Life in the Time of Social Distancing
The past week has been completely surreal. Schools, many offices and businesses have already closed, with more closings looming. Many of us are already working from home while finding things for our kids to do.
This is a first in a series of short articles with ideas to get you and your family outside and away from the computer screen or couch.
#1 – Good Stuff to Do with your Kids While Hiking.
At the time of writing, Eagle Point Provincial Park trails are still open, but please check with Alberta Parks for updated information before venturing out. Eagle Point’s trails near Drayton Valley can provide you with 30 minutes to two hours or more of forest immersion. Shut off your phones and let Mother Nature help your family de-stress and get exercise.
- Make your hike fun – walk on those logs, look for bird nests, find that perfect walking stick, find five shades of green or purple or brown, stop and listen!
- Feeling Crafty in the Forest? Try Bark Rubbings: All you need are some interesting trees, a bit of charcoal, soft pencil (8B is good) or oil pastels and some squares of paper. Use different colours for the rubbings or various colours of paper. Bring the forest’s fingerprint home! The kids can assemble all the rubbings into a collage once they get home. Check out this link https://craftinvaders.co.uk/bark-rubbing-exploring-trees/
- Trail Detective: March is a great time to be studying tracks and other clues left by wild animals! Wet snow and mud preserve footprints. If you don’t have a book with tracks, download this fun Tracks Activity Book.
- Do you like Riddles? For the older kids (10 plus) you can download Eagle Point-Blue Rapids Parks Council’s SIMPLE TREE KEY and solve the riddle of which tree species it is. How many species you can identify on your walk/hike.
- Geocaching: The Drayton Valley area has LOTS of geocaches hidden in and around the town and even in our local parks! Sign up on www.geocaching.com or download the app to see find out where they are. Turn your family hike into a seekers adventure. Be forewarned! This is an addicting hobby!
- Trail Steward: Bring some gloves and a garbage bag. Turn the trail into a more beautiful place by picking up trash along the way. Teach the Mantra – Leave the Forest Better than You Found it.
Drayton Valley Area Hiking Trails
Find the trail maps at www.epbrparkscouncil.org/activities/hiking.
Eagle Point Provincial Park:
- Rotary-Pembina South Trails – 5 minutes east of 50 St/50 Avenue, you’ll find the trailhead near the cemetery for 3 easy to moderate loops and a longer, steeper trail
- Hilltop and Hillside Trails – find the trailhead for this easy to moderate hiking trail on the road to Willey West Campground. Park just outside the steel gates in winter.