Take a Nature Walk In Your Own Backyard or Nearby Park

Close-up photo of leaves

Camping trips, field trips to botanical gardens, nature walks guided by park rangers, volunteer time at community gardens… For so many of us, spending time in nature has come to mean structured activities away from our homes. You can have some fun with the whole family by simply walking outside and taking a close look at the wondrous life that surrounds you.

Here are a few ideas for taking a nature walk close to home.

Whether you are in the suburbs, the city, or out in the country, look for ways that nature has adapted to you, the humans in their neighborhood. For instance, take a look at how this ant colony decided to make a go of it, regardless of the driveway on their land.

Ant hill in the middle of pavement
A very industrious ant colony set up house on the driveway.


This tree didn’t let a silly utility pole stand in its way.

A tree has grown around a utility pole
This tree decided to make the best of having a utility pole so close to its base.


Another theme for your nature walk could be to identify the different kinds of animal life you see. Here is a cute little reptile I found just off the sidewalk close to my house.

Box turtle hiding in its shell nestled in leaves
This box turtle can live to be 25 to 35-years-old or more!


I’ve found salamanders in my yard by just lifting a rock!

Red-backed salamander
This red-backed salamander loves to hang out under flat rocks and boards.


Before you start, you can make an easy checklist for animals to watch for and then add to it as you find more, such as:








Plants provide another wonderful world to examine on your nature walk. You can make a simple checklist to get started looking for a fun variety of finds such as:




__Leaves—all different shapes



So, don’t spend any more time reading. Step outside your door and starting counting nature’s endless delights. Don’t forget to take photos of your finds and you can start making a family journal of your nature walks close to home!

—Words & Photos by R.A. Kroft

R.A. Kroft writes about her day-to-day journey in living a smaller, more sustainable life and other topics that interest her.

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