Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center

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87 Nature Center Way
Voorheesville, NY 12186
Latitude 42.655132
Longitude -74.042389

The Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center opened in July 2001 and is located in Thompson's Lake Campground at Thacher State Park. The center offers year-round educational programs for school groups, youth organizations, clubs and the general public. Exhibits and displays include a geologic model of the Helderberg Escarpment, a live honeybee observation hive, bird viewing area, fossils, furs and other hands-on collections. Trails for hiking and skiing lead from the nature center to the lake, through woodlands and fields.

Learn more, watch WMHT's doccumentary: The Great Ledge 

Not allowed inside Nature Center.

Hours of Operation

  • Nature Center is open year-round, 9 am to 5 pm
    Closed on Mondays and holidays.

Program Descriptions

Experience Thacher Nature Center (year round):

This is a great program for first time visitors of all ages! Our hands on exhibits include lie turtles, honeybee observation hive, animal furs and skulls, bird observation window with binoculars, microscope, fossils and more! Students will explore the Nature Center through a written find and seek activiity. This program includes a nature walk through gfiled and forest habitats.

Busy Bees (May-October):

Learn about the lifecycle of the honeybee, and the important role they play in the antural world. Observe a real beehive to see the queen, drones and workers as they busily do their jobs. Try on beekeeping equipment to learn how beekeepers tend to their hives.

Geology of the Indian Ladder Trail (May-October):

New York was underwater 400 million years ago. See and learn about fossils, limestone, and the process that created the Helderberg Escarpment. Follow the trail down the cliff, under waterfalls and over underground streams. Suitable for elementary through high school earth science studies. Can be combined with a visit to the Nature Center.

Getting to Know Birds (year round):

Birds are everywhere, from the forest to an urban street! Learn the habits of some of the birds that frequent our feeders, or your schoolyard. Topics could include beginning birding techniques, bird adaptations, bird songs and more.

Seasons and Senses (year round):

This program is ideal for preschoolers and grades K-1. Children use their senses to explore the natural world and learn about the current season. Program includes sensory activities, exploration of the Nature Center and a nature walk.

Lifecycle of a Tree (year round)

The forest ecosystem is a community that depends on trees. Learn about the lifecycle of a tree, from seed to rotted log. Activities may include: build-your-own living tree, play habitat hotel, or get to know the trees in our forest or your schoolyard using identification keys,

Animals in Winter (winter only):

Winter can be a harsh season for wildlife, but animals have many different ways of surviving the cold months. Find out who remains active, who hibernates, and who skips town! Learn to look for evidence of animal life in thet racks and other signs they leave behind. If conditions are good, we'll strap on snowshoes and take an exciting invigorating walk on the Nature Center's trails or in your schoolyard.


To schedule a field trip or outreach program in your classroom, please call 518-872-0800 or email Megan Mansfield at

Wed 13 Nov
Oh No, I Think We’ve Created a Monster! at Thacher Visitor Center
Wednesday, November 13, 2019 07:00 PM
Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center
(518) 872-0800

The Friends of Thacher Park invite you to a presentation at their annual meeting. Dr. George Robinson, retired SUNY Biologist, will talk (and even sing!) about his new children’s book, “The Thacher Park Monster (An imaginary tale set in a historical American place)”. The presentation will follow a brief business meeting that starts at 6:30pm. Stay for refreshments and mingle with Friends. Children are welcome. Call 518-872-0800 for more information. *TVC
Sat 16 Nov
Autumn Hike in Thacher Park
Saturday, November 16, 2019 09:00 AM
Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center
(518) 872-0800

Fall is the perfect season for hiking in the park. Explore trails with Jim and Bonnie Schaller on an easy paced walk of about 4 miles. Trails are mostly level with a few moderate ups and downs. Bring a snack and water. Call 518-872-0800 to register and for meeting place.
Registration: Required
Sat 30 Nov
Scandinavian Christmas Ornaments at Thacher Nature Center
Saturday, November 30, 2019 10:00 AM - 01:00 PM
Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center
(518) 872-0800

Come to the Nature Center to enjoy making traditional Scandinavian Christmas ornaments with one of our local artisans! Basket weaver and artist Karin Kuck will show you how to make woven Norwegian reindeer ornaments and Finnish Christmas stars - you'll be very impressed with your final product! The fee of $35 covers all materials and hands on instruction. Appropriate for adults and children age 13 and older. Space is limited, so please reserve now by calling 518-872-0800. *ETTNC
Registration: Required
Sat 07 Dec
Holiday bazaar at Thacher Nature Center
Saturday, December 7, 2019 until Sunday, December 8, 2019
Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center
(518) 872-0800

Saturday December 7th: 10am to 4pm

Sunday December 8th: 11am to 4pm.

Shop for unique hand-crafted gifts made by local artisans and crafters, including jewelry, fleece and woolen items, baskets, honey and maple products, wildlife photography, puppets, ornaments, jams and jellies, soaps and lotions, and much more. Find nature books, wooden toys, and stocking stuffers in our gift shop, too. Enjoy live music that’ll put you in the holiday spirit. Call 518-872-0800 for more information. *ETTNC

Sat 14 Dec
Holiday Open House at Thacher Visitor Center
Saturday, December 14, 2019 11:00 AM - 03:00 PM
Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center
(518) 872-0800

Take a break from the hustle and bustle to enjoy the peaceful beauty of Thacher Park. Join friends around the fireplace, enjoy live music, make a holiday craft, and relax with hot drinks and sweet treats. Call 518-872-1237 for more information. *TVC

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Did You Know? We're #1! Our nature center made the top 20 list of places to take kids in the Capital District!