Wild Saturdays at Woodchuck Lodge

Tucked away in the backroads of Roxbury, NY, is a historic home with a long history. As you approach the rustic home with crescent moons carved into the wooden shutters, you can’t help but feel a sense of curiosity, a softness toward nature, and an urge to sit in the nearby woods for hours. You have arrived at Woodchuck Lodge, the summer home of John Burroughs.

Photo by J.N. Urbanski


John Burroughs was the seventh of ten children born on the property where Woodchuck Lodge still stands. He worked the farm with his family, and his curiosity and love for the natural world flourished as he grew. Through his writing and observations of nature, he became America’s most prominent and adored naturalist-essayist. Burroughs developed friendships with prominent minds of the time, such as Walt Whitman, Henry Ford, and Thomas Edison. 

Woodchuck Lodge stayed in the Burroughs family through the years aside from a short period from 1922-1947 when Henry and Clara Ford owned the home. Now Woodchuck Lodge is a place to commune in nature, to learn about the natural world from local naturalists, and to continue the legacy of John Burroughs’ work. 

Be part of the legacy by learning about nature on the same soil John Burroughs walked. Wild Saturdays is a series of free programming offered once a month from May to October each year. Explore the nearby woods during a guided mushroom walk, learn about the survival adaptations of Catskills wildlife, get up close to live raptors, and so much more. Bring a lawn chair and an open mind, and you will leave Woodchuck Lodge with a renewed sense of curiosity and interesting facts to share with your friends.

Photo by J.N. Urbanski


Learn more about the Wild Saturdays events here:

Leslie Sharpe: Animal Adaptations
Saturday, July 6th at 1pm
Catskill wildlife-butterflies and lightning bugs, bluebirds and bats, and black bears. Leslie discusses the extraordinary adaptations these critters have developed to survive. Bring your critter stories to share. Leslie is a naturalist and author of The Quarry Fox and Other Critters of the Wild Catskills. This title won an Independent Book Publishers award for excellence. She has taught at Columbia, NYU, and City College. She also was chosen as a “Steward of the Catskills.” 

Ron Knapp: Trekking Through The Rugged Catskills in the Late 18th Century
Saturday, August 3rd at 1pm
Join Ron Knapp for an illustrated talk about New Englanders who trekked through the Catskills to central NY’s “wilderness.” Knapp is the co-author of Theodore Burr and the Bridging of Early America in which the Catskills are featured. Ron is a noted expert in covered bridges. 

Annie Mardiney: Catskill Raptors Talk and Display
Saturday, September 7th at 1pm
The wildly popular Annie Mardiney from Wild Mountain Birds in Ulster County shows and discusses her raptors. Join us and learn about these beautiful creatures, see them up close and personal. Learn how saving wildlife is a collaborative effort. Annie is a professionally licensed and insured wildlife rehabilitator: She is also licensed to use wild birds for education. One of our most popular nature presenters, not to be missed by anyone with a keen interest in hawks and falcons.

Dr. Michael Kudish: History in Bogs
Saturday, October 12th at 1pm
Dr. Michael Kudish is a well-known speaker in and around the Catskills and New York State. Mike is a professor emeritus from the Division of Forestry at Paul Smith’s College. He obtained his PhD from SUNY of Environmental Science and Forestry at Syracuse, NY. His presentation, “What can the bogs teach us about history?” highlights his research on the numerous bogs in the Catskills. Join us and learn the wonder of bogs. It just might “boggle” your mind when it comes to this unusual subject.