Naturalist Program at Cold River Camp

Each week during the summer season of Cold River Camp one of our trip leaders is a naturalist, familiar with the natural world in New England.  While the naturalists will lead trips, they are also a source of information to the guests.  They are very willing to share their knowledge of special places in the area including:

Deer Hill Bog Wildlife Blind (USFS) (11 minute drive) best visited early morning or after dinner.  Frogs, turtles, ducks, beaver, geese and, if lucky, moose can be seen.

Lord Hill Mine (15-30 minute drive, 45-90 minute hike depending on trail used.  Easy hike to a lunch spot with a great view and a mine for the young at heart.  Safety goggles and hammers are available at CRC – check with the naturalist or manager.

Leach Link - a level walk along Cold River.   Turn Left after crossing the CRC Dam.

In camp, take along your copy the Tea House Path – Conant Path Nature Trail Loop guide included in your packet of CRC information and leisurely walk the trail along Cold River.  For returning guests, please note that the Conant Path has been extended along the pasture (between markers 18 and 19) at a much gentler grade.  The former steep trail over the edge of the Kane Terrace has been discontinued. 

Along the way, a granite memorial bench on the Conant Path invites you to relax and listen to Cold River as it makes its way south.  The screened Tea House, on the Tea House Path, invites you in to spend time and enjoy the sounds of nature.

Other special activities include walking along Wild River; picking blueberries on Blueberry Mountain, Black Cap or Baldface Knob; enjoying a quick dip into Emerald or Rattlesnake Pools; discovering aquatic wildlife around Basin and Province Ponds; exploring mines; finding abandoned ruins from the CCC and logging periods of local history; and locating Esther Williams Pool.

For our younger guests we have a Jr. Naturalist Program with booklets available designed for three age groups.  Parents, and grandparents, are encouraged to work with their children in fulfilling the requirements, and upon completion, patches are awarded during Friday evening’s Talent Show.  The Naturalist who is available for advice and help oversees this program.  We also have a coloring book for our very young guests.

Field guides for wildflowers, trees, birds and stars are available in Conant Lodge for guests to borrow.  Our most recent addition to the library is Naturally Curious by Mary Holland – a well-written photographic field guide and month-by-month journey through the natural world of New England.  There are also books for children in the Jr. Naturalist Library in the Lodge, as well as equipment for water studies in the Recreation Hall’s Naturalist Toolbox.

Jim Greaney
CRC Naturalist Coordinator