While taking a spontaneous joy drive with the kids last week I happened upon a nature preserve. I had seen the sign on the side of the street before, but had never ventured in to take a look. The kids were behaving well so I turned in and we set out to see what was there. We passed a large, attractive picnic shelter and soon found ourselves at a welcome center of sorts, surrounded by mini gardens, wildlife statues, birdbaths, and all number of scampering squirrels. A little further in was the entrance to the trails, a few of them at just under a mile long.
Feeling excited and adventurous we set out to see the creek at the bottom of the bluffs.
There were many, many stairs to be descended but soon we had reached the bottom and found ourselves surrounded by trees and enveloped in complete shade (a real blessing on these scorching hot days!)
We continued across bridges and boardwalks, looking at different kinds of plants and trees, collecting fallen nuts to offer to squirrels, oohing and aahhing over the creek, and simply enjoying being out in this beautiful area. Ana got tired of walking eventually and often asked to be carried. She knows she's hard to resist.
Eventually we completed the trail loop and found ourselves back at the stairs. We took a break for snacks at one of the decks.
I was so pleased we were able to venture out and try something new. Often times keeping up with my littles in new situations can be frustrating and anxiety riddled. But this place is perfect for keeping the calm, getting some exercise and fresh air, and simply enjoying their company. I hope to make many trips back this summer.