Last week, the local schools were out for spring break, including Isaac's preschool and Jack's Y program. So we did a light school week, which included three hikes. Two of which we did as a family.
On Easter Sunday, we decided to go on a family hike since we wouldn't be with extended family to celebrate.
The Ritchie Hollow Trail opened earlier this year and I have heard good things about it. I had mentioned it to Daniel a couple of times, but when we looked at a topo map together, he didn't think we could manage it with our boys (it starts next to the river and goes all the way up the side of the mountain to Snooper's Rock).
But then a friend posted that they had explored it with kids of a similar age, so I brought it up again, reasoning that we only have to go as far as we feel we can. And Daniel agreed.
I'm so glad he did! We only did the lower portion, but it really was a pretty hike.
We walked through newly blooming wild flowers, we crossed small waterfalls, the kids waded in the frigid water, and we enjoyed the beauty of the area.
It is about a 20-minute drive from our house, but definitely worth the drive. You can see the Tennessee River for most of the hike and it has lots of great natural features. I can't wait to go back and explore further.
On Wednesday, the boys and I went to Greenway Farms for our weekly Nature Day. We saw butterflies, worms, potato bugs, and found a bird’s nest.
The flooding on the trail from a few weeks ago was gone so the boys worked on fixing the teepee made of branches in the woods.
Jack has been on the hunt for his first four-leaf clover. He hasn’t found one yet, but has been impressed by how big some of the clover leafs are.
Isaac was convinced we were going to see a snake. Maybe we will, but we didn’t on this hike.
The weather was a little on the cool side after a storm blew in Tuesday night, but the sunshine made it a perfect day for a hike.
We ended our hike with a little tree climbing. Isaac is really honing his skills and I’m not ready for him to climb high!
BIG SODDY GULF
On Thursday, Daniel was only working a half day, so we arranged to meet in Hixson and drive out to Big Soddy Gulf as a family. We had originally planned on camping, but the cooler weather and threat of rain made us decide to cancel our plans.
Big Soddy Gulf is one of our favorite spots and Daniel had never had the chance to go.
It was too cold to get wet, but the boys still enjoyed rock hopping next to the water (Daniel was the only one to accidentally stick his foot in the water). The kids also enjoyed throwing rocks and sticks into the water.
There were quite a few families out on the trail enjoying the sunshine. The only negative is that we watched a family leave a glass bottle and sprite can next to the creek. There was a trashcan on the trail about 30 feet from their trash. When they left, we threw it away for them. It is so aggravating to watch people blatantly disrespect the earth like that (they didn't even have to pack it out, it was as simple as walking to a trashcan!). Rant over.
Overall, we had a great week exploring nature, basking in the sunshine, and spending time as a family this week.
Camping is still on our radar, we are just waiting for it to warm up a bit.
Check back on Tuesdays to see where our nature studies have taken us...Reflection Riding Center (Monday Nature Day with friends) ⎮ Joyce Kilmer Wilderness Among Trees (hike we did as a family) ⎮ Greenway Farms Nature Day (family archery lesson and hike)
Previous Nature Hikes with Jack:
Previous Nature Hikes with Jack:
November: Glen Falls ⎮ Mushroom Rock (with Mommy and Daddy) ⎮ Raccoon Mountain
Green Gorge ⎮ Rainbow Lake
February: Stringers Ridge ⎮ Green Gorge ⎮ Mushroom Rock ⎮ Green Gorge ⎮ Mushroom Rock family hike) ⎮ Possum Creek (family hike) ⎮Greenway Farms
March: Mushroom Rock ⎮ Green Gorge ⎮ Mabbit Springs