Trailside Education

wells national estuarine research reserve

Tools for learning at your own pace, alone or with others.

Discovery Program Trail Guides and Backpacks

These self-paced trail guides are paired with activity backpacks that hold everything you need for a half-day of investigation. Especially fun for kids from 6 to 12 years old.

Water Wonders

Discover watersheds, the water cycle, estuaries, wetlands, and the beach with a mummichog mascot as your guide. Backpack contains estuary mystery bag, trivia cards, earth ball, binoculars and magnifiers, six field guides, Identiflyer with sound cards, and more.

Habitat Hike

Visit forest, field, and estuary habitats with a porcupine mascot, while exploring animal homes, life cycles, camouflage, and even scat! Backpack contains "green" lunchbox, binoculars and magnifiers, three puppets, four field guides, Identiflyer with sound cards, and more.

Time Travels

Complete a treasure hunt with a wild turkey mascot, learn about life on the farm, explore hunting and gathering, and investigate resources from the estuary. Backpack contains treasure map, animals bag, stone wall building kit, hour glass, binoculars and magnifier, gobbler call, measuring tape, and more.

  • Ages: 6 and up
  • Group Size: 1 trail guide per child recommended
  • Available: Year-round
  • Fee: $5 fee includes trail guide, backpack rental, and prize. Ask about special pricing for groups of 10 or more.

Interpretive Signs

All of our trails feature signs to help you identify plants and animals, understand the natural and cultural history of the site, and explore landscape change. Explore the Salt Marsh Loop or Forest Interpretive Trail to gain a deeper understanding of ecology.

Discovery Mascots

Let the animals of the Wells Reserve take you on a guided tour full of activities and new experiences.

I'm a mummichog and I'll be your guide for the Water Wonders Discovery Program. I'm a porcupine and I'll be your guide for the Habitat Hike Discovery Program. I'm a turkey and I'll be your guide for the Time Travels Discovery Program.

Group Visits

Learn more about bringing your group to experience the Discovery Program and interpretive trails.