First TRACK Trail Adventure – Lake Daniel Park Greensboro

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I recently came across a mention of the TRACK Trail adventures. It sounded intriguing so I continued my on-line journey to the website and read a bit about it. The whole point is to get kids back outside to enjoy and discover the wonders of nature. It sounded good to me so I created yet-another-online-login-account (side note: abbreviated yaola…I’m going to use this term whenever any on-line request comes across to create yaola).

So I added my grandkids to my account and dug deeper to see which parks may be the first of hopefully many adventures.

Lake Daniel Park, located at 410 Mimosa Drive, Greensboro, NC, was chosen as the first experiment since it was the closest one to Kernersville NC from where we were starting. On our way there Isaiah kept asking if we could just back to our house. After being asked a few times, I got a bit curious and asked “What do you want to do at our house?” The answer “To sit on the couch,” which for any adult in today’s culture translates to “I want to play video games and sit on the couch.”

My response “No, I think we need to run around a bit.”

And so the car became quiet for the remainder of the ride to Lake Daniel Park (yes, video games were part of the quiet).

Four trail adventures were available: Bug Out, Birds, The Need For Trees, and Hide ‘n’ Seek but only two flyers were actually on site in the park – Bug Out and Hide ‘n’ Seek. So the boys picked Hide ‘n’ Seek. The park is across the street from a quiet neighborhood and near the start of the trail there was a playground, which the boys used at the end of our adventure pretending it was a Ninja Warrior course.

But I digress. After making the mandatory restroom stop, we began our TRACK Trail adventure. Isaiah thought the whole idea was silly and a waste of time. Jeremiah wanted to just play on the playground but that did not stop  {enter dramatic music} “Adventures with Pa.” Pa decided the boys needed to run, walk, climb and explore a bit…it was too nice a day to do otherwise.

So we began. The Hide ‘n’ Seek brochure had 17 items the boys were to find as we walked the trail. At first they shuffled their feet and were not really too interested in doing this until Jeremiah found a deceased worm on the paved path. That’s all it took. And no, a deceased worm is NOT on the TRACK Trail checklist! The first item on the checklist turned out to be “rough bark” – actually almost all trees had rough bark so that was an easy one.

Next discoveries included finding moss, an oddly shaped tree trunk and a tree with needle leaves. We were on a roll and Isaiah began in earnest asking, “What else is on the list?” Since the trail follows a meandering creek (no Lake in sight…ever), the boys also managed to get their fill of throwing stuff. Rocks, branches, pinecones, weeds, and vines — anything not locked into Mother Earth was game to go swimming in the creek.

And yet, they kept looking for items on the Hide ‘n’ Seek scavenger hunt. How many did we find? We found 15 out of 17 things on the list…only missing out on butterflies and ants because it is the wrong season and too cold for them. And along the way we baptized rocks, mussel shells, branches and other tree offerings in the creek as well as other odds and ends. What was “boring” became a bit more exciting when I told them that with the completion of their first TRACK Trail, they will receive a journal just for them.

So there you have it. A way to make outdoors fun by grabbing a TRACK Trail scavenger brochure, then hunt down those mischievous bits of nature that are just out of sight. And as you walk through nature trying to find 17 items, like us you may also discover animal and bird trails, several different colored flowers, wildflowers and “weeds,” the joy of just throwing stuff, and getting creative with nature. As an example, Jeremiah found a stick and started walking like a hunched over old man…and after being asked what he was doing, he said “I’m walking like a grandpa.” My response….”Hey!!”

Discovering TRACK Trails through and what a bit of nature can do for us.