There are a host of organized local hikes especially designed for families and young children, opportunities that my contemporaries lament were virtually unavailable when we were children. In fact, the one “field trip” offered by public schools back then was an Audubon Society adventure that I still remember. (The good folks at Audubon are still going strong.)
Now, however, there are a slew of events, just a few of which are highlighted below.
The Cold Creek Docents are hosting their 25th Anniversary Party on Saturday, June 18, 9:30am at the Cold Creek Preserve. There will be easy exploratory walks, a continental breakfast and a variety of unique activities (like grinding acorns!) that children and their parents would rarely have a chance to experience. Call (818) 591-1701 x 130 for more info.
On the same day, you are invited to bring your friendly dog to the Sooky Goldman Nature Center to learn the answer the old mystery: Do Dogs Smile? It’s a one-hour mini-hike sponsored by the William O. Douglas Outdoor Classroom. Call (310) 858-7272 x131.
On Sunday, June 19, at 1pm, the Topanga Canyon Docents will lead an easy-paced two-hour hike called “Summer’s A-Coming.” You’ll learn all sorts of stuff about how our local critters prepare for the warm and dry season.
The folks that really step up to the plate with a series of kid-perfect programs are the Junior Rangers of California. On June 22, 24, 27 29 and 30, there are 10am hikes especially for children 7 to 12 years old. Meet at the entrance of Leo Carrillo State Park. These supervised one-hour treks blend insights about nature as well as our native cultural heritage. Call (805) 488-1827 for details.
Just to cap their apparently indefatigable commitment, the Junior Rangers also offer a similar program on June 21, at Point Mugu State Park.
One last big adventure for the peewee set is the Nature Discovery Camp, June 27-30 at the Headwaters Corner. Children 8 to 12 are invited to join-in for hiking, nature crafts and some animal interaction, too. There is a small fee for this program, but well worth the expense – call (818) 591-1701 x181 for the specifics.
Those of you adults that feel like adventurous kids can join our free Monday and Wednesday night hiking group just by showing up! You’ll have the opportunity to trek 21 different trails in varying degrees of difficulty. No docents, no lectures – a bunch of folks hiking in the evening.Fearless readers interested in free Monday and Wednesday night hikes may contact Scott Regberg at (310) 475-5735.