5 Places To Go For an Awe-Inspiring Nature Walk
When I asked my husband and father to my kiddos, “So… What are we doing on Mother’s Day?”
He replied, “going for a walk in the middle of nowhere.”
He knows my heart.
As simple as a nature walk is, some of our best memories are made exploring trails and taking in the nature that surrounds us. There’s something about a nature walk that make our worries, stresses, or struggles disappear and allows us to remember to appreciate the simple moments we have together. I’ve put together a few of our favorite places to spend a little time with our feet on the ground, fresh air in our lungs, and sounds of the wild in our ears – and no matter where you live, you can find one of these walks nearby!
“In every walk with nature, one receives more than he seeks” John Muir
In a Forest or Wooded Area
The difference in scale between the towering trees that have been standing for many years, and the tiny wildflowers growing on the forest floor makes this an ideal setting for awe. Depending on the season, you may enter into a truly winter wonderland with snow covered pine canopies and lightly dusted moss. Or, it may be warm enough you can smell the pine needles and hear dry twigs snap underfoot. Consider how old the trees could be and what the area looked like when they were saplings. Stand back and gaze at the canopy and the sky beyond. Look closely at the detail of lichen and insects living on the tree bark. Crouch down to examine the variety of plants, flowers, and creatures making their home in this stunning environment. Take it all in.
On a Mountain
Climb as high as you you’re able to get as far-reaching views as possible. Turn 360 degrees and take in your surroundings. Are neighboring peeks smaller? Taller? Are they lit up by the sun, hidden by clouds? Imagine looking at the mountain from an aerial shot, consider your size in comparison to the mountain. How many people have stood in the same spot over hundreds of years?
Along a River
Watch the flow of the water, the way it moves, its speed, the strength of its current. Look into the water, what lives beneath the surface? Focus on the riverbank. Who and what has made this their home, with or without human intervention? Think about how long the river has been flowing along this route and what effect the powerful water has had on the banks and riverbed. If there’s a waterfall, listen to its sound and watch how the water falls and then flows and blends back into the river.
On a Coast or Beach
Turn your head from one side to the other to take in the panorama along the length of the shoreline. Look our at the sea, where the water meets the sky. Watch the movement of the waves and consider how the tide moves in and out every day without failure or interference. Then imagine you’re way up in the sky and picture the coastline as if you’re looking at a map – and look down on yourself standing there as a tiny dot.
On a clear night, go into as rural an area as possible to minimize light pollution and look up at the sky. As your eyes adjust, you’ll be able to see more and more stars. Perhaps you’ll recognize constellations or identify shooting stars. In every square inch of sky above you, there are billions of twinkling lights. There’s a quietness that instantly calms, and a vastness that proves there’s so much more, and something so much bigger out there. Arguably, the night sky can be the greatest source of awe.
I hope that you leave feeling inspired to step outside, admire the outdoors, and take it all in through all of your senses – Better yet, I hope you have the chance to share it with someone, perhaps your mama! We’d love to hear about your awe-inspiring nature walks, tag us on social media @truenorthfamily #truenorthfamily for a chance to be re-posted!