NEWS & UPCOMING EVENTS
To learn more about the details of an event which interests you, please call the Visitor Center at 802-394-7836. Advance reservations--made on a first-come first-served basis--are necessary for many events due to space limitations or scheduling considerations. Payment in full is due upon registration. Membership discounts apply to many events.
For outdoor events, please dress for the weather: sturdy shoes/boots, layered clothing, snow/raingear, flashlight/headlamp, snacks and water. Outdoor events are held weather-permitting.
Thoreau Cabin Re-Creation Project
Cabin Dedication, July 12, 2017, 9-11am, Free. Coffee will be served at 9am, and at 10am the Dedication Program will start. After the ceremony, interested visitors who wish to see the cabin will be guided out to the site. This is a moderately strenuous hike of approximately 4.5 miles, so hikers should be prepared with sturdy footgear, water and snacks. This event is free, and open to the public.
Plastering/Interior Finishing, August 2017, $50 tuition
Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads. (H.D.Thoreau) We couldn't agree more, Mr. Thoreau, so we will host a number of guided hikes over the course of the next few months. Remember your flashlight or headlamp and sturdy footgear; it would be helpful for us (for planning purposes) if you would call to pre-register. All hikes are held as the weather permits.
Thoreau Cabin Hike. July 12, 11am, Free. After the Thoreau Cabin Dedication Ceremony (Saphouse, 9-11am) we will hike out to the new cabin. This will be a long-ish hike (+/-4.5 miles, round trip) of moderate difficulty.
Guided Hike to Viewpoint. July 13, 6pm, $3. Here's a special event: pack in a cold picnic supper (there will be no grill available) and hike up to the Viewpoint to enjoy it. This is a hike of moderate difficulty and the roundtrip will last approximately 3 hours.
Perseid Meteor Shower Viewing. Dt/Tm: August 12, 8pm, $3. Bring a blanket and prepare to be awed by the immensity of the skies over the Merck-y mountains.
Guided Sunset Hike. September 23, 6pm, $3. Enjoy a spectacular evening with a sunset hike at Merck Forest.
Hike Mount Antone. October 14, 11am, $3. Let's do lunch -- atop chic Mount Antone. Bring your cold lunch (no grilling available). This is a difficult hike. Dress for the weather with sturdy hiking gear.
Other Upcoming Events
Fairy Houses in the Forest. Saturday, June 24, 1 to 3pm. $20 per house. There’s magic in the woods at Merck Forest! Scour the woods for special materials to construct tiny magical dwellings for wee folk, and then gather in the classroom to assemble your creation. This is a workshop for children of all ages (actual children must be accompanied by an adult). Please call 802-394-7836 to reserve your place in the class.
Farm Chores for Children. Thursday afternoons from 2 - 4pm, starting June 29 through August 17. $2.50 per person. On Thursday afternoons through the summer, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., children (and their adult companion) may join the farm staff at Merck Forest & Farmland Center for daily chores. Youngsters may feed the horses, pick berries, collect eggs and perform other tasks.
These farm-centered "workshops" are designed to introduce children to simple farm routines and products, and to meet our animals under expert supervision. These hands-on/hands-dirty activities are suitable for children ages 3 and up. Please Pre-Register early, because participation is limited. Cost is $2.50 per participant.
Game of Logging Level 1. Saturday, July 8, 8am-4pm, $180. Learn how to handle a chainsaw with expert instruction from Northeast Woodland Training forestry pros. Detailed descriptions of the curriculum & course requirements may be found at www.woodlandtraining.com.
Classes start promptly at 8am and end at 4pm. Students must bring a sound hard hat, lunch & water, long pants, gloves, sturdy work/hiking boots and weather/work-appropriate outerwear. Classes are rarely cancelled due to weather and will be held even in light rain or snow, hot or cold temperatures; students should dress accordingly. Classes will only be re-scheduled in the event of high winds, lightning or heavy rains. Class size is limited, pre-register early by calling 802-394-7836.
Thoreau Cabin Dedication. July 12, Free Event. Coffee will be served at 9am in the SapHouse, followed by the Dedication Ceremony at 10am, then all who wish to visit the replica cabin -- newly sheathed & shingled -- may hike out to the site on the banks of Rasey Pond. The cabin is approximately 2.25 miles out into the woods, so wear sturdy footgear, and bring water and a little something to keep your energy up.
Bluegrass Concert. August 5, 6pm, Free Event. Bob Amos & Catamount Crossing return for another of their popular concerts. Bring a picnic supper to enjoy on the west-facing meadow above the saphouse, then sit back to enjoy a toe-tapping good time.
Open Farm Week. Daily, starting August 14 through August 20. Open Farm Week is always busy, busy, busy and LOTS of fun.
Each weekday morning (8/14 to 8/18) at 10am we'll host the Children's Garden Party, with planting, weeding, harvesting, storytime and games. Free.
Tuesday the 15th, Katie Connor will reprise her popular Draft Horse Clinic for Teens from 1-4pm. Visitors aged 12 to 15 years old will learn about heritage horse breeds, how to care for our two gentle giants Fern and Arch, and will perhaps have an opportunity to harness and drive the team. This class is limited to 4 participants and costs $40 per student; early pre-registration is suggested.
On Thursday the 17th from 2-4pm, the final session of our Farm Chores for Children will take place; cost is $2.50 per person.
Friday the 18th will be another big day for draft horses Fern and Arch, as they provide the transportation for an extended Wagon Tour of the Farm. As you ride, a member of the farm staff will describe our farming operations, as well as larger issues and current trends in sustainable agriculture. The tour is free.
Each day through the week, the farm is open for your exploration, with staff available to answer questions, sweet ripe U-Pick Berries, and all our animals running around. Bring a picnic lunch and plan to spend a day. A few more events are in the planning stages, so watch this space for additional activities.
Mushroom Identification Workshop. Sunday, August 27, 10am-2pm, $30pp or $50 per couple. Sue Van Hook's workshops always fill up quickly! Call for additional details and to register: 802-394-7836.
Fall Festival. September 16, Suggested Donation $3 per person.
Fall Festival ContraDance. September 16, 3pm, Free. Finish up your day at the Fall Festival the way the farmhands used to do: with a rollicking contradance. Pete's Posse will perform.
1st Annual Hoof & Hike. Sunday, September 24, 8:30am - 2pm. This event will benefit the Dorset Equine Rescue organization. Online pre-registration at http://hoofandhike.bpt.me is required for riders and is limited to 25; registration for hikers is available online or at the door on the day of the event from 8:30-10:30am. The cost for hikers over the age of 12 and for riders is $35. If you have questions about this event, go to the website dorsetequinerescue.
BeBrave Hike-a-thon. Sunday, October 1, 9am-1pm. The third annual Be Brave for Life Hike-A-Thon is a hike to inform, support, and improve the lives of individuals affected by benign brain tumors and cerebrovascular disease, and drive research for a cure. Participants set hiking goals and may join Scavenger Hunts. Register at https://runsignup/race/vt/rupert/bebravehike . For more information about the Be Brave for Life organization, check their website at bebrave.life .
Wreath-Making Workshop. December 2, 10am-noon or 1-3pm, $20 per wreath. Ring in the holidays with this marvelous family event.