Getting Kids Out Into Nature

Gloomy Day at Brightwater

brightwater treatment plant trail
Taking in the View

Our school schedule is light this week, so we took advantage of a little less school work to head out for an afternoon stroll. I chose the Brightwater Center because I hadn’t been on many of the trails yet, and we wanted something easy and close to home. I had to bribe my kids with a promise of cocoa – real cocoa! from a coffee shop! – to get them interested in walking in the rain.

brightwater center hiking trails
Exploring the trail

I enjoyed these trails today, though the birding was quieter in the cold rain than I hoped for.

brightwater center trails, winter birding,
Partially Frozen Lower Pond

I imagine the shrubs and wetlands will be very active with birds come spring. As it was, none of the paths are difficult, even for young children.

brightwater center hiking trails
Nice and Easy Brightwater Trail

The paths are hard-packed gravel so footing is secure, and there’s only a bit of mud in places. Kids will enjoy climbing in a spiral to the top of the hill, and looking out over the top of the wastewater treatment plant.

We saw normal winter birds such as juncos and towhees, but also delighted in a flock of golden-crowned kinglets, a heron that we spooked in the wetland, and some hooded mergansers in the lower pond.

brightwater center
Learning About Water Filtration

We ended our walk with a visit to the Visitor Center, where I made the kids find one thing to tell me that they didn’t already know. Always gotta be learning!

 

brightwater center art
Drippity Drip Drip

 

I’ve updated the photos for this entry in my Hiking Guide! Hop over there and check out more local trails you can enjoy this winter!

One Response to Gloomy Day at Brightwater

  1. I’ve been following your blog for a while and I really enjoy it. We will be in the WA/Olympia area later this year to explore relocation possibilities and I can’t wait – your blog is has been so helpful in filling us in on the hiking and nature exploration possibilities.

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