Spend a day with us in celebration of Choate Island – the crown jewel of the Crane Wildlife Refuge. Here deer and foxes roam through fields that once housed herds of sheep, and osprey fly over breathtaking views of Essex Bay. The island was first home to indigenous farmers and fishers, then to generations of the Choate family, and was later a retreat for Cornelius and Miné Crane, who loved the place so much they decided to be buried at the summit.
This year, we are again offering both a Self-Guided and Guided experience. Both will allow visitors to explore the extent of the island. The Guided experience will be led by a trained guide for the first 90 minutes of the program on a more thoroughly interpreted walk across the island, after which visitors will be free to take their time getting back to the boat dock. The Guided experiene starts at the island-side boat dock and ends at the Choate Island summit. However, we will have staff and volunteers scattered across the island to provide interpretation for self-guided visitors as well.
Park at Crane Beach, which is at the end of Argilla Road. Parking will be free for this event, and board our shuttle bus to take you straight down to the boat dock (less than 5 minute drive). There you can check in (if you purchased tickets online) or buy tickets “at the door” (if available) before boarding the ferry to the island, which is less than 10 minute boat trip one way. The shuttles will run continuously between 10AM and 3PM. The last boat returns from the island at 3PM.
Below is a sampling of events for the day (subject to change):
- Talks on Choate Island life, human and natural history
- Proctor Barn open house
- Choate House self-guided tours
- Hikes to the Crane Burial Site
- Self guided walking tour
- Kids scavenger hunt
- Shoreline walk and beachcombing
Light refreshments will be served. Feel free to bring a picnic lunch, but remember to carry out all that you carry in, and please no alcohol.