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First Outing of the Fall!

On September 26, Wilderness Kids Made Our Return to Prince William Forest

Volunteer and Master Naturalist Deborah shows some Turkey Tail Fungus to hikers at the trailhead at Prince William Forest.

Fall is here, and we have officially started another year of outdoor adventures!


On September 26th we set out to hike at Prince William Forest Park. Our hikers quickly recognized it - Prince William Forest had been the location of the very first weekend outing planned by Wilderness Kids in January 2022. The scenery had been quite different back then: snow and ice blanketed the trail and made for a very cold introduction to hiking for many of our first-timers.


We came full-circle and the trail was lush with native plants and signs of wildlife. Our hikers were much happier with the weather this time around (and so were us adults!).


Then...Wilderness Kids bundled up to explore Prince William Forest in January of this year...

And now...We came back to Prince William Forest in short sleeves to see the lush green life surrounding us, Sama leading the way down the Crossing Trail!

We first explored the educational displays and maps in the Visitor Center, before playing an ice-breaker game, reminding ourselves of Leave No Trace, and common trail rules.

Jose and Sama share a look and a laugh during an ice-breaker game!

This was our longest hike to date: 5 miles in under 2 hours! We navigated 3 trails, starting out on The Crossing Trail, connecting to the Laurel Loop Trail and finishing up on the Birch Bluff Trail. We hiked along the South Fork Quantico Creek, stopping to explore rocky beaches, fallen over trees, and large creek rocks. We spotted birds, frogs, fish, and even a copperhead snake! There were many beautiful native plants along the trail, which the adults found interesting. Unsurprisingly our students were more captivated by the copperhead.


From Top Left: Students take the high road as Volunteer Madelyn looks on from below. Something has caught the boys' eyes from their vantage point on-high. Our band of hikers look for signs of beaver activity by the creek, with Edwin leading the way. The gang scrambles across rocks after a fruitful search for frogs and snakes.


Upon finishing our hike, we had a well-earned picnic lunch and tossed around a football. A vote was taken and confirmed that yes, the copperhead snake was the highlight of the day.


Stay tuned for our next adventure - rock climbing on October 16!


Sama and Madina share a smile after a great day outside at Prince William Forest!






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