Men, our kids need to be outside in the fresh air as much as possible, and nothing beats time with Dad in the woods. Hiking, exploring, wading a stream, searching for critters, collecting rocks–all are excellent activities offering prime teaching moments. These simple investments of our time return an incredible investment in our children’s character development. Start when the kids are young and continue until they leave for college. One day your adult son or daughter may call and ask, “Dad, do you want to go for hike?”
Lace up your boots, load up the car, and make a memory.
My information is specific to the Raleigh area. Ask around, surf the web, and see what parks–city, county, or state–are in your area.
Nature walks, for me, are slower-paced than hiking. The purpose is to give our children an outdoor classroom where they can get dirty investigating. George Washington Carver wrote:
A very large part of a child’s education must be gotten outside of the four walls designated as class room.
Here are places in the Raleigh, North Carolina area I’ve found for nature walks.
Take a Hike
Start slowly and keep it fun. You may be ready for five miles without stopping, but little legs may not keep that pace. Likely your kids will take detours and side trips along the path, so remember the activity is not always about the distance. Follow these links for some of my favorite venues.
Fun and Games
Where else can kids ride a train, enjoy a spin on an ancient carousel, pedal a boat, and conquer an awesome collection of playground climbing equipment? With ample space for picnics and playing Pullen Park near the campus of North Carolina University is the winner.