The Ausable River Association (AsRA) is offering free guided community paddling, hiking, and interpretive experience programs in the Ausable watershed this summer, with special consideration given to COVID-19 safety.
Paddling trips utilize the Ausable Paddling Nature Trail on Lake Everest in Wilmington, established by AsRA in 2010. “Interpretive paddling nature trails are unique. This is a self-guided paddling nature trail that anyone can follow. There is a full-color guide booklet in the kiosk at the boat launch on Lake Everest at the Wilmington town beach, and paddlers can also follow the route on their AllTrails App” says Research Associate, Carrianne Pershyn.
The trail includes seven stops along the way, with each stop discussing some aspect of the natural history of Lake Everest. AsRA staff will accompany paddlers, providing information on the various stops in greater detail, and, one of the guided paddling trips will include a tour of the Adirondack Wildlife Refuge with a wolf and bear expert.
Other guided trips include an Adirondack Riverwalking experience, Leave no Trace tips and tricks workshop, bat and moth research night, and three themed hiking trips. The Adirondack Riverwalking experience will be led by Helene Gibbens, a Certified Forest Therapy Guide, who will guide participants in heightening their senses to the sights, sounds, smells and textures of the river. Larry Master, an accomplished photographer and birder, will lead the moth and bat research night and a separate birding hike at Ausable Marsh. Another hiking tour will be led by Ed Kanze, expert naturalist and Adirondack author with more than thirty years’ experience leading walks in wild places. The remainder of the tours will be led by AsRA staff, who will provide a first-hand look into the work we do around the watershed, including environmental DNA, water quality testing, and ways to enjoy the outdoors while leaving the least amount of impact.
AsRA’s free, guided programs will take on weekends beginning on Aug. 8 and ending Oct. 10. These programs have been made possible by an educational grant from the Lake Champlain Basin Program and NEIWPCC. The Town of Wilmington is offering free canoe and kayak rentals to participants.
Program dates, trip sign-ups, COVID-19 safety protocols, and other information is available on the Ausable River Association website, www.ausableriver.org.