Hidden Valley Nature Center offers great trail conditions

Posted Jan. 11, 2011, at 11:45 a.m.

JEFFERSON — The recent storm has brought welcome snow, making for excellent conditions for snoeshowing and hiking at Hidden Valley Nature Center. The trails already had a good base, having been groomed which fills in holes, smooths the trail, and packs it so that it will last longer as the warmth comes and the sun gets stronger.

Thursday’s guided hikes continue in January, 9:30 a.m.-noon. A different area will be explored each week. This month’s full moon hike will be held 3-6 p.m. Monday (Martin Luther King Day), Jan. 17, led by the Dr. Dan Townsend.

While there is still light, participants will head to the western shore of the pond for excellent viewing across the pond toward the rising moon in the east. If the pond is frozen, participants can even venture out on the pond.

Daylight will give Townsend the opportunity to point out natural features, plants, animal tracks, birds and all their winter adaptations. He’ll visit the warmed yurt where there’ll be hot water on the wood stove. The walk out will be in the dark; perhaps accompanied by the call of a barred owl or the howl of a coyote.

Bring snacks and your favorite drink to enjoy. What you wear on your feet depends on the weather. A $5 donation is suggested for all events. HVNC has snowshoes available for rent. Participants are asked to pre-register, especially if they want snowshoes. HVNC’s three primitive overnight facilities are available for those who want to make a weekend out of it.

Further winter outings include two family events, both led by Lynne Flaccus of Chewonki Foundation. On Sunday, Jan 23, 1-4 p.m., she will lead the group on an exploration of HVNC. On Sunday, Feb. 13, 1-4 p.m., she will take participants tracking animals and birds at SVCA’s Trout Brook.

On Saturday, Feb. 5, join Natural Resources Council of Maine and HVNC for a day of cross-country skiing or snowshoeing.

Hidden Valley Nature Center, located in Jefferson, is a community based and supported non-profit organization with 800 acres of diverse habitat, many small ponds and vernal pools, 25 miles of trails, and a range of low-impact sustainable forestry projects both completed and underway. It is dedicated to providing educational and recreational opportunities to the community throughout the year. Memberships and all donations are tax-deductible. Visit www.hvnc.org, call 586-6752, or contact waywards@hotmail.com for more information and reservations.

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