Join Us for a Hike

Families Exploring Responsibly with Naturalists

If you’re like most of us, you’re itching to get back outside after sheltering at home.

Now that we have been able to reopen our trails, we’re thrilled to welcome visitors back to our property, but it’ll be awhile before we can resume programming with large public programs. What we can do, however, is offer some of our favorite programming to families who are eager to have a shared learning experience in the great outdoors. These programs will allow you to join an experienced Naturalist as we discover nature together.

Want to book one of the education programs listed below? Contact Emily Ludy at 443-738-9237 or LudyE@ExploreNature.org

1. GUIDED NATURE HIKES

We offer three specific themed hikes, each with a particular destination or goal in mind. Options are:

  1. Stream Searchin’ – Traverse our wetlands in search for the critters that call ponds, streams, and marshes home. Learn about the importance of wetlands and how everything is connected back to the water. We will meet one of our watery animal ambassadors up close as well as being on the look-out for their wild counterparts.
  2. Back to Basics – Take a step back in time by learning how pre-colonial Native Americans used local natural resources to thrive as a community. Learn about tools, clothing, foods, living structures, fire-making methods, and more. Meet one of our animal ambassadors up close and learn the Native American tales surrounding them.
  3. Creature FeaturesSee some of our live animal ambassadors up close and then explore the surrounding habitats they can call home. Learn how each animal has adapted to survive in a particular habitat and what happens when humans interfere.

Each Guided Nature Hike is tailored to your timeframe. One hour and Hour-and-a-half hikes are available. Hikes can be booked from 10am-1pm. Rates are as follows:

Guided NATURE HIKE with a Naturalist

1 Hour Hike 1.5 Hour Hike
Price (per Person) $10 $15
*Admission fees still apply*     

**Irvine members receive free admission**

2. FAMILY CAMP-OUT NIGHT (Self-Led)

Longing to sleep out under the stars, but worried about the lack of social distancing found in most parks and campgrounds? Ever thought about camping in the wilds of the Caves Valley—where you can hear frogs and owls at night? Irvine’s ‘leave no trace’ campsite has all the basics you need, with drive-in access, portable restrooms on site, even a pavilion nearby in case of rain showers. This is a wonderful back-to-basics bonding experience for the whole family. And at only $10 per person, it’s a real bargain. Check your calendar and reserve the site for an evening the whole family will remember.

3. Animal Presentations

Already coming to Irvine for a Guided Nature Hike and want to take full advantage of your family’s nature-immersion?

Animal presentations last a half an hour (Level 1) or an hour (Level 2) and are also available on a Stand-Alone basis anytime you visit Irvine. (But please ALWAYS reserve ahead of time.) Admission fees still apply. Irvine members receive free admission. 

Animal Presentations

Level 1 (30 min.) = $5 Per Person Level 2 (60 min.) = $10 Per Person
1. Animal Presentation

(2-3 animals)

1. Animal Presentation

(5-6 animals)

Camping Fees are as follows:

Family CAMPING NIGHT (at ‘The Barn’ Campsite)

Event Price 10% Discount 20% Discount
Site Rental $10 per person $9/person $8/person

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