October 21, 2015

Hike to Arbor Woods Preserve

On Sunday, Oct. 25, 2:00-4:00 p.m., families can enjoy great fall weather by hiking at Northfield Woods Preserve (East Northfield Church Road, Ann Arbor). Plan to meet at this preserve lot since there is no parking lot for Arbor Woods. Families will hike from Northfield Woods to the mature wooded area of Arbor Woods to explore this new preserve.

On the hike, families will look at wildflowers and grasses, id some trees and shrubs, look for signs of
wildlife and more. Naturalist Faye Stoner leads this walk.

This is a free program. Call 971- 6337 for general information; use extension 334 or email stonerf@ewashtenaw.org to reach Faye.

October 15, 2015

Autumn Bird Walk

On Sunday, Oct. 18 9:00-11:00 am, families can enjoy the sights and sounds of many of Michigan's birds during the Woods, Water and Wetlands  Autumn Morning Bird Walk at Independence Lake (  3200 Jennings Rd, Whitmore Lake). Interested families should plan to meet at the Blue Heron Bay parking lot shortly before 9:00. Plan to look for resident and migrating birds in a variety of habitats.

This free event is perfect for beginning birders and all are welcome. Please bring binoculars and bird book if you can.  A few binoculars will be on hand for sharing.

Naturalist Faye Stoner will lead this walk!

October 7, 2015

Fall Color Hike

The annual Fall Color Hike, presented by the Potawatomi Trail Committee is an excellent way to see Michigan in all of it's glory. The 5-mile hike is perfect for families to enjoy and costs just $4/person and happens this year on October 10 and 11. Registration begins at 9:00 a.m. and ends at 2:00 p.m. although hikers can stay on the trail until 5:00 p.m. To participate, hikers will begin and end at Camp Munhacke (20120 Bartell Rd. Gregory). All proceeds from the hike are used to support Scouting Programs.

My family has hiked several times, even when my daughter was as young as 4! It's a good hike and very well marked. Typically there are many that you will encounter along the way, so this is a perfect event for novice hikers! Be sure to take a lightweight pack with snacks and plenty of water. There are several restrooms along the way too!!!

This is a five mile hike taking approximately 2-3 hours on the Bill Baker Trail which is on State property and is therefore governed by all state rules and regulations. Pets are not allowed on the hike though, so please leave fido home! Please remember to dress appropriately for the weather and to wear proper hiking shoes or boots that are comfortable to wear.

October 6, 2015

Fall Toddler Hike at County Farm Park

Fall is the best time of the year to take the family for a hike. The youngest members of the families should not be denied the opportunity either. On Thursday, Oct. 15 at 10:00 a.m., take your little ones on a guided hike with naturalist Shawn Severance at County Farm Park. This is a perfect activity for families with children ages 1–5 years old. Meet at the Medford Road Entrance to take a walk through the woods and fields to experience the sounds, scents and tastes of the changing season.  The "hike" travels along mostly paved surfaces too, so this is a good event for those with strollers too.

Although this is a free event, please pre-register at parks.ewashtenaw.org and select “Nature and History Programs” under “Activities”.

October 5, 2015

Pioneer Days at the Waterloo Farm Museum

On Sunday, October 11, 2015, noon-5:00 p.m. at the Waterloo Farm Museum (13493 Waterloo Munith Rd, Waterloo, MI) families can celebrate late 19th century farm life! This event includes tours of the Farm Museum and Dewey School, live music, and demonstrations of crafts, trades, and traditional cooking methods. Admission to the Waterloo Farm Museum grounds for this event is $5 for adults and $2 for children aged 5-12, free admission is granted for children under 5 and members of the Waterloo Area Historical Society.

Now in its fifth decade, Pioneer Day at the Waterloo Farm Museum is the premier event on the Waterloo Area Historical Society's calendar. A visit to the Farm Museum and tour includes a complex of farm buildings including the restored ten-room Farmhouse dating from 1855. In the Farmhouse kitchen you will be greeted by the delicious smells of Sunday dinner being readied for the dining room table. A docent in every room will be your guide as you tour the house set with utensils, furniture, clothing, and other household items of the time.

I know my kids especially enjoy the demonstrations of butter making in the Spring House, hearth cooking in the Log House, brick-oven baking in the Bake House, and blacksmithing in the workshop.

Be sure to head out this weekend for this wonderful educational opportunity!

October 4, 2015

Historic Tours of Parker Mill

My daughter watching with wonder how the
Parker Mill grist mill works. Take your family
on a free tour this October!
Sundays throughout October (Oct. 4, 11, 18, and 25) from 1:00-5:00 p.m. families can get a free tour of the Parker Grist Mill (4650 Geddes Rd, Ann Arbor). Parker Mill is one of a few remaining pioneer grist mills still operational in southeastern Michigan.  Come and learn how the Parker family used water power to grind corn and wheat, turn a lathe and run other machines in their mill.  Your family can stop by anytime to visit, but a more formal detailed tour will begin at 3:00 for interested visitors.

My children have been there many times. In fact when we stopped by the other day after making our cider, they knew so much that they could almost lead the tour themselves. Oddly enough they continue to enjoy the wonders of watching the grist mill operate!

Bring along your camera too for photo ops. Parker Mill is one of the nicest natural places to take family photos too!!!