacks and to enjoy great views! It was a perfect day, and this is a great place to visit as often as you can!
October 2016: Acorn Adventures took a break because there were TON of Walktober experiences – there were tons of family friendly options, so partake each year!
September 4, 2016: Acorns hike the trail on the Rapoport/Spalding Preserve, Woodstock. All sorts of interesting things exist on this Wyndham Land Trust preserve, like mushrooms galore and lots of salamanders! This was a great place for Acorn Adventures in The Last Green Valley. You can visit there with your family, and attend Walktober listing #16 in the 2016 Brochure. Snacks, Acorn stickers & fresh air FUN were included!
August 23, 2016: Acorns roamed the rails, trails and river, with Mrs. Z from the Willimantic Public Library & Railroad Ray from the CT Eastern Railroad Museum ! History was explored and train lovers were born at the Acorn Adventure in The Last Green Valley! Snacks, Acorn stickers & fresh air FUN were plentiful! Bring your family & friends to all the museums in our National Heritage Corridor!
August 12, 2016: Acorns met Ms. Kathy, of the Pearle L. Crawford Library in Dudley, to read explore nature on the library lawn, then do some coloring in “Nature’s A-Z Alphabet book.” In the small lawn area, we found ants, trees, leaves, clover & dirt. We looked up at the clouds and saw dinosaurs, elephants, fish and more! Our imaginations are great things in The Last Green Valley! The unstable weather sent us inside for coloring & reading and playing – just a few things a library is for! Snacks, Acorn stickers & fresh air FUN were included, as always! Bring your family & friends to an Acorn Adventure. Everyone is welcome!
August 12, 2016: Our perseids meteor shower Adventure was cancelled since we had thunder, lighting and rain – all things that do not make it easy to see meteor showers. The skies were rather exciting anyways, so we hope all stayed in a safe spot to watch the skies light up. Heins Farm, Sturbridge, is a great trails system, thanks to the hard work of the Friends of Sturbridge Trails (FroST). With woods trails and a hilltop open field hidden away off of Route 20 and behind Old Sturbridge Village you have wonderful views, day and night. FroST offers lots of hikes, so keep your eyes on them. Click here to learn about Perseids Meteor Showers.
July 18, 2016: Acorns joined up with Ms. Allison, of the Killingly Library, to read a book, “Treasure Hunt. ,” Then we did our own scavenger hunt to see what we could find along the Killingly River Trail for another fun Acorn Adventure in The Last Green Valley! We found insects, a bridge going over water, wildflowers, different kinds of leaves, ferns, a fence, bike riders, dog walkers and more. We know we can come back to this great trail for all sorts of fun! Snacks, Acorn stickers & fresh air FUN always included! Bring your family & friends to the Killingly Trails!
July 14, 2016: Acorns visited the woods with Miss Jessi from the Holland Library and learned about reading trail maps & markers, and hiking safety at the Quinebaug Woods Trail. It is a naturalist’s delight, a great walk and exploring place to go with the kids. For a time we walked along the Quinebaug River, which is quite low now. Because this is a wooded trail, be sure to bring bug spray and maybe a hat. There is one section that goes up and will give your legs a nice little workout! Snacks, Acorn stickers & fresh air FUN were included!
July 9, 2016: Acorns walked where George Washington walked, and had a mini-parade with mini-flags, flutes & noise makers in Lebanon to celebrate history in The Last Green Valley. A FREE visit inside the Lebanon Historical Society Museum was also enjoyed. The children’s room is fabulous with the attire of days gone by, a tent, and wooden toy muskets. Snacks, Acorn stickers & fresh air FUN were included!
We went back in time! Check out our photos here.
June 12, 2016: The McKinstry Brook-North Trail wooded scavenger hunt at 570 Pleasant Street in Southbridge! We did celebrate Southbridge’s 200 years with a scavenger hunt along the woods trail! Families & friends met to find things along the trail in our scavenger hunt! Not only did we find most things on the list, like snakes, deciduous & coniferous trees, insects, a bridge over the brook, we found a red newt salamander, a hawk feather and lots of mushrooms! The tornado of 2011 left its scars in this area, blocking this trail mid-way through. What used to be one longer trail is now split into two pieces, McKinstry Brook Trail -North and McKinstry Brook Trail – South. We enjoyed the northern section and walked up to the blockage. Check out our photos here.
May 15, 2016: Pond & Field Discoveries & Fishing at the Quinebaug Valley Trout Hatchery!
The tour of the hatchery building with Ranger Marcy was terrific. The hard-working staff here has taught her a lot! After learning what happens here, and where the trout go when they leave the hatchery, we walked the easy trail, looking for turtles, frogs & herons, and over to the family fishing pond. Patience is the key to learning to fish, and the Acorns all were very patient waiting for those trout to bite!
April 10, 2016: Salamander Story Walk with the Holland Library Team was a big hit! We found 15 salamanders!
Lake Siog Pass was the perfect trail for us to visit, and as we walked, Miss Jessi from the Holland Library read the book “Big Night for Salamanders.” Acorn curiosity helped us find live squirmy salamanders! As we used all of our eyes and exploring skills, we learned right where it is best to find salamander surprises along the trail! Find a salamander to color here. Learn all about salamanders here. Don’t miss out on our photos from this exciting Acorn Adventure!
March 20, 2016: Trail Hike and Alpaca Meet & Greet at Morning Beckons Farm in Thompson!
Did you know that we have the biggest Alpaca Farm in New England right in The Last Green Valley!? We met alpacas, learned differences between them and llamas, and visited a variety of other animals that live on this farm, too. Then walked into the woods on an old rail trail to see Jerry’s Swamp, part of the Fivemile River. Check out the alpaca fact sheet on our “Learn & Visit” page and don’t forget about fun pix!
The farm is located 343A Sand Dam Road, Thompson, CT.
February 21, 2016: We took a hike on the winter Air Line Trail in Hampton, starting out at the Goodwin Conservation Center, conveniently located off Route 6. Things are easy to see from a winter point of view since the leaves and weeds are not in our way in The Last Green Valley! A flat, easy & smooth trail to stretch our winter legs. What did we see???? Skunk cabbage was just starting to sprout! We took a smell, and it was a little stinky. An exciting discovery was made, as we not only found the skull of a small animal (perhaps fox or maybe an opossum) but most of the skeleton. As we dug through the leaves looking for more bones, we found a slow moving frog, and covered him back up so he could keep warm.
Explore, visit, engage & connect with the things that make our National Heritage Corridor special! Did in the wet leaves to see what you find!
January 31, 2016: Roseland Park, (205 Roseland Park Rd.) Woodstock, welcomed us for an Eagle Search & Lake Visit! Have you seen any of the EAGLES that live with you in The Last Green Valley? These winged wonders visit this location, just like we do! All Acorns learned about eagles, plus stretched our legs & took big strides all while playing a few new games! A big hawk was spotted flying across the lake, but the eagles were off visiting another place in our National Heritage Corridor. We discovered that the roasted marshmallows & hot chocolate were very yummy, and this is a great place to visit in one of our 35 town National Heritage Corridor all year long!
December 6, 2015: Acorns bundled up for a bright & brisk day at the West Thompson Dam for December’s Acorn Adventure – Evergreen Walk & Pine Cone Bird Feeders. Acorns enjoyed a brisk walk around a family-friendly place to visit all year long while gathering evergreens & pine cones. Bird feeders were made to hang from trees in our yards to welcome in the birds! As always, we tasted snacks & sipped hot chocolate, got info handouts, Acorn Club stickers and had FUN, provided by The Last Green Valley. Meet & visit every one of the 35 towns in our National Heritage Corridor with the help of Acorn Adventures!
November 8, 2015: Acorns gathered at the Pomfret Recreation Park for November’s Acorn Adventure – Gobble Up Turkey Tracks & Facts. Old, cut corn fields are great places to find traces of turkeys! We searched for turkey tracks, learn turkey facts, took a trail walk through Pomfret Trails and down to the Air Line Trail – and as always, enjoy some snacks – and more! Fun provided by The Last Green Valley. We live in a great National Heritage Corridor!
October 2015 = Walktober in The Last Green Valley: Since so many volunteers step up to lead family friendly Walktobers, we recommend that you choose one or more of them to attend this month with your children. Click here for a list of the Walktober options that were noted by the volunteer leaders as “especially for families with children”! Fun and exploration are always available in The Last Green Valley. We live in a great National Heritage Corridor!
September 19, 2015: Acorns gathered along the Quinebaug River in Killingly for September’s Acorn Adventure – Leaf Art/Identification by the Quinebaug. The walk was peaceful and we discovered a lot along this nicely paved trail (stroller-friendly and bicycle/tricycle/wagon-friendly) with Acorns of all ages. Lot of leaves were identified and gathered, and we visited the river’s edge, learning from informative signs placed along the trail. We finished up by creating leaf art while enjoying some snacks together… and more! Fun provided by The Last Green Valley. We live in a great National Heritage Corridor!
August 29, 2015: Acorns Celebrated the Full Moon! August’s Acorn Adventure – The Full Moon Above happened Saturday, July 29, 2015, as we gathered together from 7-8:30 p.m. at Wyndham Land Trust’s Lyon Preserve in Pomfret. The Acorns split into 2 teams and hiked around Lyon Preserve for a scavenger hunt. The only thing we did not find on the list was “LITTER.” Isn’t that great? We watched the full moon rise, and later by the fire, we acted out nature charades, shared some fun facts about what we just acted out, then toasted some marshmallows and munched on s’mores. Snacks and fun provided by The Last Green Valley.
July 19, 2015: We Explored & Crafted at July’s Acorn Adventure – Water Lily & Dragonfly Art on Sunday, July 19, 2015 as the Acorns united at Roseland Park in Woodstock. Lily pads are hiding spots for turtles & frogs, landing pads for dragonflies, and they have their own little ecosystems surrounding around them! We learned about lily pads, crafted a dragonfly from twigs & maple samaras (whirlybirds), enjoyed a scavenger hunt and some snacks together! A new, secret world was discovered in the lake, both over and under the water lilies, and we found our creativity in The Last Green Valley.
JUNE 14, 2015: Ribbit! June’s Acorn Adventure – Tadpole Leg Arrival Celebration on Sunday, June 14, 2015 at 1 p.m. found tadpoles and their newly spouted legs, plus tons more wildlife! We enjoyed a visit in Sturbridge at their Leadmine Mountain Conservation Area. This is a FREE place to visit, with trails, lots of frogs, turtles, salamanders, fishing, and even a small beach area on the pond for swimming (no lifeguard). A great family-friendly “day-cation.” Hop in to lots of fun and adventure in The Last Green Valley.
MAY 17, 2015: Fish on! After we took a tour of the hatchery and learned a lot about how trout are raised here during May’s Acorn Adventure – Pond & Field Discoveries at the Quinebaug Valley State Trout Hatchery on Sunday, May 17, 2015 at 1 p.m., we went fishing! Folks brought their fishing poles and worms and the kids enjoyed the children’s only fishing pond (stocked regularly)! It was great to hear the kids of all ages cheering for one another as another trout was hooked. Are you hooked on fishing in The Last Green Valley now?
APRIL 19, 2015: We had so much fun during April’s Acorn Adventure – Salamander Search at Mansfield Hollow State Park on Sunday, April 19, 2015 at 1 p.m.! Not only did we learn to follow a trail (we followed the red dots on the Red Trail), we found insects, worms, 3 tiny salamander and ONE BIG SPOTTED SALAMANDER! The Acorns were big helpers and very responsible, too. We filled up a whole bag with litter that others had left behind. Once we got out of the woods, we ran through the big field, had a snack and then played catch. Check out our little movie and pictures on facebook and on the PIX page. There are lots of salamander facts on the SEASONS page, too!
MARCH 8, 2015:We enjoyed the “Putnam River Trail Stroll & Eyes to the Skies in search of Bald Eagles” adventure on Sunday, March 8, 2015, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. There was still a lot of snow, but the trail is very manageable thanks to the town’s highway department, who does plow it for the frequent walkers.
FEBRUARY 21, 2015: We walked in a lot of snow on February 21, 2015 on the “How much wood can a woodchuck chuck – or perhaps a beaver?” Acorn Adventure at Buffumville Lake in Charlton, MA. See the PIXS page for some pictures, and see the SEASONS page for some woodchuck and beaver fun facts.
JANUARY 25, 2015: We had great fun on January 25, 2015 on the “Try the Tri-State Marker” adventure.
Go to GAMES and play our word games – perfect for fun all year long. There is more than one game to challenge you!
Go to SEASONS where there is a lot of fun! Make some yummy and easy acorn cookies (No silly, they don’t taste like acorns, but they do look like them)! There are also some fun facts about Fish-sicles! (Well, ok, there are just some fun facts about fish and what they do in the cold winter water), and Salamanders, too. You can even see how to make a bird feeder to feed the birds in your own yard ~ and LOTS MORE!
Go to PIX for Acorn Adventure pictures, WHOOOOOOO (hint, hint) has their picture up there, and other neat stuff, too. See the cool Enviroscape we have in The Last Green Valley. Ranger Christine takes it to lots of our local schools. Have you seen it yet? Raise your hand now if you have!
We’ll talk to you soon. Be good!
Your Favorite Acorn