On this Earth Day weekend, the Aldo Leopold Foundation kicks off its visitation season. While the Leopold Center is open year round and visitors have the opportunity to take self-guided tours of Leopold’s Shack during the winter months, it’s not until spring that the landscape truly comes alive.
“I owned my farm for two years before learning that the sky dance is to be seen over my woods every evening in April and May. Since we discovered it, my family and I have been reluctant to miss even a single performance. The first show begins on the first warm evening in April at exactly 6:50 pm.”
-Aldo Leopold on watching the American Woodcock’s mating display from “Sky Dance” in A Sand County Almanac
It should be noted that in this particular April, the weather of recent weeks and days has been anything but spring-like. However, this Saturday may mark the first day the mercury reaches 60 degrees on the farm, and with any luck, the warming days prior will melt the blanket of snow that surely has the woodcock confused. Perhaps, this Saturday evening they’ll be doing a sky dance of pure joy!
Break free from your own cabin fever by making a visit to Leopold Country, where you can hike the trails, visit the exhibition hall, or take a guided tour of the Shack. Saturday marks the first offering of guided tours for the 2018 season.
Guided tours of the Leopold Shack and Farm are an opportunity to experience a living piece of history and to be moved by the same landscape that informed the conservation classic, A Sand County Almanac. Tour guides are deeply knowledgeable of the historical accounts of Leopold, the land, his literature, and his legacy. They bring you along on the Leopold family’s journey of purchasing the property and working the land. See historical images of the property before and learn how the work the family began in the 1930s has continued through the decades transforming the land back to health. Step back in time as you step into the Shack, a registered National Historic Landmark, to imagine how a family of seven spent their weekends. And, hear selections from A Sand County Almanac as you stand at the very sites that inspired the written words.
Every Saturday at 1:00 pm, now through October, guided tours of the Shack leave from the Leopold Center. During peak season, Memorial Day to Labor Day, guided tours are offered Tuesdays through Saturdays, also at 1:00 pm. Visit the tours page on the website to make a reservation. Guided tours are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors (age 62 and older), and $8 for children (ages 11-17). Tours are free for Aldo Leopold Foundation members and children 10 years old and younger.
If you do visit on this first Saturday, be sure to take a moment at the Leopold Memorial Site to remember Aldo Leopold. It was 70 years ago on April 21st when Aldo Leopold died tragically of a heart attack while fighting an out of control grass fire on neighboring property. The site marks where Leopold was found once the flames were finally extinguished. While Leopold’s life ended 70 years ago, his legacy lives on to encourage love, care, and respect for the land community as well as people.
Learn more and be inspired on your visit to Leopold Country!
Ready to plan your visit?