As warmer spring weather draws outdoor enthusiasts to the Commonwealth’s wetlands and waterways, the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game (DFG) recently put out an events calendar marking May and June as “Massachusetts Rivers and Wetlands Months” celebrating river- and wetland-related activities across the state.
The 2013 Massachusetts Rivers and Wetlands Months Calendar contains detailed information and links to more than 275 events in, along or about the rivers and wetlands of Massachusetts taking place from April 27 to July 4. Upcoming events include kayaking trips, riverside picnics, canoe races, birding in salt marshes, fishing derbies, river cleanups, overnight camping trips, and nature hikes.
Here’s a brief sample of events taking place the weekend of May 4-5:
May 4 (Saturday) – HOUSATONIC RIVER – Beginner bird walk at Housatonic Flats in Great Barrington, 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m., sponsored by the Berkshire Natural Resources Council (BNRC). Join BNRC staff at the Housatonic Flats Reserve for a 2-hour stroll at this promising birding site. Terrain is flat, level ground along the Housatonic River. Wear long pants and shoes; bring water and a snack. “This walk will help take you from feeder birds (blue jays, chickadees) to the birds of field and forest. It’s the perfect forum for a beginner to ask all his/her bird questions. Can’t tell a robin from a crow? No shame – we’ll show you how we do it. After just one walk you’ll amaze your friends with cheap birding tricks!” Housatonic Flats is on Route 7 in Great Barrington, just north of the WSBS radio tower, right across the street from Bridlewood Home Furnishings (434 Stockbridge Road). Currently the site has no signage, though a temporary “Event” sign will be posted there that day. Click here or contact Doug Bruce at (413) 499-0596 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
May 4 (Saturday) – MILLERS RIVER – Millers River Trail Hike in Athol and Royalston, sponsored by the Worcester Chapter of the Appalachian Mountain Club. This will be an 8-mile, moderately-paced hike with an 800-foot elevation gain and scenic views of the Millers River. Part of the hike route will be on the new Quabbin to Monadnock (Q&M) Trail and the new Pequiog Community Trail (PCT). Bring lunch, water, snacks. Severe weather cancels. There is an option to socialize at the South Royalston Country Store at the end of the hike. Pre-registration required; click here or contact trip leaders Dan Bolton [(978) 895-3979] or Mike Foley [email@example.com] to sign up or for more info.
May 4 (Saturday) – MASHPEE RIVER (CAPE AND ISLANDS WATERSHED) – Paddle the Mashpee River in Mashpee, 10:00 a.m. start, sponsored by the Kayak and Walk Cape Cod Meetup Group. “Paddle through the Mashpee Woodlands Conservation Area, perhaps seeing nesting marsh wrens and red winged blackbirds along the shoreline and always osprey overhead. It is a beautiful paddle, end to end.” Click here for basic info on this group and its paddling trips and here to sign up or for more specific info on this event.
May 5 (Sunday) – WARE RIVER (CHICOPEE WATERSHED) – Canoe the East Branch of the Ware River, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., sponsored by Mass. Audubon’s Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary. Discover this spectacular canoeing and hiking area located on the west side of Princeton. Much of the land along the river has been acquired for drinking water protection since the Ware River flows into the Quabbin Reservoir system to the west. Wildlife sightings abound in this area, and May is a wonderful time to be out on the water. If time permits, we will explore some of the walking trails along the river as well. We'll provide canoes, Life jackets and paddles. We'll meet at the Sanctuary and carpool to our destination. Fee: Adults $12.00/members,$18.00/nonmembers. Click here or call (978) 464-2712 to sign up or for more info.