For those of us who are familiar with the Ashokan Center and its myriad of activities, we can’t think about it this time of year without smelling maple syrup. That’s because every March, the environmental education center holds a Maplefest, which kicks off with an all-day pancake breakfast featuring the Center’s own syrup taken from its 150 maple trees.
We’re very sorry to report that this year’s event has already passed, but check out the events calendar for more on what’s coming up, including cider-making in the fall, and lots of dance and music in the summer. (By way of full disclosure, a certain father of a certain Upstater founder teaches music at the Ashokan Fiddle and Dance Camps every year — the bearded fella teaching the banjo class, if you happen to go).
The Center is also available throughout the year for retreats, conferences and special events, with cabins available for overnight stays and meeting rooms for groups using the facility.
But the Ashokan Center is more than maple syrup, contra dancing, and retreats. It’s also an environmental education center with a variety of programs, like the “Adventure Education” program, where students participate in cooperation games, orienteering, canoeing, a ropes course, and survival skills (including a segment on wild edibles…yikes, and also, neat!). All held outdoors, of course. The Center also provides living history demonstrations, nature hikes, watershed studies (the Reservoir is right there, so it’s a great place to learn about watershed conservation and protection), and forest ecology.
Check out the website and poke around. There are tons of appealing pictures of the facility and its grounds, as well as event and activity descriptions. The Ashokan Center is located at 477 Beaverkill Road, Olivebridge (GMAP).