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Guided River Tours

Join us for a 2021 Guided River Tour

For the third year in a row, we are happy to offer Guided River Tours. Join our staff and guest naturalists for outdoor education programming featuring themes of river ecology and stewardship in the Ausable and Boquet River watersheds. River Tours are designed to engage local citizens of all ages in educational outdoor activities, while also inspiring participants to be active stewards of their local environment. Celebrate or kindle your appreciation for the natural beauty of the Ausable and Boquet Valleys and leave with a better understanding of what threatens our local environment - and what you can do to inspire responsible stewardship in your community.

What to Expect

All guided river tours are FREE and open to the public, though donations are accepted. Participants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Tours will last two to four hours and are subject to weather with rain dates in place. We will follow all CDC and NYSDOS COVID-19 safety guidelines. There is a maximum of 10 participants per tour, and registration in advance is required. For questions and to register, please email events@ausableriver.org or call (518) 637-6859. 

Spring Tours and Schedule

Saturday, May 22: Drawing Your Watershed, 10:00am – 1:00pm (This tour is currently full, but please email or call to be added to the waiting list because spaces sometimes open up; thank you.)
Theme: Watershed botany through art
Learn about the botanical diversity of the Ausable watershed with artist and biologist Cris Winters while you draw the natural world with simple materials including pencil, pen, and watercolor pencil. All materials will be provided. This workshop will take place outdoors with observations directly from nature. Participants will also identify the many spring wildflowers that are abundant in this season. This is a beginning drawing class, and no experience is required. 
Cris Winters is a full-time artist living and working in Saranac Lake. She has a scientific background in conservation biology with training and experience in botanical illustration. She has taught drawing in many settings and especially loves to teach outdoors. 

Sunday, June 6: Birding Hike, 8:00am – 11:00am (This tour is currently full, but please email or call to be added to the waiting list because spaces sometimes open up; thank you.)
Theme: Birds of the Ausable & Boquet watersheds
Ausable River Association board member and conservation biologist/zoologist Dr. Larry Master will lead a bird walk to Ausable Marsh at the mouth of the Ausable River. This walk will take place on easy terrain for short distances. We will see birds that have arrived from the Caribbean and Central and South America to nest in the marsh, including herons, marsh wrens, ducks, and many others. 

Sunday, June 13: Moth and Bat Research Night, 9:00pm – 11:00pm (This tour is currently full, but please email or call to be added to the waiting list because spaces sometimes open up; thank you.)
Theme: Nightlife of the Ausable & Boquet watersheds
Ausable River Association board member and conservation biologist/zoologist Dr. Larry Master will conduct a program highlighting our local bat and moth fauna. He will use a bat detector hooked to a computer so that participants can listen to and view the bat echolocation calls and learn how to identify whatever bats might be passing nearby. As many as 9 species once occurred in the Ausable watershed, but only 4-5 species are now present and one of those has suffered more than a 90% decline. Larry will also set up a mercury vapor light to attract some of the many species of night flying moths and other insects in the area to a sheet for closer inspection.

Saturday, June 19: Tree Identification Hike, 10:00am – 1:00pm (This tour is currently full, but please email or call to be added to the waiting list because spaces sometimes open up; thank you.)
Theme: Trees of the Ausable & Boquet watersheds
Join naturalist, author, videographer and Adirondack guide Ed Kanze on an easy, three-hour ramble along a local trail. We'll walk through a diverse forest and learn about various species of trees and what makes them special. Along the way, we'll also take in whatever serendipity sends flowing our way and might even learn about other flora and fauna that call the Ausable and Boquet watershed home. 

Saturday, June 26: Waterfall Hike, 9:00am – 12:00pm (This tour is currently full, but please email or call to be added to the waiting list because spaces sometimes open up; thank you.)
Theme: Waterfall ecology of the Ausable & Boquet watersheds
Join Ausable River Association biologist Carrianne Pershyn for a moderate hike to local waterfalls. We'll learn about the role of waterfalls in a healthy ecosystem and see demonstrations of our scientific monitoring equipment and how we're using cutting-edge environmental DNA research to protect our local streams. Along the way, Carrianne will interpret Ausable and Boquet watershed natural history, and help participants identify watershed plants and trees. 

Summer Tours & Schedule

Saturday, July 10: Paddling on Lake Everest, 9:00am – 12:00pm (This tour is currently full, but please email or call to be added to the waiting list because spaces often open up; thank you.)
Theme: Invasive species
Follow the Ausable Paddling Nature Trail and use your eyes and ears to locate and identify birds, insects, fish, and mammals that call Lake Everest home. Participants will also learn about invasive species that threaten native plants and wildlife, and what you can do to help minimize their spread. Led by Ausable River Association staff, this tour will also include information on local cultural history and the future of our communities. Canoes or kayaks, paddles, and life jackets will be provided for those who need them. 

Saturday, July 31: Riverwalking Experience, 8:30am – 11:30am (This tour is currently full, but please email or call to be added to the waiting list because spaces sometimes open up; thank you.)
Theme: Connecting your senses to the river
Discover the beauty of the Ausable River from a low-impact vantage point, as you wade the river. An Adirondack Riverwalking guide will be there every step of the way to assist in heightening your senses to all the sights, sounds, smells and textures of the river so you can experience the river and its environment in a new way. Less about our technical science work and more about mindful connection, this experience stays in a tight geographic area, away from anglers, without disturbing the riverbed and banks. Waders, wading boots and wading staff will be provided. 

Saturday, August 7: Underwater Mussel Exploration, 10:00am – 1:00pm (This tour is currently full, but please email or call to be added to the waiting list because spaces sometimes open up; thank you.)
Theme: Mussels and aquatic life of the Ausable & Boquet watersheds
If you've spent much time in or near local rivers and lakes, you've likely seen freshwater mussels or their shells. There's much more to these animals than meets the eye, as Ausable River Association board member and conservation biologist/zoologist Dr. Larry Master will explain. Participants will canoe / kayak downstream and use provided underwater viewing buckets to look at aquatic life without needing to submerge their face in the water. Larry will also point out birds and mammals that we will see on our excursion. You are encouraged to bring your own canoe or kayak, and a limited supply of boats are available to borrow. 

• Saturday, August 14: History Tour, 10:00am – 1:00pm (This tour is currently full, but please email or call to be added to the waiting list because spaces sometimes open up; thank you.)
Theme: Dams of the West Branch Ausable River
Join landscape photographer, author, and historian Stephen Longmire on a few short walks as we tour several dam sites, past and present, and learn about the logging history that shaped the landscape of the Ausable watershedYou’ll leave with stories about the effort to manage the river as a highway for logs, from the mid-19th through the early 20th century, and the challenges it faces today as a result.

Sunday, September 12: Women's Fly Fishing Clinic, 10:00am – 1:00pm (This tour is currently full, but please email or call to be added to the waiting list because spaces sometimes open up; thank you.)
Theme: Low-impact recreation and fish biology
Always wanted to try fly fishing? Never had the time or money to attend a clinic? Here's your change. Join expert fly fishing guides and learn about the basics of casting and netting your next big catch, with the addition of basic stream entomology, fly selection, and fish biology. Waders, wading boots, and fly fishing gear will be provided. 

For questions and to register, please email events@ausableriver.org or call (518) 637-6859. This project has been funded wholly or in part by the United States Environmental Protection Agency under assistance agreement (LC 00A00695 0) to NEIWPCC in partnership with the Lake Champlain Basin Program. Matching funds were provided by the Town of Wilmington, Adirondack Riverwalking, Cris Winter, Dr. Larry Master, Edward Kanze, and The Hungry Trout Fly Shop.     

                

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