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Monday, April 19, 2021

CraneExplorer Hike: The Secret Life of Trees

Castle Hill Tree in Autumn

About CraneExplorer Hike: The Secret Life of Trees

CraneExplorer events are designed to appeal to the little ones* while giving their parents a great opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the Crane Estate. These hikes cover less ground to accommodate smaller strides and have more frequent stops to look, listen, and learn from our CraneOutdoors guides. Not just a walk in the woods, these family-friendly experiences teach kids and delight adults by exploring the wonder of our coastal habitats and the rich history of the Crane Estate.

Sometimes it’s hard to stop and smell the roses, or in this case, the trees! This hike is a quest across the Crane Estate to discover why trees are so special and unique. From the ancient pines in the pine grove at the base of Castle Hill and the majestic horse chestnuts of Steep Hill Beach, to the cultivated hedgerows of the Grand Alée and stately Beeches from the time of Richard T. Crane, this journey will inform a better appreciation for the flora of this special place.

Join us for a stroll past beautiful vistas overlooking Ipswich Bay while we uncover the hidden secrets of our tall, old friends. Whether you fancy yourself a tree hugger or just need to stop and smell the leaves, this is a great way to get your tiny human out and about during vacation week.

Highlights include:

  • Getting to know how to identify different trees
  • Making leaf rubbings and observations in your CraneExplorer journal
  • Learning how to map a journey and discover places on the property
  • Observing the world with the eye of a naturalist to see differences in leaf shape
  • Being mindful and centered in the moment to be more present for observations

*The “little ones” typically means children ages 5-12. Please be aware that we do walk the full two hours and cover approximately 2-3 miles. As such, parental discretion on your child’s ability to manage this activity is advised. If you have questions, please reach out to our CraneExplorer Lead Guide, Meghan Bowe, at

Family pricing is for one “average” nuclear family (approximately 2 adults and 2 children). If you have a larger family or want to bring additional family members please purchase additional tickets.

Please be aware that for public health and saftey during the COVID-19 pandemic, we require all staff, volunteers, and guests (over 2 years old) to wear a mask at all times during this event, including while hiking. We have reduced our event capacities to better facilitate social distancing. Please do not attend if you have any symptoms consistent with COVID-19, have traveled out of New England in the last 2 weeks, or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. Thank you!

Weather cancellation policy: All trips will take place rain or shine with the following exceptions: If there is a high confidence that thunder and lightning will be present, we may cancel a trip up to one hour in advance. If the forecast is for steady and heavy rain all day, we may decide to cancel by 3pm on the day before the event. If either of these happens, all registrants will be notified by email and/or phone with as much notice as possible and issued full refunds.

The starting location and other relevant details for events will be emailed to registrants witihn 24 hours of the event at the address provided upon registration.

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