My boys are hit or miss when it comes to hiking. That’s why I was excited to check out the “Exploring Nature with Kids” guided hike with A Walk in the Woods during our visit to the Gatlinburg area.
A Walk in the Woods offers a variety of hikes for all interest and skill levels.
Here is the description of our hike from their website.
Exploring Nature with Children
Spend an afternoon reconnecting with Mother Nature through fun games designed to awake enthusiasm, focus attention and create conditions conducive to deeper insights. We will get our hands dirty playing in the earth, exploring creeks while looking for salamanders, tasting nature’s foods and soaking up the fresh air and sounds of the woods.
This course is the cure for Nature Deficit Disorder. Be ware, part of the fun is getting muddy and wet! (Please note, this is not a stroller friendly trail. Also, the bathrooms are closed in the winter (November 1st – April 10th).
Our tour met at Cosby Campground which is about 30 minutes from downtown Gatlinburg.
After intros we began our hike on the Cosby Nature Loop Trailhead.
The scenery on this hike is really beautiful!
A big difference that I noticed with a guided hike is that our guide made stops to point out things that we would have overlooked in the rush to complete the trail.
We also took time for some fun and games.
We learned about different types of animals that we might see in the area.
We also got to sample some of nature’s food.
The hike ended with the opportunity to look for salamanders in the creek. I appreciated that we waited to do that until the end because it would have been really hard to get kids to go hiking after playing and discovering in the water. Our guide Samantha did a great job of engaging both the adults and the kids on the tour.
My boys both said that they really enjoyed the hike. My older son shared that he normally doesn’t enjoy hikes that much but that this hike was fun and interesting.
He really enjoyed the activity stops and talks along the way.
The hike is an easy level and lasts around 2 hours.
Tips before your hike
Bring at least 8 oz of water per person and good walking shoes.
If you have good rain gear or a favored walking stick, bring those too.
Otherwise, they provide emergency ponchos and a limited number of walking sticks.
They suggest at least one day pack to carry your gear. If you need them to, they can provide one with advance notice.
The guide provides nut-based snacks (trail mix and peanut butter crackers).
If you might have nut allergies, or do not enjoy the taste of nuts, you need to bring your own light snack.
You can find more information about the variety of tours offered from the Walk in the Woods website.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary hike for review purposes. All opinions are my own.