First we stopped at the Visitor's Center. Such a beautiful building to welcome visitors - look at the cafe area (with sunflower)! The kids put together some insect puzzles. Benjamin checked out the 3-D map of the forest, while Daddy inspected the "creek bed" aquarium.
Well, we came to hike, so we collected some maps and headed out to an "easy" trail. Ahem. Not sure who was classifying these, but they failed to take into account my fear of heights!! Aaaggh! Any of us could have fallen to our deaths in several places along the trail, but apparently moms are the only ones who think of these things... The kids had a blast and defied danger without a worry. The forest was so beautiful as we wound around, up and down, along the mostly-dry creek. Climbing down the rocks, we came into the creek itself and Jeff showed the kids how to find "critters". We found a salamander ("sammalander" as Molly says), a tiny snake, and a crayfish. Molly wasn't the slightest bit afraid of the snake. She's got her daddy's love for wildlife!
In between panicking on the trail and trying to catch my breath from all the climbing, I still managed to get a few pictures from the hike.
We could have spent the rest of the day turning over rocks and exploring the creek bed, but we had an appointment at the playground with some of the cousins.
Bernhein is building an enchanting children's garden in the play area, but most of it is still under construction. I can't wait to see how it will look when it's finished!
Everyone got so much exercise and good fresh air! There is much more to explore here, so we plan to return several times before the summer heat arrives to stay. For now, we're basking in the afterglow of pure springtime bliss...