Spring is almost here, and that means hiking season is upon us!
There’s no better way to connect with nature than to disconnect from the screens and get outside! With the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, it’s easy to forget about the benefits of going outdoors and exploring. Luckily for us in Southlake, the Bob Jones Nature Center and Preserve is the perfect spot to leaf all your worries behind and take a hike!
The Bob Jones Nature Center and Preserve provides a sanctuary for humans and wildlife to reconnect with nature away from the urban DFW metroplex. The Preserve, which features 758 acres of Cross Timbers ecosystem, is home to about 700 identified species of plants and animals!
The Bob Jones Nature Center provides over 20 miles of hiking trails to explore for those who are looking to escape into nature. Follow the Bluebird Trail surrounding the Nature Center for a short and sweet retreat, or challenge yourself to complete the expansive Walnut Grove National Recreation Trail. Wherever your adventures take you, you’re sure to run into fellow nature-lovers such as birds, squirrels, and maybe even deer!
If you’re new to hiking and not sure where to start, never fear! We’ve compiled a list of hiking tips to make sure your first excursion to the Preserve is a life-long positive memory.
Leave no Trace
One of the most critical tenets of hiking is to leave no trace. Preserving the land and protecting the wildlife that inhabits it is necessary to be a good steward of the land. Staying on designated trails, not disturbing plants and animals, and not littering are all characteristics of a good steward of the land.
Pick the Right Trail
Hiking can be the best adventure, but it’s imperative to pick the adequate trail for your experience level. It can be easy to get lost, so make sure you stick to the path, read signage, and let a friend know where you are going. Better yet, go in a group!
Make sure to dress in light, moisture-absorbing layers. Long sleeves and pants are best for protecting against the sun and elements. Don’t forget the sunscreen! Make sure to wear comfortable closed-toed shoes to support your feet, and drink plenty of water.
Hiking is all about reconnecting with nature and with yourself. The Bob Jones Nature Center hosts a variety of outdoor education programs for all ages if you are interested in learning more about the Cross Timbers natural habitat. Be on the lookout for exciting hiking opportunities coming up next month! See you on the trails!
The Bob Jones Nature Center is offering free guided bird walks throughout the fall, beginning this weekend. Naturalist Ray Chancellor will guide the fall morning walks and educate participants about the changing bird species through the fall season within the Bob Jones Nature Preserve.
Chancellor will teach both beginning and experienced birders of all ages how to find and identify the migrating and wintering species that visit the local ecosystem. The ecology, including the flora and fauna, and the role of habitat in finding birds will be emphasized. Birders should make sure to bring binoculars.
The times and dates for these guided walks are:
Time: 8:30 to 9:30 am
Dates: August 17, September 21, October 19, November 16, & December 26, 2013
Starting Location: BJNC Parking Lot
Ages: All ages are welcome
Degree of Difficulty: Casual walking on flat trail
For more information regarding this event visit the Bob Jones Nature Center website.
Is January too chilly to visit the Dallas Zoo? No worries! The Zoo is coming to Southlake! On Sunday, January 20, 2013 from 2:00pm to 4:00pm the Dallas Zoo is bringing a winter travel team to share how animals near and far adapt to winter. Though subject to change, the scheduled team includes a penguin, alligator, beaver, chinchilla, and Eurasian eagle owl.
Reservation is needed, and the event is limited to the first 60 registrants. The cost for Members and their family members is $5 per person or $10 per person for Non-members. Non-members can join BJNC and receive the member discount. To join as a member, click here. To register for this exciting and educational event, click here.
For more information, contact email@example.com or call 817.491.6333.
In other BJNC news:
Presented by the Southlake Ornithological Society: Join Dr. Ray Chancellor as he leads a variety of bird hikes throughout the Southlake Cove Ecosystem. Upcoming hike dates:
– January 19
– January 20
– January 27
Learn more here.
Charlie’s Special Compost is Currently Available: Limited quantities of compost specially made at the Preserve are now in the Gift Shop. $6 / bag – first come, first serve!
Compost Workshop: Join Charlie Shiner, Master Composter, to learn the best compost you have ever seen! Wednesday, January 16. Learn more here.