Last updated: September 30, 2015
Nature Hike: A walk on the Wilkinson Trail
- Grade Level:
- Upper Elementary: Third Grade through Fifth Grade
Nature hikes are a great way to explore outdoor areas, and Saratoga National Historical Park’s main hiking trail, the 4+ mile Wilkinson Trail, has much to offer. Named for British mapmaker Lieutenant William Wilkinson, the trail has a shorter, 2 mile option useful with students. This activity sheet accompanies the 2-mile hike, encouraging students to look around them and engage with the natural world around them.
This a fairly unstructured activity. Students just need their worksheets and a pencil as the group does the 2-mile hike. While there is a checklist of items to look for, which students should be encouraged to read through before the hike, it's just as important for them to simply walk and interact with the natural and cultural environment around them.
Students will be able to:
- identify a list of things found in nature
- describe, in writing or art, something they enjoyed during their nature hike
- begin to develop an appreciation for nature
Distribute worksheets to students and be sure everyone has a pencil. Read through the checklist with them so they know what are the items they should look for. When explaining what SCAT is, there will be an "Ewww!" factor involved, but it's a great teachable moment to note how environmental scientists can use such indicators to learn what kinds of animals are found in a given area, what/how much they are eating, and how healthy the animals are.