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Services of Reinstein Woods

For more details about the following programs, call 716-683-5959 or visit Friends of Reinstein Woods (leaves DEC's website).

Snowshoe and Cross-country Ski Rental

During the Center's business hours and some Sundays, DEC partners with Friends of Reinstein Woods to offer snowshoe and cross-country ski rentals for use on Reinstein Woods' trails. We have a wide-range number of snowshoes, a decent number of adult cross-country skis and a limited number of youth skis. Rentals are made on a first-come, first-serve basis. For snowshoes, the cost is $5 per pair, $2 for Friends of Reinstein Woods members. For skis, the cost is $8 per pair, $5 for members. You can also rent an infant/toddler sled for $5.

A minimum of 6" of snow on the ground is required in order to use the snowshoes and skis. We reserve the right to refuse rentals during inappropriate or dangerous trail conditions. One renter from each party must be at least 16 years old and leave their driver's license or non-driver photo ID at the reception desk. Friends of Reinstein members must show their membership card to receive the discount.

Group Tours and Outreach Programs

Guided nature walks and outreach programs for schools (S), youth groups (Y) and adult organizations are available by appointment. Reinstein Woods is an ideal outdoor classroom for visitors of all ages, our staff can also visit your school or organization to offer an interactive presentation. Please call 716-683-5959 to schedule guided tours and outreach programs, preferably at least three weeks in advance of the desired date. A minimum of 10 participants (children and adults) is required to schedule a program.

School and Youth Group Guided Tours
Name of Program Grade Level Description
Exploring the Outdoors PreK - 1 (S, Y) A close-up look at nature, emphasizing the development of exploration skills and wonder at the mysteries in the outdoors
Animal Signs 2 - 8
(S, Y)
An introduction to some New York State wildlife and their habitats
Terrific Trees 2 and up (Y) Learn about local trees, from identification to aging and tree parts to forest types, through hands-on activities
Alien Invaders 3-12 (S, Y)
After searching for "alien" (non-native) plants and animals, students will understand the impact of these invasive species on the environment. In-school program and service projects are also available
World of the Pond 3 - 8 (S) Students will explore the rich and diverse ecosystem of the pond
Forest and Pond Ecosystems 9 - 12 (S) This lesson focuses on habitat and wildlife management issues affecting the ecosystems in the woods today
Winter Challenges 2 - 12 (S, Y) Discover how wildlife survive the challenges of the winter season by taking a guided walk on snowshoes to search for animal homes, tracks, and other signs
Climate Change Connections 6 - 12 (S) Learn about global climate change by exploring Reinstein Woods' own "green" building
Evening Adventure (Y) Use senses while taking a walk in the woods in the evening. Hands-on activities help to explore and feel comfortable in the outdoors as the sun goes down
School and Youth Group Outreach Program (45 minutes)
Name of Program Grade Level Description
Animal Tracks PreK - 3 (S, Y) Learn about animal tracks (PDF, 1.7 MB) and traces through interactive activities, then compose their own track "story" or make their own tracks
Fantastic Frogs PreK - 3 (S, Y) Through hands-on and whole-body activities, students take an in-depth look at the adaptations of New York's frogs
Nature's Recyclers PreK - 8 (S, Y) Learn how red wiggler worms take food scraps and make compost to use in vegetable and flower gardens
Trash Talk PreK - 8 (S, Y) Learn about the three "R's", explore the impact of garbage on the environment, and find out ways to reduce, reuse and recycle at home and school
Watershed Works PreK - 8 (S, Y) Learn what a watershed is, how water can become polluted and ways to help protect our water resources, using hands-on activities or a 3-D watershed model
CSI: Critter Sign Investigation 4 - 8 (S, Y) Examine evidence left by insects, birds and mammals and interpret these "clues" to learn about the lifestyles of local wildlife
Skull Science 4 - 8 (S, Y) Using skulls from New York State wildlife, students will explore how the physical features of different species help them to survive in their environment
Amazing Owls (Y) Learn about the adaptations that make them so well suited to their nocturnal lifestyle through hands-on activities
Adult Guided Tours*
Name of Program Description
Nature Walk An introduction to local wildlife and their habitats, as well as trees and plants of the woods
Evening Adventure Use senses while experiencing a walk in the woods in the evening. Learn about animals that are active at night, and the adaptations they use to survive.
Alien Invaders After searching for "alien" (non-native) plants and animals, participants will understand the impact of these invasive species on the environment.
Winter Challenges Discover how wildlife survive the challenges of the winter season by taking a guided walk on snowshoes to search for animal homes, tracks, and other signs.

*These programs are conducted outdoors, last about 1 ½ hours, and are offered year-round (unless otherwise noted). Children are welcome to attend guided tours but must be included in the group size when making a reservation.

Adult Outreach Program (45 minutes)
Name of Program Description
Four Seasons of The Woods Take a virtual tour of Reinstein Woods with this presentation featuring stunning photos taken by Reinstein Woods staff and volunteers
Native Landscaping & Invasive Species Learn the benefits of landscaping with native plants and how to discourage the spread of harmful invasive species
Nature's Recyclers Learn how red wiggler worms take food scraps and make compost to use in gardens
Birding 101 Learn how to identify local birds and how to use binoculars and field guides
Surviving White-tailed Deer Learn how to cope with white-tailed deer

Teacher Workshops

Reinstein Woods offers a variety of 3-hour and 6-hour workshops designed to help educators incorporate environmental education into their existing curriculum. These workshops also can be done at an individual school upon request. See the Upcoming Educator Workshops schedule for workshops at Reinstein Woods and other locations.

Day in the Life of the Buffalo River

With the help of local environmental organizations, Reinstein Woods staff, volunteers, students in grades 6-12 collect scientific data along the Buffalo River and its major tributaries, creating a "snapshot" of the watershed at one point in time. Students measure water currents, test water chemistry and investigate aquatic life. There is no charge to participate, and teachers receive training, supplies and the opportunity to apply for a free bus to transport students to the study site. The data students collect are posted on the Day in the Life of the Buffalo River webpage so that classes can compare their results with that of other sites. The event happens every October. Contact Reinstein Woods at 716-683-5959, extension 205 for more information.

Summer Teacher Institute

Reinstein Woods invites educators to participate in our annual Summer Teacher Institute. Learn how to connect your classroom to the outdoors with hands-on, nature themed activities. This two-day program provides 12 hours of instruction for which in-service or continuing education credit may be available. See the Annual Teacher Institute and Academies page for more information.


You can sign up to receive an e-mail about the upcoming season's public programs and special events at Reinstein Woods. To receive updates, Subscribe to GovDelivery, enter the requested information and check the box next to "Reinstein Woods EEC" on the topics page.

Service Projects

Service project opportunities are available for schools, scouts, other organizations, and individuals. Projects support the goals and objectives of the Unit Management Plan, and have included invasive plant species removal and construction of deer exclosures to promote forest regeneration.

Scouts Badges

We are usually able to accommodate groups of scouts who are looking to work on a specific badge requirement, for example: tree identification, wildflower identification, birdwatching, etc. If you have scouts who are looking to work on a badge, please inform the staff when you call to schedule a program. You may be asked to provide a copy of the requirements to Reinstein Woods staff prior to the program. We have limited Eagle Scout project opportunities available. Past Eagle Scout projects have included coordinating stream cleanup, constructing deer enclosures, building a composting bin, and rehabilitating trails.

Volunteer Program

DEC is always looking for volunteers to help with leading tours and other activities such as trail maintenance and public outreach. It is a great way to meet new people while helping to protect and promote the Reinstein Woods. For more information, see the Volunteer Program.


Reinstein Woods offers paid naturalist training internships to persons seeking professional experience in environmental education. For more information and an application, visit the Naturalist Intern Program web page. Educational credit for internships can be arranged with colleges that offer such credit.


Most of the trails at Reinstein Woods are compacted gravel/dirt roads; a few trails are covered with wood chips. Persons in wheelchairs and strollers frequently participate in tours. We also feature an accessible boardwalk leading to an overlook of the Lily Pond. A complete site assessment (link leaves DEC website) is available on the New York State Inclusive Recreation Resource Center's online database.

Help Us Protect the Center's Resources

Visitors to DEC's environmental education centers should become familiar with the regulations governing the use of the centers as found in the New York State Register and Official Compilation of Codes, Rules and Regulations of the State of New York (NYCRR). Go to DEC's Use of Environmental Education Centers (link leaves DEC website) page to see the regulations concerning centers; visit the Regulations and Enforcement page (link leaves DEC website) for other regulations regarding the use of state land.

Please remember that the following are prohibited:

  • Bikes, skateboards, and motorized vehicles
  • Taking or releasing plants or animals
  • Hunting, trapping, and fishing
  • Pets and horses
  • Alcoholic beverages and glass containers
  • Camping and campfires

Please stay on designated trails to protect the environment and dispose of trash and recyclables in appropriate containers.