A Walk in the Woods – Week 3 of Summer Academy 2015

Using all of our senses, we took to the woods and explored our natural world, hiked local trails, listened for birds, followed small animal tracks, foraged and went on nature treasure hunts. None of the hikes were too strenuous, and, the best part, each one led us into the unknown.

The suspension bridge at Bellevue Botanical Garden

The suspension bridge at Bellevue Botanical

We started the week off at the Bellevue Botanical Garden with its restored woodlands. Campers explored a second-growth forest and followed a trail that features a 150-foot steel suspension bridge. We happened upon several gnome villages which inspired us to begin building our own ‘village’ on the school hillside.

One of many gnome homes we stumbled across during our travels

One of many gnome homes we stumbled across during our travels

Schmitz Preserve Park offered the complete opposite: a totally natural, even rough, wooded old growth trail that wound alongside a creek in West Seattle. Ultimately, we ended up at Alki Beach for a picnic lunch, which was an added bonus.

We traveled a couple of local trails – Cedar River and Soos Creek Trails – both offering opportunities to tap into all of our senses as we experienced and witnessed – water fowl, frogs, turtles, wildflowers, blackberry thickets and more. We talked about habitat, climate change, tree types, woodlands, wetlands, preservation and everything in between.


Our days were not all hiking… Afternoon activities included some arts, crafts and cooking: Leaf prints, ‘decorating’ bird houses with scavenged items from the woods, sachets, and delicious Krackle.



Our final day found us on Tiger Mountain. We followed the Bus Trail and continued on through woods and over hill and dale. We picnicked amongst ferns and moss-covered trees. As a reward for all that hiking, we landed at the Triple XXX Drive-In for some nostalgia 1960’s style and tasty root beer floats! 20150717_130723



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