JEFFERSON — Fat tire rentals, full moon paddles, overnight camping at Hidden Valley Nature Center, in Jefferson, offer multiple ways to enjoy the outside.
Beginning Thursday, September 24, fat tire bikes will be available to rent for trail riding by pre-registration or on a first come, first served basis every Thursday through Sunday. All gear will be cleaned between uses and a no-contact sign up process will be in place.
“Bikes are a great way to explore the nearly 30 miles of trails at Hidden Valley, as are cross-country skis once the snow falls,” said Midcoast Conservancy, in a news release.
Main trails are groomed after every major snowfall, and clinics for both kids and adults will be held in early 2021.
Another family-friendly activity is taking on the Trail Guy Challenge! 25 painted wooden Trail Guys are scattered throughout the preserve; clues take nature sleuths from one to the next in order to complete a word puzzle. Everyone who reports a completed puzzle will be entered into a drawing for a free overnight at HVNC.
Full moon paddles have resumed, with appropriate physical distancing practices in place. Participants hike into Little Dyer Pond and spend an hour or so gliding across the lake in Midcoast Conservancy’s canoes. Once winter arrives, full moon hikes or snowshoes will replace the paddles.
Other programming, like the “Identifying Edible and Medicinal Mushrooms” class, chainsaw safety program, and a four-day Timber Framing course, have resumed with Covid-19 safety protocols in place.
For adventurers looking to truly immerse themselves in the outdoor experience, five cabins and yurts are available for overnight camping. Two of them are fully insulated and all five have wood stoves. Each cabin or yurt has its own woodpile and outhouse. Midcoast Conservancy members receive a 40% discount on already-reasonable rental rates, making this an affordable and fun family adventure. After reduced availability early on in the pandemic, the cabins are now available seven days a week. Following the long-standing self-service model, cleaning supplies will be located in each cabin for campers to use upon arrival and departure.
“Time outside has so much to offer, including physical activity, an appreciation of nature, and a place for spiritual renewal,” said Midcoast Conservancy. “Hidden Valley provides opportunities for all of these and more; all are invited to come explore this local gem.”
For more information on Midcoast Conservancy and all of these programs, go to www.midcoastconservancy.org.
“Maine’s extraordinary natural resources have provided recreational and restorative opportunities to all in the Midcoast area during these unusual times,” said Midcoast Conservancy. “The abundance of trails, ponds and lakes, and camping spots are central to what makes this part of the world so special. As the weather cools and leaves begin to turn, it is good to know that nature is the gift that keeps on giving, and Midcoast Conservancy offers a wide variety of ways to get outside in any season.”