Great Swamp NJSherlock Holmes and Colombo could do it if they wanted to. Now, you and your kids can learn how to collect the evidence and solve some of Mother Nature’s mysteries! On Saturday, February 25, the Great Swamp Association (GSWA) will lead a special hike through the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge (GSNWR) in hot pursuit of some the region’s most-wanted wintertime wildlife. Figure out which animals are active in winter by tracking down their footprints. Unmask the identities of birds by listening to their songs. Uncover secret hiding places for chipmunks, mice, and other small mammals. Figure out a critter’s favorite meal by examining some scat. It’s easy, it’s fun, and it’s outdoors!

If you want to participate, please pre-register online at Great Swamp's website, and then meet GSWA’s Director of Outreach & Education Hazel England at 10 am at GSNWR’s Bluebird Parking Lot located near 756 Pleasant Plains Rd. in Basking Ridge, NJ. 

GSWA members participate free. Non-members are asked to provide a voluntary donation of $10/adult and $5 /child (6 to 17 yrs.), or $30/family. No self-respecting sleuth would be caught without a trench coat, so remember to dress appropriately for the weather and wear sturdy shoes suitable for walking in the woods. This is a rain, snow, or shine event. Participants must be accompanied by a guide at all times. For more information, call 973-538-3500 x22.

Photo credit: Paw Prints ©2010 Steven F. Reynolds